Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I know all of you are concerned so I’ll put your worries to rest… I am no longer cold and the frozen part has been lifted from my room’s name, “Tundra Comma Frozen.” It is now just “Tundra Comma.” That being said, a good week was had by all. We had a neat weekend in Baku. On Saturday afternoon a group of us went to Ashley’s host family from training and they treated us to a great lunch. Then we went to Baku and got ready for our Thanksgiving dinner at the Embassy. The food was great and I think I ate half my body weight (yeah I know, that’s about 4 pounds, but I still ate a lot). After a lot of visiting with friends and staff members, we went to the living room (party wasn’t actually at the Embassy but at one of the people’s houses) and had a Volunteer Talent Show. Most people played a song and sang on the guitar, and Ashley and I were no different, but we were the only people that actually had a costume change. Basically they were just jeans and t-shirts, but Ashley wore a wrap thing around his head (I have no idea what you call it) to look more like Jon Bon Jovi or Axel Rose. Ashley did a little intro on the guitar that he doesn’t know how to play then I took over and we played a classic tune, Wanted Dead or Alive. If you haven’t heard the song, you must, it is a can’t miss. Ashley sang the Bon Jovi parts and I sang the Richie Sambora parts and even had a waling guitar solo. We don’t have pictures yet but as soon as I get them they will be put on here. The song really lent itself to our skills, which is loving Bon Jovi and being able to be loud. To sum it all up, we rocked. After the party ended a bunch of us went out and then went to American families in Baku to stay for the night which was really nice. We got to meet some great people and the family we stayed with even treated us to a great breakfast of pancakes, coffee, bacon, eggs and milk and juice. It was delicious, especially the bacon. After breakfast we got to enjoy the sauna that is in the basement of the house. It was quite refreshing and got me all geared up to sit in a little bus and make the trip back. So there you have it, the big news in Tom Kniola’s world is he ate a lot of great food this weekend, including bacon. It was a busy week before that as well. As I mentioned, CDC had a meeting at my office and we discussed some ideas for projects that can encourage tourism in Lankaran and the southern region of Azerbaijan. Tim, Ashley and I also had a meeting with two youth groups in Lankaran to see if they wanted to work on projects together as a large group. It went pretty well and we are meeting again this week and will hopefully have some good ideas. Anyways, right now I only have one picture to post and will get more off my camera for next time I am online to put on here. For those who may be confused (Marissa) I have lived with a host family my entire time in country. I am with my second host family right now (since I lived in Saray for training and now live in Lankaran). My host father, Namiq, is an Economics teacher and my mother, Ulkar, is a History teacher. I have two little brothers, Ulvi who is 13 and Kanan who is 16. They are both students. Ulvi speaks English fairly well and helps me explain things to my family if I need help. We also have a Nana that stays with us from time to time, but she is in Moscow right now and will return near the new year. At home I have my own room (“Tundra Comma”) and right outside my room is a big room where my mom tutors students and attached to that is an extra bedroom. Under the large room is a big open space where the car is parked and in warm weather there is a table and tv out there where we eat and hang out. For now, though, everything is inside. There are two rooms, one functions as the kitchen and the other is where we eat and watch music videos. There are two beds (one in each room) and a big sofa in the tv room. That’s about it. Everything is well, Ashley and I rock, and things are all good here in lovely Lankaran. Until next time, you stay classy, America.


Anonymous John (Tom's Brother) said...

I'd like to see a music video featuring you and Ashley!

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Zach S. said...

I second John's suggestion.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Ann the Great said...

Was the bacon as satisfying as the bacon chips?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

sounds like a fun Thanksgiving, even without the Football! we have the NFL network, so it was glorious :)

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashley's Blog: "Kasey video taped us ..." We demand the video!!!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

yippee for the Bears being 10-2...thank GOD for the monsters of the midway and for the special teams though, cause Rex sucks!!! miss you Tom! wish we could go to a game together this season!

3:31 PM  

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