Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Groundhog Day

So I hear that the groundhog didn’t see his shadow… and if I remember correctly I believe that means winter is over soon, or now. It has been warming up a little bit here, but the wind keeps us cool. It’s somewhere in the 50’s most days, I believe. I hear Chicago is pretty brutal right now as far as the weather goes, so I’ll move on.

A real quick comment on the Super Bowl. I did get to see it live. Ashley and I went to Baku on Sunday because we had a meeting on Monday with Right 2 Play and some project ideas we have. We met a couple friends who were volunteers here before we got here and now they live and work in Baku. They were staying at a house that had the game and were kind enough to let us stay and watch. Our announcers were Mike Tirico and Sterling Sharpe. Sterling Sharpe would not stop talking about the Bears being on a cliff and “the game within the game” between Urlacher and Peyton Manning. It was a little ridiculous… every play was a game within the game and the Bears were on a cliff or close to a cliff. Once the game ended around 7 a.m. Monday morning, we went to the Peace Corps office and got some sleep before our meeting the we headed back to home. Twelve days until pitchers and catchers report!

This year marks the first year I actually celebrated Groundhog’s Day. I didn’t do anything to celebrate on Friday since I was at work, but on Saturday, Ashley and I had quite the celebration. However, Friday was a busy day at work. Besides brainstorming some project ideas and my regular tutoring sessions, I was teaching my office how to sing Bear Down, Chicago Bears. Earlier in the week, my tutor Aygun and I translated the song into Azeri and on Friday we were singing the English and Azeri versions. It was fun. Back to Saturday’s festivities. We had one of our friends buy us syrup in Baku and he brought it down last week. The syrup went perfectly with the pancakes and bacon we made on Saturday morning. We bought some orange juice which was good and the bacon was, of course, wonderful as were the pancakes and syrup. We finished pretty early, so to kill some time we played Rummikube which I dominated. Around 2, we went and got some food and went to my house. We sat around and watched Groundhog Day, the movie. At every point possible, I pointed out the places in Woodstock that I recognized, which Ashley appreciated. Once that was done, it was time to eat, so we headed downstairs to have dinner. Then Ashley, my little brother Ulvi and I played a few games of Sorry!. Ashley actually won a few games, which was amazing. That was our Groundhog Day.

We also started writing letters to my friend Jackie’s students. Here’s a picture of us with the pictures of the class that Jackie sent to us.
The letters they send us are amazingly hilarious. From the questions they ask, like, “If you were wanted by the air force for some crazy reason do you… A) run like a madman screaming Sponge-Bob? B) Grow a beard that touches the floor then hide in the wild? C) Build a time machine, go back to pre-historic times and get eaten by an extinct animal?” I have to provide an answer and those are my only options, so I guess I have some serious issues to ponder. Ashley also received some goofy questions, so we have a good time reading and writing back. They also ask some questions about what it is like to be in the Peace Corps and Azerbaijan.

That should do it for now. Everything is going well. Next month will be six months of being a Volunteer which is very exciting. Not only will 25% of my service time be complete, we are allowed to move out of our host family’s houses. So the search for other living arrangements has begun. Hopefully I will find something nice in town that won’t cost too much. I really enjoy living with my host family, but I miss having independence and being able to decide when I’m going to eat and what, and everything else. But, if I can’t find a place to stay that I like, I will just stay with my family. I have attached some pictures that may be repeats. I mentioned earlier that they are doing some construction to the park near my house. The pictures are of what the park used to look like.

What it looked like a couple weeks ago.

And what it looks like today.

There’s quite a difference, and I’m really curious as to how it will look in a month or so. The whole town has changed quite a bit since I moved here in September, so after two years I’m sure it will be very different. Until next time, be well.


Anonymous  said...

So... those questions certainly sound like questions YOU would ask, so I truly doubt you are having all that much trouble answering them, haha!

5:27 PM  

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