Friday, May 29, 2009

Random Happenings

Well since I have been neglecting updating my blog this month, I thought it was about high time I did. Nothing super amazing or out of the ordinary has happened to me, but I will relate some random stories.

Last Friday night, I was making strawberry jam with my host mom. We were sitting outside at the picnic table in our yard underneath a berry tree (our yard is full of various fruit trees, I can not wait for them to come into season, probably in another month or so, so I can pick fruit from our yard). It was really windy out and the wind was knocking all the blackberries down on top of us. I don't know why I found it so funny, but I couldn't stop laughing - it was raining berries!

This past week I bought and put up screens on all my windows. Now I can open my windows and enjoy the fresh air without my house getting full of bugs! I still have bugs, but before I didn't open my windows at all. Now I only close them when I leave. It has made a big difference in the temperature of my house.

Yesterday Greta came over to my house for a bit just to hang out. We were sitting in my living room when we heard a chicken. (My family has 5 chickens and they prefer my yard over my host family's yard, so they are usually always around.) It was a loud noise and kind of unexpected. Greta was like what was that. I replied, without thinking, oh, no worries it is just a chicken laying an egg. After I said it I thought - oh my gosh, I am officially country! I can tell the difference in chicken noises!

This next week one of my site mates, Greta, leaves for good to head back to America. After that it will be just me and Amber holding it down in Imsihli until September - and then she leaves and it will be just me! Should be interesting.

Work wise - things are coming. I have started working with a NGO in Baku to help them write and edit grants. I have also started helping out another NGO is Imishli with a project and editing grants. So, at least now I have a bit more stuff on my plate. My house is starting to feel more like home and I am settling into a routine. So, life here has been pretty good as of late.

I am just anxiously awaiting July 6th when my friend Joy is coming to visit for a month! I am super excited and can not wait. We are going to travel in and out of Azerbaijan - so that is what I am counting down until.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Feeling Inspired

Well it is Thursday night and I just showered and am enjoying a steaming hot cup of tea (new for me because I never liked tea before I came here; now it is becoming a daily necessity for me) when the sudden urge to write a blog entry hit me. I figured I should jump on this as the inspiration has not found its way to me recently. Actually, I have not had much inspiration to do much of anything as of late. I have been having a bit of a hard time of it; it as in life in Azerbaijan. But, I was thinking over this I realized I totally called it before I left the states. I remember telling people that I thought at the about seven month stage that the honeymoon would have warred off and reality would hit me. And the 23rd marked seven months down and 20 to go. Anyway, I have been prying for a change in attitude and perspective and slowly I am seeing that answered!

But, I did want to write a bit about my life. I am settling into my new house; I know I promised pictures, but my camera is on the fritz again so you will have to settle for words instead – for now. (The pictures I posted yesterday were from Amy’s visit to Imishli the other week.) Slowly, it is turning into my home, not just a place I live. Last night I stayed up way too late making a wall decoration arrangement. I made five collages now hanging on my living room wall from magazines, cardboard, ribbon (thanks mom!), modge podge, glue, tissue paper, and cards. Working on that last night really had a calming effect on me. Now, I can’t wait to start my next project: a mural on one of my bedroom walls. I am calling this my ADD wall and all that will make complete sense when you see my design. My bedrooms are an amazing shade of princess pink and my mural will be in all black. I can not wait for the hours of tedious thoughtless drawing and painting. (I am not being sarcastic, but completely serious – when I do art my OCD comes out in all its glorious fury, all which has a very relaxing and calming effect on me. No worries mom, I will not be asking anyone for help, I don’t want everyone to hate me!) I am heading to Baku tomorrow for some Peace Corps meetings and can’t wait to come back so I can start muraling (yes, I did just make a new verb; it is amazing how my English language skills keep digressing).

What else, so Hadley and mom this is for you. I am embarrassed to admit but I came really close to getting a cat – like 80% there. The last thing holding me out was that I would have to ghetto rig a litter box and make my own cat food. But, the litter of kittens didn’t survive, so my decision was made for me. So I have two reasons why I almost went back on my claim that I would never own a pet: one, I wanted someone to talk to. How sad is that? I can only laugh at myself. I get kind of lonely here at times; I spend my time mostly by myself. My office is completely isolated from people and I live a ways from my site mates. My spirits are always lifted when I spend time with my host mom, but I can’t fully express myself in Azerbaijani so I spend a lot of time listening (I can understand a lot more than I can speak. And side note to that if I am not careful I think my host mom is going to marry me off. I am afraid I am going to wake up one day married and not know it! Maybe she is just in the wedding arranging mood since she is in the negotiation stage of finding a husband for my host sister, but lately whenever we talk she always bring up the subject of finding me a husband and me staying and working in Azerbaijan. She is even trying to bribe me; she said if I got married she would give me a new bed for me and my husband – a much nicer and more comfortable one than I have now. No lie, she really told me that! I almost died laughing. (Side note, I have what we PCVs call an orphanage bed because it looks like a bed you would find in an orphanage. Actually, I have two twin orphanage beds which I pushed together to make a double bed. Not that like it really matters because the body slumps are so deep that there is no possibility of moving out of the giant pit in the center of each bed once you get in.)) (So mom, just another thing to add to the list of why you are inadequate! Lol. If I was any younger I think my host mom would call child services to take me away. I mean really, you haven’t married me off, you didn’t teach me the proper way to hand wash clothes, you didn’t teach how to make home made jam… should I go on!?!J Second reason, I want something to kill all the stinking insects in my house. (Mom and Joy, where are you when I need you?) Due to Azerbaijan construction (aka holes and cracks in all my walls and windows) my new roommates are flies, moths, spiders, ants, some bug that looks a gray lady bug on steroids and creepy antennas, and something I pretty sure are baby roaches. However, due to my complete fear and anxiety from roaches I am telling myself they are some other type of bug, some unknown foreign species of bugs only found in Azerbaijan to give me the strength to kill them and not run away screaming. Anyway, I am glad that I am going to stay cat-free otherwise I would completely turn into that spinster with the cats! I can not turn into that lady yet; I don’t want to be the crazy cat lady until I am at least in my 80’s and completely senile. Granted I am not a spinster by American standards, but here I am considered one. So, I will just go back to my books and dvds. I knock a book out in anywhere from 1 – 3 days, depending on how good it is, and am catching up on dvd watching. My new favorite thing is to watch tv series – I don’t think I will ever watch tv shows again, I will just wait for the series to come on dvd, it is great not having to watch commercials or wait a week for the next episode.

What else? Food – I am so enjoying being able to eat or not eat food of my choosing! My new favorite thing to make? Applesauce with oatmeal. But, apples are going out of season and getting expensive so I will have to find something else to get addicted to until next fall. Actually all fruit is a bit expensive right now, but I am told that in about 1 month prices of grapes, plums, watermelons, and cherries will get very cheap. Cheap like a 3 kilo watermelon for under a $1 cheap. I can’t wait! Okay, it is getting a bit late and I need to go to sleep so I can get up early to catch the bus to Baku. If you made all the way to this point – mad props for reading my diarrhea of the mouth!