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…

Monday, March 10, 2008

Business Trainings and BS

So Magda and I finally had our business training in Lankaran last week. We got a SPA grant from USAID and PC to hire a trainer from Magdas orgs to come down to Lankaran to train some local entrepreneurs on basic business practices such as marketing, costing, finance, and inventory management. The trainer was really good. He was very engaging and definitely kept everyone’s attention. We used the business center that my organization is supposed to be managing but never uses. Magda and I served tea two times a day and we all ate lunch at a local café. The trainees all got manuals to work with and take home. The training itself was a success which was a good feeling. The BS part of it sadly involves my boss. My boss has always wanted me to do a business training, so I was glad I could finally make his wish come true. His job that he agreed to was to find the entrepreneurs for the training since he is one of the most connected people in town. He kept telling me this would be “no problem”. Well it turns out he put two other people in charge of this and didn’t do anything to help, we didn’t have as many people as I wanted so we had to make a lot of calls the first two days to fill all of the seats, and my boss didn’t come over to the training 2 minutes from our office one freakin time. All of this despite the fact he has already taken all of the credit to the head office in Baku for the training and it makes him look really good. I haven’t seen him yet, but I can’t imagine our conversation will be too happy on my end. It is pretty frustrating to finally get to do something for my host organization after 18 months of them not working with me, just to have my boss be completely uninvolved. Like I said, the training was a success-I just wish it would have been more successful in that part as well.

A couple of friends came down over the weekend to hang out and help Magda and I celebrate the completion of our project, so that was fun. The weather has been kinda warm lately-60’s. I actually went shirtless for an hour on Friday when we were playing laddergolf outside. This week will be filled with busy work wrapping up my project, some other PC stuff and errands around town. I’m going to call everyone I know today to try to find someone to come fix my freakin well motor this week-I’m tired of no running water. I guess I should go to my office and see what happens-yippie! Have a great week everybody! Pics are from the training.


At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashly, Need some info about hotels for our upcoing trip. Could you send me your email address. Mine is



At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Jamie Shellman said...

It's nice how you have achieved professional growth with all your experiences in Azerbaijan. Indeed, the training sessions that you guys have conducted are very useful for the entrepreneurs who attended in Azer. You may serve as an inspiration for others to do the same.


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