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…

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

America and Back....a PCV's Tale

So I officially made it to America and back to Lankaran all in one piece! I’ll give you all a quick run down of my whirlwind Tour de USA and then let you know what’s up next for me over in the AZ.

The flight over wasn’t so bad except when I got to Chicago O’Hare I had all of my toiletries confiscated by security due to newer and more strict flight regulations, then I dropped my ticket/boarding pass walking down the hallway and no one returned so I missed my flight and had to pay $343 to get from Chicago to Houston. Needless to say that wasn’t the “welcome home moment” I was looking for. I was planning on having dinner with my family and two friends. Well when I got home my sister had invited about 25 or so friends over for fajitas from my favorite Mexican place and margaritas. I think my face went completely blank when I walked in the door. I had no clue what to do or say to anyone. After about 30 minutes or so I finally started coming back around and had a great time. Thank you Alison for organizing the party and thanks to all of you for coming out to casa de hunziker. I had a great time watching OU beat UT (OU went 2-0 while I was at home so that was awesome!). I then went to OKC to play golf with Chris and Dagen and talk about their up coming baby boys, Dallas to see a bunch of OU, UT and Dallas friends, meet Jenny’s new twins, and meet Clay’s new boy (I just missed the birth of James Campbell by a few days so welcome to the world my man!), then off to Portland for Andy’s wedding. Congrats Andy and Sharon. It was great to see you both and your families and be a part of your special day. I hope you had a great time in Fiji! While in Portland I ate a maple bar donut with two strips of bacon on it and a captain crunch glazed donut at Voodoo Donuts-FREAKING AMAZING! I ate at all of my favorite places while I was over there, but didn’t gain that much weight. I only slept a total of 6 hours in the first 3 nights of being back and my stomach was not cooperating with me at all. It was great to be back, but the trip was just so crazy that I felt like I got to see a ton of people, but not for near long enough. For those of you I did see, thanks for meeting up and for those of you I couldn’t see, I’ll see you guys next September-ish.

I got back to AZ for our Mid Service Conference. All 33 remaining AZ4’s were in Baku for trainings and medical check ups. I went to the dentist (thankfully a nice “American Dentist” office) and also got to poop in a cup! Talk about a nice welcome back to AZ. I need to stop traveling I guess. Coming back and hanging out with all of my friends was a good way to ease back into AZ life and I wasn’t angry or depressed about coming back at all. I was kinda excited. Some people have had a really hard time coming back to a PC assignment after going home and seeing family and friends which is completely understandable. I have a few friends here that aren’t going back to the US for that very reason, so I’m glad I didn’t have any problems with it. Some of us played softball against the Embassy last Saturday, which was really fun. We scored 3 runs in the 9th for the win, so we are all pretty happy about having bragging rights.

I’m now back in Lankaran and trying to recover from the long 2.5 week hiatus. I have a mild cold and am tired all of the time. The weather has finally turned cool and rainy this week-highs in low to mid 70’s and about 60 at night. We basically got a few extra weeks of good weather since it is supposed to be like this all of October. Tom and I are having a Halloween Party this weekend so we are going to be preparing for that all week. Costumes are mandatory, so it should be fun times. Then a bunch of us are going to a soccer game in Lankaran with a bunch of kids on Sunday, so it should be a really good weekend. I will now be in AZ until May or June when I plan on going to Russia for a week or so. This means that it is time for me to buckle down and make the most of my last 11 months here and try to be as productive as possible. I should pick Russian lessons back up next week, keep working on my medical supplies project, the bridge project seems to be dying due to lack of community effort sadly but I’ll keep trying with them, and I need to get some other projects a rockin. I hope you all have a great week! I’ll send out Halloween Pics next week!

Pictures are of: Me, Hailey, Brooke, Brett, Ali and Reagan and then me Hailey, Spencer and Ford watching the OU/TX game, me and Ali, Jenny’s daughter Mackenzie, Jenny’s new twins Parker and Preston, my donut order, my family at Andy’s wedding, and me with Andy, Staci and Rusty before the wedding.

Monday, October 01, 2007

We Are The Champions. . . .AGAIN!!!

In another stellar performance, Tom and I ended up the fantasy baseball season at #1 and #2 respectively. I’d like to make fun of Tom’s friends, but I love that they let us beat them each sporting season! Sadly we have started off our football title defense a bit slow, but I’m sure we will be on top at the end, yet again. . .

I couldn’t be more sad about the ou game. . . .the ou/tx game better be good next weekend, and by good, I mean we better kill them. . . .

If I told yo that the lankaran kids ate anything besides a mini-mikshake and fresh bread dipped in ranch dressing the entire day Sunday, I’d be lying. . . .

In the last week my lap top’s ‘o’, ‘u’, ‘l’, nine and ‘.’ keys have all died-typing like that sucks. . . .

I wanted to send a quick shout out to jane’s mom and Shannon-I hear they are blog watchers trying to find pictures of jane, so I’m sure they read this one also-wecome. . . .

I won’t be writing while I’m in America-I’ll be eating. I thought I’d give you all a quick peak at my “to eat” list for my trip home:

lupe tortilla fajitas

Whataburger a1 burger hopefully

wendy's baconator

chick-fil-a chicken minis

sonic cherry limeade slushy and tots

bloody mary


shrimp dip


chuys creamy jalapeno sauce

johnny's theta burger-okc

Budweiser heavy

monte queso and swirl-okc

maple bar bacon donuts Portland

taco bell everything

hash brown casserole

and that’s just in the first weekend!

I fly out this Friday, and will be hitting houston later that night ready to eat a ton and see everyone!! Have a great week!