First few days with the host family

>> Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alrighty folks. I’ve been with my host family since Monday the 5th. Amazing. They are super funny and the lack of English has made for the most ridiculous week. Most of what I know from my family comes from a host cousin who is fluent in English and unfortunately has to translate everytime he is here. I still try but it ends up in a lot of possibilities, no absolutes with charades. So to begin, I live with a family of 5 (mom, dad, and 3 sisters). I call my host dad Ata, the traditional azeri for father. He calls me Lalə (pron. Lay-lah) because “I need an Azeri name,” pretty much he has a hard time with pronouncing Lori. Host mom – Maman or Maman SUPER! 18yr old sis - Ramilə, 15yr old sis – Nayrmin, 13yr old sis - Həbibə. They are all super sweet and want me to be as happy as humanly possible. Since the beginning of typing this I’ve received 4 visits to my room each with food or tea in hand. They also came to laugh at how I befriended this cat. They will not let me name it, but I call him Buddy. Everytime they hear this I am reminded that his name is psh psh. The cat may or may not be theirs but I saw Maman feeding it from her plate so I assumed I could pet it and now it loves me. Currently, Buddy is asleep on my bed, He has slept with me every night since I got here.

Speaking of animals…they’re everywhere. Cats and dogs you’re not supposed to pet or feed because most of them have diseases so I really hope Buddy is a pet but because of the language barrier I do not actually know. Chickens, hens, and geese are roaming the streets and mini yard where they stay at night, as I walk to school. Of course the dogs and cats are thrown in as well. Speaking of school, what a trip! I was told I’d be like a celebrity but this is ridiculous. As the 6 of us walk through the hallways every eye is on us, everytime. Children bust out of the classroom and yell hello or just tell us their names. It is a bit less on the streets but those hallways echo and I think my brains will pour out of my head soon. My little sister’s friends all think that they are special when I greet them by name and that is always fun.

I have had a few language classes and soooo much gets covered. I wish we could just be like The Matrix and download a language, but alas I shall study. Ramilə gave me some awesome Azeri pop and on our breaks my cluster has little dance party’s. There are 6 of us in Ceyranbatan Cluster #1 and we’re super cool. 2 bionic people who walk/run super fast and never get tired, Mike and Jess. My neighbor Myriam and I walk to and from school together, while talking about all of the ridiculous events of our day. Mary is our blonde, who definitely fell into the van we take into the city, hilarious. Beca, through host family’s is my cousin. Beca and I never stop laughing so that’s good for me and my abs! Our teacher is Nurana, and she is not only amazing and sweet but of course she’s super pretty. Pretty much this whole training thing kinda rocks.
More to come later, be advised that our dance party has resulted in the creation of an azeri music video. Be afraid


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