Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some of my favorite things

June was a wonderful month because my mom and Allison came for a few days! It was a great experience to share with them! Here we are on the top of Maiden's tower in Baku with the Caspian Sea in the background
Joey and I with our neighbor kids (4 our of 7). Mom and Allison didn't seem to mind the circus that these kids create! 
In a microbus (Marshrutka) on our way to Laza, my favorite place in AZ. I LOVE my sister! AND AZ loved her! 
My Amazing counterpart joined us on our journey to Laza. She is so spunky and full of great energy. She loved finding flowers that she could dry and make for 'medicinal' tea. 
My Mom celebrated her birthday while she was here!
Mom's Azeri style birthday party at our house! 
One of my students got married while my family was here and we were able to go to her wedding in Guba. My student is wearing the red dress. The next night she wore a white dress for her second wedding reception in Baku. 
Site-mate Corina, Joey and I were invited by our friend Vugar, to have dinner at his father's restaurant. We ate lots of delicious meats, drank tea and had great conversations about scary movies. After dinner we walked along the river.
Photo taken by fellow PCV - Paper Airplane Contest
Outside of my office showing off their paper airplanes
I LOVE my job! One Friday afternoon we took a walk to the river and blew bubbles and threw the frisbee around. The kids loved it too!
River Rock People. Friday afternoons are craft days, so our younger kids (3rd-7th grade) made awesome creations!
Here's what our older university aged boys came up with! 
Neighbor kids playing with bubbles

These are old bath houses that are no longer used, yet a cool site in Guba. 
The bridge from Guba to the Jewish settlement has been under repair, which is more like an obstacle course... but we made it across. 
Some sites as a storm was rolling in - Jewish settlement.

This is the name of our river. I think of it as a southerner saying 'good ya'll ' Chay is river AND tea.
Joey's joke is usually, what tastes better... 
This summer the neighbor boys realized we have games on our phones.
Now I understand why parents have to put time limits on technology... I still loved this moment. 
Our new bus station through gross windows on a dreary day.
We went to Tbilisi Georgia for a few days in August. This is a picture where the bath houses are still functioning.
Joey and I utilized them for a scrub and sulfer soak. I feel comfortable saying that was my first and last time.
Me trying to clean up one day created a greater mess once the boys saw what I was doing. These kiddos LOVE the highlight magazines. Dinosaurs, lions, birds and the potential to find a sticker, yes please! 
We don't have a vacuum. We do have little rolling thing that does the trick most days BUT on this particular summer day we needed to pull out the carpet and wash the floors to cut down on the dust and general gross summer smells of our house. This is an annual practice in Azeri households, although I did forgo the washing since I only will have to walk on these carpets a few more months. The down side of doing this job besides getting dusty and gross was getting wounded by the broom.
Last winter we were adopted by the far cat in the photo, Peash Peash. He showed up on our doorstep as a kitten with a messed up eye. Joey showed him lots of love and he's stuck around, which seems to have helped with our mouse invasions. A month or so ago, a neighbor boy showed up with the little cat with gigantic eyes wrapped in leaves so he didn't have to touch her.
 She has a few names which translate to 'gift', 'hey baby' and in English 'lil guy'. I'm fairly certain Joey will have a post dedicated to these cats before we depart in November.
Teymur was inspired by the Olympic games and wanted to make an extra large Azerbaijan flag and wear it on his back like the athletes. Instead, he stood on Joey's back!
Joey and I in Laza... it really is our favorite place because even if the weather's bad, the views and experiences are great!
A woman carrying the laundry from the spring in a remote village called Xiniliq about 2 hours from Guba into the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Their lives are so tough.
Another woman preparing to get water in Xiniliq 
Xiniliq village
Xiniliq village. Kids are amazingly cute here too!
Joey's original training group came up for one last reunion and we went to Xiniliq for the day. Since many of the people in this picture live far away, this was the one time opportunity to see some of the amazing sites in our neck of the woods. We travel in style! 
Prep for the 100th time
Practice makes perfect. 
The kitten loves shoes and making sure you have a dusty paw print as a parting gift. 
More to come. I'm starting to realize that I do indeed have to start my goodbye process. I have been lucky enough to be chosen as a trainer for the new group that came in yesterday, so of my remaining time I will be in Baku 2 and a half weeks. Time is flying and I'm eager to see you all soon.