Saturday, October 29, 2011


Thank you Christina Libbing for coming to visit me in Azerbaijan! After realizing that I don't know how to read a calendar and going to the airport a day early... Chrissy arrived safe and sound at 3am :)! But we just had the best time together. We spent our first day with my training host family in Jeyranbatan. Chrissy fell in love with them as much as I did the first time I met them.
This happened to be Mason's birthday, October 25, so my "mom" made a cake for him and we sang.
Next our journey brought us up to Qazax, where I live. It really doesn't rain too often here, but it rained the entire time Chrissy was here haha.
When we went to visit and eat lunch with Zeynab's family my little friend from next door came over. We call her Toto and she is just a doll. We had a wonderful day spending time with Zeynab and family. It was very important to me for Chrissy to meet them all.
Exploring the Qazax bazaar.
The next day Chrissy, Mason and I carved pumpkins with my 7th grade class.
On Monday I will be having a Halloween party with both the 7th grade classes. Chrissy and Mason helped prepare with this jack-o-lantern club.
We then took the night train back into Baku and spent our last day together seeing the city's sights. I'm so thankful that Chrissy made her way to see me!!!! Best trip ever :D

On another note, Mason and I's good friend from Baku Steve past away on Thursday. You may remember his name from blog posts here and there and even his picture from the last post I made. Please keep Sandra in your thoughts. It has been a tough time, a lot of us PCVs have really gotten to know and love Steve and Sandra. Steve, you will be thought of often and very fondly remembered.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Weeks Adventures

I'm down in Lankaran right now for my last trip to the south. There is a good group of us down here and we've had a fairly eventful week. On Thursday we went to a village for one of Mason's good Azeri friends' wedding. (He's the guy sitting in the middle).
Our friends that live in Baku, Steve and Sandra, came down. Sandra had actually been visiting me up in Qazax to get a feel for what it is like to be a Peace Corps teacher in Azerbaijan so we traveled down to Lankaran together.
Then on Friday we went up to Lerik for the day, which is where Mason used to live. We took a beautiful hike through the Taylish Mountains.
We walked through many different terrains: fields full of cows, muddy hills, green forests and along the river where all the plants are turning red for autumn.
It was the perfect way to say good-bye to Lerik.

Next I'll be heading up to Baku to pick up Chrissy from the Airport! I'll keep you posted on that adventure as it unfolds!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GLOW Reunion Number 3: Ganja

If you've been following my blog you know that another PCV, Jess, and I have been trying to get our GLOW campers from this summer together in different regions. This past Sunday Jess and I took the 4 GLOW campers from Qazax and Tovuz to Ganja, one of Azerbaijan's bigger cities that is only 2 hours from my house, to meet up with the GLOW campers from there. This was the second time I had taken Zeynab's daughter to Ganja but the first time for most girls going. It is not a normal thing for young girls to get to take a trip like this just for fun so it was a big adventure for them! We took them out to lunch and spent the rest of the sunny day wandering around. This was the last of the trips Jess and I could do for our GLOW campers and it was a great finale!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Absheron National Park

If you've seen a map of Azerbaijan you've probably noticed the funny little hook-shaped peninsula near Baku the goes out into the Caspian Sea. Most of that,the Absheron Peninsula, has been well protected and designated as a national park, and let me tell you it was a pleasant surprise to see those natural beaches in Azerbaijan. Our friends who live in Baku, Steve and Sandra, brought Mason and I out there recently and we were all taken by the beauty of the place. Fishing boat tied up just before sunset.
Steve, Sandra and Mason exploring the grassy hills that flowed between the peninsula's two shores.
The peninsula was full of saltwater marshes.
Towards the entrance to the park there was an old watch tower. Mason and Steve climbed up to get a better view of the sunset.