Ash's Azer Adventure

Hello everyone! The following is my blog about my 27 month trip to Azerbaijan working with the Peace Corps. I am a part of the 4th group sent to Azerbaijan and am in the Community Economic Development (CED) Program working with local companies to help them operate better in the world. Hopefully I’ll have some fun stories and cool pictures from traveling around Asia Minor and Eastern Europe. This blog is in no way related to the Peace Corps or their opinions. I hope you all enjoy…

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weekend Trip

This weekend everyone gets to go on a site visit to see a new town/city and hang out with a current volunteer. Myself and a guy named Mike are visiting Tom in Mengacevir-which is in the center of the country towards the top. There are about 150,000 people here, so it's the 4th largest city in the country. It is on the south east end of a big lake-which we are going swimming in this afternoon and that I'm extremely excited about! Tom has a make shift grill and we ate like kings last night so that was nice. We also have watched the new Superman on DVD and will watch Cars at some point-I do love the bootleg DVD's. Not much else too exciting to report. On our 5 hour drive here through hills/small mountains a little girl sitting on the other side of Mike than me puked all over and it splattered on Mike's pants. Needless to say I laughed like crazy, then had to focus for the next 20 minutes on me not puking too! I hope everyone enjoys watching the British Open finale today. Man I'd love to have a nice leather recliner and watch that....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I miss the old AC

Well, it hasn't taken me long to realize what I'm really missing so far on my journey: air conditioning and ice cubes/really cold drinks. It only gets into the mid 90's during the day and stays in the 80's at night, but with no AC, we are constantly covered in sweat. Couple that with the fact that the hot water boiler is mounted on the wall in the bathroom, taking a cold shower still results in tremendous amounts of sweat. A group of us went to visit a current volunteer at his house and blow off some steam over the weekend, so it was fun to see the kids and visit another city. This weekend we all go on a 3 day trip to visit a current volunteer and see another part of the country. I'm really excited just for the sake of travel and experience. Here's a pic of my shower and my brother, nephew and myself at the local lake over the weekend. Oh, I want to give a warm welcome to William Bernard Campbell (Will) who joined the world last night at a whopping 9 lb, 6oz. Good stuff....


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Week 3

Hello All! Just a quick update. We are all meeting today for a group training and I just got my second round of vaccinations (rabies today!). Things are still going very well. The language lessons are getting a lot more intense/difficult, so that's good and frustrating at the same time. I've played soccer with local kids 2 of the last 3 days and my legs are about to fall off. Sadly Team Azerbaijan has beaten Team USA both times, but we are getting better. Two of my friends and myself took a bus the wrong way yesterday and a 20 minute ride turned into a 2 hour ride (with one of my girlfriends having to hold a lady's baby for 30 minutes), so that was a fun little adventure. I had chicken liver for dinner lastnight and am not a fan. So far everything has been good to eat minus the livers and lungs. It's freakin hot here (90's), but what is really bad is at night with little breeze and no air conditioner. Needless to say my hygene isn't the same as it was in the US (although some would say it was never that great). I hope all is well back in the US. I should have more pics next time around.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Me and my local buddies

sorry for the sloppy posts, i'm just getting the hang of this blogging thing. my PC group is meeting in the city to celebrate the 4th of july together-good food, good drinks, and new friends. we had a really hard language class today, so my head is mush! the weather is mid 80's and muggy and most places have no air conditioning, so i sweat a lot (which is nice since i only take a shower every second or third day)! third world countries rule!'s one more pic of me and my local buddies in my village at a chi hana (tea house)....

A few pics

Ok, here are a few pics finally...

first of of me, my host brother hafiz and host father hasanagha

second is of me and my host mother aybaniz

third my close friends in philly

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


i messed up in my email, here is my real mailing address...
i got yelled at for drinking beer last night by my host brother, going to have to work on that one. i also got invited to cut the ribbon at a local cafe opening next month...good times!
oh and pics are coming...

Peace Corps
Attn: Ashley Hunziker
PO Box 77
Baku, Azerbaijan

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Touchdown Azerbaijan!

Happy 4th of July and hello from the lovely land of Azerbaijan! I've been here for about 1.5 weeks and it seems like 1.5 years of good times. My group of 48 volunteers is down to 46 already, but is a really fun group of young kids (mostly 22-26). We had a blast in Philly going out and getting to know each other. We completed our first week of training in a suburb of Baku on the Caspian Sea and I moved to my new host family on Sunday. They are great, I have a father, mother, and brother (24), with another brother in the army (18). I'm in a small town (population of 7,000) with limited internet so I will try to post once a week hopefully. There are 6 of us here for 10 weeks learning the language. Azeri is starting to come to me, which is good, but I definitely have a long way to go to be able to talk consistently with the locals. The food is great and I've sadly given up two great loves of my life, not eating friuts/veggis and not drinking tea...I at/drink those heavily with each meal and am liking most of it pretty well sad to say. We all meet in Baku once a week for training and tomorrow will be our first time of that. I think they are planning a 4th of July party for us this weekend so that should be fun. I'm really excited about my decision to come over and think this will be an amazing experience for me in my life. I hope all is well with everyone!

all my best,