Monday, September 28, 2009

Viewer discretion advised: subject matter might not be suitable for all audiences

So, what do you do when your only toilet is being remodeled? Well, if you live in Azerbaijan you do the most obvious choice of course. You poop and pee in the yard! Yes, my toilet is being remodeled. The toilet room is being tiled and we are moving up in the world because now we will have a squatty potty that flushes! And wait there is more. We now will have a little hose thing that we can clean ourselves with; and when I say we I mean my host family. I am an old fashioned girl and will stick to the toilet paper. But, on that note now that we will have a tiled room and new squatty potty my good old plastic bag isn’t going to cut it for holding my dirty toilet paper (we don’t flush those here). So now I get to go to the bazaar and go shopping for a super rad trash can for my dirty toilet paper. However, my host mom has her heart set on me becoming completely Azerbaijani and doing away with the unclean toilet paper (she believes it does not clean very well). So she has promised to teach me how to clean myself with the water hose. I insisted that I would come out of the bathroom with my clothes completely soaked in water as I try to maneuver that thing which in turn caused my host mom to roll over with laughter and further secured promises that she would teach me to properly use it and not get any of my clothes wet. So until our little renovation project is finished I will be fighting the chickens for the most private places in my yard. Does make me wonder though what I will be doing when are shower room gets remodeled with tile.

On a completely unrelated side note – geese are really creepy. I was walking on Friday to visit someone and a pack (maybe flock is the right word here) of geese were congregated outside her gate. I don’t think I have ever seen or heard geese cry out (again the proper bird terminology evads me). But all these geese had their necks strained and lowered with their heads tilted up as they cried out for whatever reason. That in itself was pretty creepy because the sound they make is not a pleasant one and they looked weird in that position, but add to it that when I walked next to them to enter the gate they all turned their strained necks and shrieking heads toward me and started moving in on me. That was creepy. I think I will add geese to my bird hate list. Right now I have roosters and geese; in the next 15 months I wonder how many more birds I can add to it?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Work Pictures

Playing spoons at my host family's house

Mark (PC Admin officer), Joyce, Andrea, Bonnie, Me, and Meredith (PC country director) at conference in Imishli for a project of Amber's

playing games at my office

Going away party at my house for Amber

making smores in my yard

playing cards at my house

another going away party at my organization for Amber

me preparing the room at my office

Pictures of my house

So I am in Baku and I am finally able to upload pictures to my blog. Mom this is for you!
Walk way to my house. My host family's garden is on the left and their house on the right.

Our shower room.

Our shower room.

The area where my toliet and shower are located. The outside sink is where I wash my clothes.

My toliet

My house

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tried and failed - still no pictures

Once again I am trying to upload pictures to my blog as we speak, but again it is not working. I think it is the Internet connection here, it is really slow and not reliable. So, I am trying my best, but sorry. And here I thought having a new camera would solve everything! lol. If it is not one thing it is another, the story of my life here. :)

Well, my site mate is leaving on Monday - leaving and never coming back. Her 2 year period is up and she is heading home. I am really going to miss her because we have gotten quite close in the past few months.

Other random things going on here. So, I woke up one morning, went to the pit toilet outside and my host mom was said "Hannah, we got 20 new chickens!" So we went from having 5 chickens to 25 chickens. I asked if she had any man chickens (that is the literal translation of what I say in Azerbaijani, and yes there is a word for rooster but I prefer to say man chicken - much to the bemusement of my family). This is a big deal for me because I am afraid of roosters. Sometimes one of the roosters from our neighbor's yard gets in lose in my yard and he really is a vicious little thing. So I have developed a fear of them. My host mom said they bought about 10 or so roosters, but not to worry because by the end of winter they will have killed them all and eaten them. With the coming of new chickens I wondered if the old chickens would be territorial towards the new ones, like dogs and cats can be. And the answer? Yes, they are. My host family has to separate the old chickens from the new. The old ones stay in my yard and the new ones stay in the my host family's yard.

Another random story. One of our neighbors got a cow. How do I know this? Because for about 3 nights in a row I heard that stupid thing mooing in the middle of the night. It drove me crazy. I would lie in bedding thinking 'man, will they hurry up and kill that thing!' Which I have decided either makes me the coolest or the absolute worst vegetarian ever; I guess it depends on how you look at it! But, last night - no mooing. So I guess they finally did kill it. I don't think I was at home when it happened because I would have heard it. It is not a very pleasant sound to hear a cow being butchered, FYI. It makes some of the loudest screams, a bit human like too actually (sheep are the same). Now I'm sure I have you all loving me right about now, so I think I will change subjects.

I have said this before, but I am going to say it again. I still get so amazed and excited when I can walk in my yard and find fresh eggs and pick grapes, figs, berries, hot red and green peppers, and regular green peppers for eating (the fruits and veggies in season right now). I love it! I don't know what I will do when I come back home. I guess I will have to start a garden (with my mom's green finger of course; I have a knack for neglecting and then killing plants.)

Still no pictures, even though I have been trying to upload 5 pictures onto my blog for the past hour. So once again, I give up. Sorry friends!