Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Just Shufflin' Through

Who wants to go to Miami??? I do, I do! Or at least somewhere in Baku where I have been told I should be able to watch the Bears play in the Super Bowl. I may have to take a vacation day or two, but it’ll be totally worth it. Whew, ok that’s enough on the Bears for now. This past weekend Ashley and I had some volunteer guests stay at my house. They were supposed to arrive Friday but couldn’t make it until Saturday afternoon so we had one night of great fun. Basically, we just sat around and played games, but its always fun to party and hang out with other volunteers, if for no other reason than giving me and Ashley someone else to look at. I think one of the highlights was definitely our Sunday morning breakfast of a brick of Velveeta cheese with Rotell, tortilla shells (thanks Aunt Barb and Uncle George!!) and 15 slices of pre-cooked bacon (thanks Marissa and Sarah!!). It tasted amazing. Chase it with some Riptide Rush Gatorade and you have yourself some very happy volunteers. It’s amazing that after such a fun weekend, the melted cheese and bacon might be my favorite part. Then again… what’s not to like about melted cheese and bacon???

Hopefully I’ll be starting a conversation club with some kids in Lankaran which will allow them to be able to practice their English skills. It doesn‘t sound that hard to start, but you have to find a place to meet, a good time when all the kids can be there and make sure the school is ok with everything. You know how it goes. It should be fun to teach them games and introduce topics that they may have not addressed before and to get them to think differently about certain things. My hope is that through the conversation club, I can also get the kids to think about some small programs or projects they can do within the community with other classmates or friends to get them more involved in volunteering and the community.

I am also working on some training programs for my office that I might be able to do and think may be useful to them. My counterpart and I are going to sit down this week and discuss a couple ideas and with any luck I will have those moving along somewhere. Ideally, if they are successful with the people I work with, we may be able to offer them to other NGO’s in town as well as business owners and their staff. My hope is that these trainings will spawn more ideas and lead to other potential projects that we can do. Other than that, it should be a quiet week.

In other news, the entire city of Lankaran is under construction it seems and the weather has been amazing. There is a building around the corner from my house that has been destroyed, the big park with the Buckingham Fountains has been doubled in size and the small park that I walk through (pictures from 11-15-06 update can be seen below) has had almost all of the trees cleared out. There is also another part of town near my office that is being leveled and looks like they are going to make it similar to the big park, but mini-sized. It’ll be interesting to see what will come of the little park by my house. It was always very nice to walk through and looked gorgeous in the fall with the leaves changing colors. Tomorrow I will try to get pictures up of the addition to the big park and the tear down of the little park as well. There is also a picture of one of the World War II statues in the big park. I know it’s a short update, but no one wants to sit here reading this all day long, do you?


Anonymous Zach S. said...

I, in fact, do want to sit here all day reading this business.


1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also wouldn't mind sittign all day reading this.

Go BEARS!!!!!!


6:25 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

I will be missing you while I'm watching the super bowl on my friend's 56" plasma! Hope you get to watch it live!


9:09 AM  

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