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, May 25, 2008

Camping and Growing Old

Happy Memorial Day!

Last weekend a small group of us went hiking and camping up north near Oguz. We camped near a little vacation place along a stream at the base of the mountains. Charlie attempted to take a group of five us on a day hike up to the top of one of the mountains, but we took the wrong ridge and didn’t even come close. We climbed up some pretty steep stuff, so on the way back down we could literally slide on the loose leaves and mud (it poured for an hour each night) which was really fun. It was a really fun weekend minus the rain (we had to buy big tarps to cover us and sleep on) and a ton of ants found our campsite and decided to hang out with us.

It was a pretty low key week in Lankaran after that. One of my buddies loaned me ‘Flight of the Conchords’ DVDs, so we watched that all week. Really funny and weird stuff. We have had sunny days with temperatures in the mid-80’s, so it has been great. A group of friends came down this past weekend for my birthday, so that was fun. We made a massive pot of Mac&Cheese from my supply from my parents for dinner Friday and grilled out beef kabobs on my bday. The weekend was filled with a lot of ladder golf and general stupidity. It was a good way to welcome my 32nd year to town!

Now I’m just at home relaxing and trying to recover from a couple of late nights. I see a nap in my hammock in my immediate future.

In my last news I have a new addiction. Rikki George lent me the complete ‘Invader Zim’ cartoon collection. It was a Nickelodeon cartoon for three years around 2001 and is freakin hilarious. It’s basically just a bunch of yelling and screaming and I can’t stop watching it or talking like the main characters. I’m not sure if I’m going insane from being gone from the US for almost two years now, turning 31, or if its just the next step in my fun life…

Pictures are of: the gang cooking hot dogs, me, Charlie and Bethany, Charlie preparing to lead out expedition, Magda and Ina with water balloons, Ben and me cutting up the 16 pounds of meat for kabobs, Rikki George presenting me with my cake she and Bethany made, Tom and me after our cake food fight, and me, Joyce, and Bethany

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So in Baku down by the Caspian Sea near downtown they have some amusement rides for kids. Well about a month ago we were driving by in a taxi and saw some sort of skateboard ride. Obviously I flipped out and have been eagerly awaiting my moment of happiness when I finally got to ride it. Well fortunately last week Bethany and I had some spare time in Baku and thrashed away! While it wasn’t quite as cool as the Texas Giant, for 1 buck and being in the Peace Corps, it wasn’t too bad.

In other news:

We had our first softball weekend of the year in Barda which was tons of fun. An AZ5 got a grant so we got some free hotdogs for everyone for lunch and ended up playing about 10 games in two days. We had great weather and I was really sun burnt afterwards. A few of us stuck around for Cinco de Mayo margaritas, Ben’s famous refried beans, and kabobs.

I then spent a couple of days in Baku for some medial stuff, the skater ride, and crashed with my friends who have the indoor pool and sauna-life was good!

Then I headed up to Bethany’s village for her birthday. She had two parties thrown for her by her students, so that was fun. The high light was the first party about 20 sixth grade kids threw it and she had to cut a red ribbon to get into the house to start the party while a kid had “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky blasting! I was dying laughing the entire time because the scissors were too dull to cut the ribbon so she had to fake cut it and tear it at the same time.

My medical supplies project is 100% dead due to new regulations from the Azeri government on importing medical type supplies that the donor organization cannot meet. I was really disappointed when I found that out.

A few of us are going camping this weekend and are going to do a big day hike that is supposed to be beautiful. Hopefully I’ll have some good pics next week. For now, I hope the skateboard ride and bday pics can keep you satisfied…