Saturday, September 25, 2010


After an eight-hour flight to Germany, a four-hour flight to Azerbaijan, and an hour-long bus ride to our hotel, we've finally arrived in Sumgayit, the city where our pre-service training is taking place.  We were graciously retrieved from the Baku airport last night by the smiling, reassuring Peace Corps Azerbaijan staff.  Today was Day One of our official in-country training -- learning logistics, expectations, and just a wee-bit of language lessons.  It's been a very long, but very good, day.

We're still so happy to be surrounded by such an amazing group of fellow volunteers, as well as the incredibly helpful support staff here in Azerbaijan.  Tonight we had dinner with a group of volunteers who arrived here just over a year ago.  Great conversation, and extremely reassuring thoughts from them all.  Hillary and I also found out today that we will be living together with the same host family for our ten weeks of training -- up to this point, we thought we would be enjoying a long-distance relationship, living in different homes.  Thanks, Peace Corps!

Oh also, I did have a minor meltdown trying to figure out how to iron my shirt this morning, but it quickly passed... things are much better now that I know how to say hello, thank you, and goodbye.

That's all for now... tomorrow's another full day!

Sa─čolun!  (That means adios!)

 / / / /


  1. Sorry, Hillary no peace and quiet like you hoped for. Just kidding, I love you Joey! We saw the baby today lots of fun. She is doing great and will go home tomorrow. WE made some 227 jokes in your honor. Also, we figure when Hillary gets elected to parliament, you should be the minister of rock.

  2. Salam!

    So happy to hear things've been going great for Hillary and you.

    I think you've already got better one to learn Azerbaijani, hope it's helpful. It dose to me to learn it and its culture! :)

    Allah amaninda.

  3. So is Sumgayit like the Sand Springs to Baku? Or is it more like Medford? I am trying to understand the geography and context here.

  4. Sumgayit is definitely the Bartlesville of Azerbaijan. I have yet to meet the Azeri Bliss Wilson, though. Just give it time...

  5. Made 3 JZ jokes in your honor tonight. ILYYMB

  6. I am enjoying this blog already filled with humour and personal insight. The big news here is the much needed rain and how we forgot to drive in it. Remember we are looking at the same moon and thinking of you All.