Sunday, October 10, 2010


We’re over a week into our Azeri host family life and loving it! The first few days were intense. Meeting anyone for the first time is a bit overwhelming and then add in some hot temperatures on top of it all is an exhausting AND an exhilarating adventure.

Backing up a bit, the first 3 days we arrived in Azerbaijan, we were in a pretty swanky hotel with all 60+ PC trainees. It’s a remarkable group full of passion, diversity and energy. After those 3 days of basic learning’s about Peace Corps and Azerbaijan live and language, we were let loose outside of the hotel walls and delivered to our host families. Despite what they shared with us when offered the positions, Joey and I are able to live together during this training period, so we’re really off to a good start by challenging each others language growth and decompressing every evening.

As of this earlier this week, it seems like the weather has turned to autumn. Pretty amazing winds, which we think are coming off the Caspian Sea, are making our walks home a little more challenging and the howling noises whipping across the house are becoming familiar sounds. Our family has a television but we rarely get to see the weather and with communication being a bit challenging, I actually have no idea if this is normal or just a short-lived front coming through. All I think I know is it seems like we are also entering fall with all of you! (more to come on our family)

General Schedule Until December: we typically have language training 4 hours a day, eat a quick lunch, take a quick bus/van, walk 45 minutes and then get to our next training from 2:30-5ish, then walk home about an hour. Because of Joey’s teaching curriculum, he’s now on a slightly different schedule, but still includes lots of travel excitement and walking. After doing laundry by hand this weekend and this weekly routing, I’m pretty sure my corporate waistline will diminish quite a bit.

Also, at this point in training, we don’t have a lot of free time, which means writing on the blog (which is in Russian? At the internet cafe computers - now we'll use our laptop!!) is pretty challenging. Hopefully this will regulate as we continue to get our bearings straight.

More to come on Azeri life, cuisine, etc but we still have to figure our how to translate what we’re eating before then.


  1. Always excited to hear H&J new life in Azerbaijan. Your story reminds me of my first few months in SK. Especially having a long daily walking routine through the condition of unfamiliar weather. :) Please be careful with a seasonal cold or flu and take enough vitamin C to prevent from having it since you've been under lots of stress from intensive and unfamiliar situations.

  2. Sorry :( that isn't true.

    Can Vitamin C Prevent or Treat Cold Symptoms?

    Vitamin C has been studied for many years as a possible treatment for colds, or as a way to prevent colds. But findings have been somewhat inconsistent. Overall, experts have found little to no benefit for vitamin C preventing or treating the common cold.

    In a July 2007 study, researchers wanted to discover whether taking 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C daily could reduce the frequency, duration, or severity of a cold. After reviewing 60 years of clinical research, they found that when taken after a cold starts, vitamin C supplements do not make a cold shorter or less severe.

  3. @ Michael: thank you for your information. I'm sure H&J will take our sincere care for their well beings regardless of the wrong suggestion I made and appreciate your true and helpful information. I'll be more careful and considerate to deliver my care with correct ways.

  4. Let us know if Joey needs a care package of biscuits and gravy.

  5. Sunny don't take me seriously I am kidding! If you've met Joey I'm like him but slightly more mean. My sarcasm doesn't translate on blogs! Seriously I bet they do work. The pharmaceutical industry spreads lies like that because vitamins are cheap. They want you to buy zicam and theraflu.

    Carepackage carepackage! Let's have a carepackage night! We'll send the Zs some fun stuff and Caryl and Jon a relationship book.

  6. @Michael: Oh, so you are like Joey but slightly more mean? Speaking of sarcasm, I think you need to ask him about my level of it I mean if you're at least slightly interested in. :) By the way, have we met before at Joey's home party or somewhere in Tulsa? You sounds familiar. Oh wait, maybe we haven't considering of your feeling of my answer about you vitamin C joke somehow serious. If you had seen me before, you wouldn't have felt it like that yet maybe something else with a huge laughter. Joey would! ;)

  7. Hi, Great Blogsite!
    I'm just trying to see if I can leave a comment.
    Grandma Z

  8. Hi, again. Aunt Gini showed me how to make comments, and now I have the required Google ID. Love your blog site. Hope you keep adding to it. Maybe you can write a book about your experience when you return? I wonder how Azerbaijan people compare with the Iranians. Can you tell us more about them? Don't know how much your father remembers about our two year stay in Iran 1954 - 1956. He was only 10 years old. You are going to be able to tell some very intersting stories in your old age.
    Love, Grandma Z