Friday, November 18, 2011

Vacation Time!

Mason and I arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia by train this morning.We spent the day relaxing...
Lazily exploring...
And enjoying one last time in the wonderful city of Tbilisi.

We will be doing these same things in a few other cities for the next week and then we will be back in Seattle on the 26th. This blog is just about over, as my Peace Corps service is ending. But I have one more blog post I'll be doing once I get back in the states, my favorite moments, so stay tuned for that! See you soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The End

As of yesterday I am officially a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, or RPCV!! Tonight Mason and I are headed out on the train to Georgia to start our Caucasus region adventure, so today is our last day to say goodbye to Azerbaijan.The view of Baku city from Sandra's balcony.
Mason and I in the Peace Corps office's PCV lounge for the last time.

Life in Azerbaijan wasn't always easy, but it taught me that I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to. I feel so lucky to have had so many wonderfully challenging experiences here, some of which I shared on this blog and some only I will really ever know about and understand. The relationships I made with Azeri people will stay with me forever and I thank them for taking me in as their own and teaching me the ways of people here. The thought of returning to America is so exciting and a little scary at the same time, a lot has changed since 2009 ;). I will never be the same person after being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Azerbaijan- but of course I hope all of my changes are for the better! I guess in a little over a week, when I meet my family at the Seattle-Tacoma airport, we will find out. I am definitely ready to start saying hello!

One last HUGE thank you to my family and friends for the massive amount of support you gave me! Whether it was coming all the way over here to visit me, sending me letters or packages, calling or sending email messages, it made my 2+ years here a little easy! I appreciated it all so very much! Thank you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time Flies

The goodbyes just don't seem to stop. THis time it was my old host family in Jeyranbatan, where I had my training in Oct/Nov 2009.I wish I had lived closer to this family and had seen them more but we always kept in contact. I hope to one day see both of the daughters in America :). Tonight it's working on Peace Corps paperwork and tomorrow it's the doctor, dentist, language test and exit interview! I don't believe that Sept 2009, when I left my family and friends in Seattle, was already 2+ years ago! I'm excited for Mason and I's trip that starts on Thursday. And then after some exploring...America, here we come! But now I just need to figure out home to get all of the gifts I received home ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Qazax

This past week was my last in Qazax. Though it had many stresses like packing up my whole apartment myself and figuring out what to do with all of my stuff, it was an extremely emotional time. I definitely feel ready to come home, but saying goodbye to the people here who have been my life for the past two years was heart-wrenching.Goodbye dinner with Shefeg's family. Her husband stayed home from work just so he could make me kabab.
Party at school with all of my teachers.
The dress that Shefeg had made as my goodbye present. This was a fun experience going to the "derzi" for fittings and all that.
My last club with my 7th graders. We used fabric markers to write all over each others tie-dye shirts.
Saying goodbye to Zeynab and her family was the hardest. I slept at their house every night this past week and they helped me get ready to go, but saying goodbye to her and her daughter last night at the train station hurt a lot. I think what feels different now then when I left everyone at home was that I knew I would be back to see all of my family and friends in 2 years. I do not know for sure if I will ever have the pleasure of seeing any of these people again. All I can say is "inshallah."

Tonight it is off the say goodbye to my host family from training and then its Peace Corps stuff. Busy few weeks but I'm making it work. 2 more weeks and I'll be in America saying hello instead of goodbye... I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Party

Yesterday my 7th grade classes that I've been working with for basically the whole time I've been here and I had a Halloween/Goodbye Party.I brought some Halloween crafts and they decorated the room with little notes for me, it was quite sweet. I also got a lot of cute and funny gifts, including a clock with Mecca on it. It made me feel so special. I'm going to miss them so much. We have had so many fun times together; they are all such good and enthusiastic kids. I hope they all grow up to be amazing people. Next it's the party with my teachers and school staff! Things are really wrapping up here... I'll be home this month and I can't believe it!