Sunday, July 08, 2007

July is HOT

Quick note: Some of you may remember me telling you all about Ashley and I performing at the talent show at the Thanksgiving Day party last year in Baku. Well, it’s finally done. The video has been posted thanks to Ashley's sister, Ali. Simply go to and search for "Azerbaijan Bon Jovi sighting", and you should be able to rock out. Enjoy and you’re welcome.

NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!! Ok, so Lankaran doesn’t have a team but we were well represented in this past weekend’s softball tournament in Gence. Ashley and I were invited to participate with teams from Mingachevir and Barda, and needless to say, we dominated. Maybe not so much, but I was recruited to play center field for Mingachevir and made some spectacular plays as they clinched the championship. Each team got to play two games on Saturday, then on Sunday we had just Peace Corps Volunteers playing each other. All in all it was a great time. As you are perusing the pictures, notice the shorts being worn and the occasional shirtless player. That is because it was incredibly hot outside and shorts are allowed when playing sports. After the games we all had to change back into pants for the bus ride back into town. An excellent time was had by all and was made even better by post game burgers and beer at one of the volunteers’ houses in town.

On Tuesday, a group of us headed into Baku for the Fourth of July celebration at the Embassy. Not all of the volunteers were able to attend, but there was still a good group of us and a ton of other people from all over the place. I met up with Arzu and we walked to the Embassy to meet up with everyone else. The Ambassador was there waiting to greet everyone and shake their hands, and then there was the food. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, appetizers and MGD (insert Homer Simpson drooling noise). Needless to say, we felt free to help ourselves and walked away sufficiently fed. Afterward a group of us went to hang out at Tequila Junction and relax. It was a really pleasant way to spend the 3rd of July. Not quite the Taste of Chicago, but you make do with what you have. My Fourth of July was spent in a bus riding back to Lankaran after devouring a double cheeseburger from McDonalds stuffed inside of a chicken sandwich from the nearby Lebanese fast food place. Upon arrival in Lankaran, Ashley and I ate our double cheeseburgers that we bought before leaving McDonalds, watched a movie and immediately crashed for it was back to work the next day.

Last night Ashley and I were invited to a wedding or toy as they are called here. These are always a fun experience and we got to eat a ton of great food. Better than spaghetti and ketchup, for sure. As usual, there was lots of dancing. Ashley and I even got called upon to give a toast. This was my first toast at a wedding, and it went about as good as it could have I think. Once the toast was over we had to start the next dance, as per tradition. So that’s always fun, being forced to stand up and speak to a ton of people you don’t know and then trying to dance the way they do. I think everyone got a good laugh. I know we did.

Our conversation club is going well; we still have about 15 kids that we meet with every week even though school is over for the summer. The girls’ athletic club I was planning on creating should start meeting soon, so that should be a lot of fun as well as keep me busy. Oh, I also hope to be putting some netting around my porch to keep the mosquitoes away, so I will soon have a great sitting area/porch for the warm summer nights. Very exciting. That about catches us up for this week. Pictures included this week are of me driving a ball out to left field during softball, a team picture of team Mingechavir (the National Champions), some friends of mine and I at the Embassy, the wedding room from last night and a couple of us dancing. Stay tuned for more, and stay cool.


Anonymous Zach said...

Freaking awesome. Why do you stuff double cheeseburgers in chicken sandwhichs though?

4:39 PM  

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