Hi all! I am safe and well and have been gone for 2 and a half weeks! Everything is great here! I really like the people I am working with (the other trainees) and the people of Azerbaijan are really accomodating!
My host father is the best. He plays chess, checkers, chinese checkers and a game called nerd (it's something I imagine backgammon would be like, but I've never played backgammon before, so I don't know). My mother makes me eat tons of food, and I try and get as much exercise as possible playing soccer with the kids but hopefully I don't get too fat. My mother reminded me not to gain to much weight or I may be over the weight limits for the plane ride home. :)
I have been working my butt of studying the language and I can say complete sentences now!! I can communicate with my fhost mom and dad pretty well, we have our own pantmime/azerbaijani form of communicating, but I am pretty sure I'm getting my point across. I hope so anyways. It's so awkward but awesome, they should do a true live: I live in a host family because I'm sure a lot of people have the same funny stories.
The only problems I have had is that I have been stalked by Pooch, the dog who lives outside my house. We have an agreement, that if I talk to him he won't bark/bite, but he usually barks if I dont talk. Also, my Marshtruka (it's like a van for public transport) played chicken with an oncoming train. The three americans were ducking our heads and freaking, but the azeris were just calm as could be. The train came like 20 yards from us, but I guess we shouldn't have freaked because the guys who drive these marshtrukas have done so for 20 years, and they wouldnt put themselves in danger.
The culture here is so interesting! I hear the call to prayer every day, but the Muslim religion is not as prevalent as I thought it would be. There are certain cultural rules to abide by, but so far I have not broken any. Actually, I did have a Marilyn Monroe moment at the bus stop because it was so windy, and I was wearing a longer skirt and it flew up! I was mortified, but I think only Americans saw me.
All the little kids love the fact that I play soccer. I kick their butts, then let them play a little. :) Thanks to years of soccer camps, I now can show them all kinds of tricks to do, and I have been successful in "IRB"-ing (Relationship Building in the community) through soccer.
We have site visits until Wednesday, I will post sometime after wednesday! Miss you all in the states and send me an email or post here so I know how you are!!
Lots of love,