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, December 16, 2007

I Can’t Not Speak English Guud

So I’ve known for a while now that my general English speaking skills have been diminishing since I’ve been over here. I think it comes from not speaking it near as much, trying to learn and speak in new languages, texting in short hand instead of talking on the phone and my extreme lack of American fast food. When I’m in either Azeri or Russian lessons my teachers will always try to explain things by using the technical grammatical terms like “present perfect participle” or something crazy like that. I have to then have them give me an example or two so I can figure out what in the world they are talking about. I’m absolutely clueless when it comes to that stuff it seems. It’s embarrassing…

Well I went up to Sheki over the weekend to help Jenny record the grade school English books onto CDs for teachers to use. Me, Bethany, Charlie and Jenny all took turns reading lessons and exercises into a computer all weekend. Bear in mind all three of them are English teachers over here and I’m clearly not, so they are all big on grammar and speaking/teaching correctly. An exercise comes up for me dealing with possessive plurals. I am supposed to read a sentence regarding some dogs and their house and I keep saying what comes out sounding like “the dogses houses”. They all just start dying laughing at me. I can’t figure out what the problem is, so I say it how I think it should be said a couple more times, each time coming out the same. Once they catch their breath they explain to me how I should be saying it, and I still don’t get it. Finally Bethany switched exercises with me and took over that one. I mean what the heck!?!?!? This comes a week after Tom and I were briefly talking about jobs after PC and I completely messed up some sentence regarding that subject and followed it up with “you guys hire retarded people right?” in reference to my current condition. I’m definitely going to have to re-learn the English language and how to communicate in a semi-coherent way before I leave the AZ.

In other news, I had my longest in country travel day-I turned an 8-9 hour trip to Sheki into a 20.5 hour trip, it’s cold and rainy down in Lankaran again, my loving parents hooked me up with a new iPod as an early Christmas present-just in time for that miserable trip thankfully, I’m trying to figure out plans to hang out with friends around the Christmas/NYE Holidays, a lot of the new group of Volunteers are starting to have a hard time with winter hitting, Christmas away from family and friends, having been here for 6 months, etc.-kinda weird being totally fine with it this year, and we just figure out we are basically 2/3 the way done with our time here. Kinda hard to believe that there is less than 9 months left in my AZ living. I officially have 16 more days of no stress what so ever about life after PC, then it will hit with a vengeance I’m sure-I promised myself I wouldn’t even think about it until 2008 for sanity’s sake. That’s all I’ve got. I’m going to go read a 3rd grade English grammar book now…


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