Thursday, October 04, 2007

Steak Sauce

Apparently, I’ve been weak sauce the last couple updates (according to Mom) so I hope to remedy that this week. I don’t think I can, but I’ll do my best, and isn’t that what really counts? Well, that, and making sure we all have fun. Here we go!

As you can probably guess, the last week or two has been kind of slow. Tim, Ashley and I organized a training for college kids that was supposed to be on Monday at 2:00. We were going to have 10-15 students meet us at the library and we were going to give a seminar on resumes, cover letters and interviews. Ashley contacted his tutor who knows students and one of our other friends from the youth group that he is involved with to invite other kids. So at 2:00 on Monday, Tim, Ashley, Jane, Joyce and I all headed over to the library to meet with everyone and do the first of what should be many trainings. Turns out, Ashley’s friend in the youth group was on a bus coming from Baku and wasn’t able to make it that day, which means that all the people he invited weren’t going to show up. So, there you go. Just goes to show that you can schedule and prepare all you want, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. So I think we are going to try again next week.

In office news, I have been holding down the fort over at CLEE this past week and a half. My coordinator, Rufat, was on a month long vacation to Russia. He just returned this week and stopped in to see how I was doing and make sure everything is ok. He had a great trip, from what I could tell by his stories and pictures and brought back some pretty tasty chocolate. Arzu, who is working in Baku, has spent the last month in San Diego for a program designed to train it’s participants on youth organizations. Last I heard from her, America rocks. Ziya, one of our lawyers, recently got a new job as an ombudsman in another city, about an hour from Lankaran. That means that Aygun has been the only lawyer in our office for a while, but we are searching for another one as a replacement. Speaking of Aygun, she is currently in Australia. She also has my camera, which is why I won’t be putting up any pictures for a couple weeks. I get an email every other day or so, and so far she is having a great time. She is staying in Sydney and says she is constantly getting lost, but that everyone is really nice and helpful and more than willing to point her back in the right direction. I hope she brings me back a wombat and some vegemite. Well, maybe just the wombat, vegemite is nasty. So that leaves me alone in the office to answer questions and give out lawyerly advice. I don’t do much of that, I usually just ask the clients to write down what they need and when Aygun gets back, she will help them out. And as for Ashley, who doesn’t work at my office but is there quite often, he is on his way to America for a friend’s wedding. He has promised to do all he can to eat a baconator in O’hare Airport and let me know how it goes. If nothing else, I’m sure he’ll eat plenty of other stuff.

Ashley and I received a treat in the mail a couple weeks ago. My friend Jackie is a teacher in Chicago and had her 5th grade students write us letters. While the letters weren’t as crazy as the ones we got last year, they were just as amusing. She even sent a cd with a video of all of them saying hello to us. So now we have something else to keep us entertained and hopefully the kids will learn a little about Peace Corps and Azerbaijan.

This weekend promises to be very exciting. Maybe not exciting but at least mildly entertaining. I am going to Barda to meet up with a bunch of other volunteers and play softball. We did this over the summer and it was a blast. The same four cities (Mingechavir, Barda, Sheki and Ganja) all have teams again (Americans and Azeris) and this is the first meeting since the summer time. I’ll get to see and hang out with my friends and meet some more of the new group of volunteers who I didn’t get to hang out with much in Baku last time. Should be awesome, except for the bus rides. Those are never fun.

Later this month, we are having a Halloween party in Lankaran for all of the volunteers. So far we have heard from a lot of people that they are coming so it should be a good time. In the next week or so I’m going to go around the neighborhood and tell everyone that a bunch of American’s are coming for a holiday party and that they will only be here for one night and to apologize ahead of time for the noise. On that Sunday, there is a soccer game at the local stadium so we are going to get a big group of kids together with some of the volunteers and watch a game. It’ll be great to get the girls involved because they always tell us that they want to go see a game, but feel uncomfortable. Our hope is that with a large group and American girls, they will feel better about it. Hopefully the weather will be nice. So far it has only rained one night in October. I kind of hope it keeps it up because the days have been quite lovely. I have attached one picture, from a while ago. It's me enjoying the Krusty-O's you sent me Mom. Thanks! They were delicious.


Anonymous Dad said...

Tom, This is a much better blog. I think Steve bought the Crusty O's

4:55 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Much better this time, I hope mom approves. Have fun in Barda, hit a home run.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Zach said...

Fine work there, Tom man. I started work. Maybe I can get my co-workers to write you letters and send you a video hello.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Vegemite isn't nasty!

1:55 AM  

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