To the Designers of Baku

>> Friday, February 26, 2010

Hello Designers of Baku. While I know you have your hands full trying to fancy up the capital of Azerbaijan to make it a truly European fancy town. I do have just one question for you:

Why would you make your city out of marble?

Please do not misunderstand me, it is very beautiful. However, I happened to be in your city during a heavy snow fall (snow storm even) and it was ridiculous. Everything that is made of marble instantly becomes humans worst enemy. I felt like a fool moving about all weekend. It was hilarious to watch other people walk or even fall. It was even enjoyable falling myself, but was this the best choice?

Thank you. - Lori

In other news, taking a broken door/shelf from the side of the road and sliding down an alley is the best way to spend some down time in the Old City of Baku. Brilliant actually. Bailey, Ruslan and I all had a great time. I attempted to jump on Bailey as she was sledding but I fell and my butt dragged all of the way down the hill. In case you were wondering, jeans will stain snow blue. All the way down the alley, blue.

The train ride to Baku was interesting. It should normally take about 12 hours but as this was a ridiculous snow storm it took about 19. I was supposed to be sleeping in a different car from all of the other volunteers but I didnt want to. It's just safer to be with the others. But how to do this? Easy, pretend to not understand a single word of Azeri. If you act confused enough and have everyone else follow suit, you can stay with your friends. Yay! Well we were definitely stuck on the train for a while but luckily we had Mike, who always brings snacks and we even got to watch some movies via laptop. Luckily we got there which, I must admit didn't seem likely even from the night before.
You see, the lady who sold me my ticket is a liar. Yes I said it. She wrote 21:05 on my ticket but I thought something was wrong with that because it left at 20:30 the first time I took it. So I was going to get there a half an hour early just in case. Of course leaving the hFam on time didn't happen but nonetheless I was on my way 25 minutes early for my train. I saw the lights of the train pull away from the station. What time was it? 20:35. Well shoot. I asked my cab driver to speed to the next village where I know it will stop next. He sped all right. And a few kilometers out my window I can see the train. Pretty much parallell for about 15 minutes and then teh taxi starts pulling ahead! Just in time to turn left and see that there is about 3 kilometers to go perpendicular to get to the actual station. Dang! The train passes us but the driver is shouting in excitement and he says that we'll beat it. I couldn't help but believe that cute little man, I think he felt like he was in a movie and we were saving lives. Well we got to the train station and the driver jumped out and ran as fast as he could to the dock yelling back to me that he would hold the train. It hadn't reached the station yet as slowing down took a long time. Just as the train halted I stepped on, success. That ticket sales lady is still a liar.


Camp G.L.O.W.

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

Girls Leading Our World

This summer there will be a camp in Azerbaijan for young girls around 14-17 years old. 48 girls will be chosen to attend this week long camp to create friends from different regions, and learn about positive changes they can do for the betterment of their communities. All in all they will be learning about self empowerment and the importance of being active in your community. The camp is not an English camp and will (hopefully) be run by Azerbaijani's. It is a very big project to feed and house everyone and it costs some major money. There is a website you can go to if you can/would like to donate. It is through the Peace Corps and your donations will help with travel to and from camp as well as housing and paying for our Azerbaijani session leaders. Thanks for all you can give, please let anyone you think would be interested know this website.


My house in Qax!

So just in case there was any confusion.... Qax is how you spell my region in Azerbaijani, Gakh is the English spelling.

Also, talking to family and friends has shown me that I must clarify pronunciation (not judging honest, but it was hilarious...Kit and Elaine)

It has nothing to do with the sound Quack. Say God, memorize that sound. Now say it again but right before you hit the "d" sound make a faint gurgling noise. If that doesn't quite pan out for you just say "gawk," it's close enough.

That being said lets show you my cool house!

Picture #1: This is my kitchen, rarely used as this room is not heated during the winter, but it's where we store things. Also there's a refrigerator to the right of this photo, it's just an average fridge, no need for a picture.

Picture #2: I don't know what to call this room but it's connected to the kitchen and there's a couch in it, also not heated so it goes unused for now.

Picture #3: This is the happening place! Guests come here, we come here. I read and type and watch awesome TV shows with the family here. There is no other hang out place so if you're not sleeping, you're here. Note the teddy bears above the cabinets, I love them.

Picture #4: This is the same room but now you can see the TV and heater where a tea pot is kept constantly warm...Awesome. Also through the hallway to the right is my hRents room and straight ahead is mine.

Picture #5: This is my room from the door. I hung up a few posters of my Azeri language stuff to hopefully keep me learning. I cannot tape things on the wall so I am waiting until I move out to plaster the walls.

Picture #6: This is the other side of my room. My heater, which I now light myself (hold your applause, I know I'm cool). Also I put me in the mirror, HI!

Picture #7: This is the backyard view from the toilet door. That's my towel and some clothes hanging to dry. Two satellites, one for Turkish channel one for Russian. However when Jason and I asked the hDad about English channels he found a horrible childrens' show and about 5 evangelist channels. One was even called, The Church Channel. Ridiculous. The actual house is to the left but the house you can see is the summer house and bathroom (for showering and laundry).

Picture #8: Now with my back to the summer house you can see the back of my house. For all intensive purposes it's the front of the house, but it's facing the opposite direction. When you come in the gate you have to walk around the house because there are no doors on the other side. Sorry if that's confusing. But I like it.

Picture #9: This is my one chicken. I have a fun time bugging my hDad about it. My hMom talks about how beautiful and great our house is and I always look over to my dad and say, "Yeah, but we only have one chicken." He loves it. When he brings in one egg from said chicken he always says, "ONne chicken, one egg." One day there was a different chicken, then it came back alone, and then both were in the coop. That was a great few days of mass confusion in which I think my hDad was trying to see if I'd go crazy. I got very excited to exclaim that I recognized the change if nothing else. But then we had a week of chicken chicken.

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