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, June 10, 2008

Bye Bye PC & AZ

Ok, so sorry for the long pause between blogs-I've had a lot going on and wanted to get everything in order before I sent this one. So I started looking around at jobs and doing research to figure out my life post-PC in early March. Well it turns out that the second job I applied for, I got an offer and accepted it. It was an EXTREMELY hard decision, because it meant I had to quit the PC about three months early. I had always planned on sticking it out the full two years, but I felt that this opportunity was too big to turn down.

I was offered a 366 day contract with the State Department to work at the Embassy in Iraq. I will work in the new Embassy in the International (Green) Zone in Baghdad. My title is Quick Release Fund Program Officer. Here is what that means: the Quick Release Fund (QRF) is a $30-40million fund that is set up for the local Iraqis out in the provinces. There are approximately 30 provincial teams that can apply to this fund for projects under $50,000 (from what I’ve heard so far this could include funding NGOs, building bridges or schools, or funding micro-loans). I will be the point of contact for 10-15 of those regional teams and will help coordinate their requests to the QRF, work with other managing partners to make sure everyone is working together and then monitor and evaluate the projects. I will also be responsible for helping improve the current system they have in place to manage this fund. I will work only in the International Zone-I won’t be required to go out into the provinces and will live in an apartment with one other person. I think this is a tremendous opportunity for me to help the people of Iraq and also to have an amazing experience to start my post-PC career.

My timeline has gone like this: got offered the job, then had to do a ton of medical and security clearance stuff, kept doing my PC stuff trying to wrap it up, finally got the official job offer, quit PC, did all of my exit requirements, flew back to Houston, am trying to get adjusted to USA life, getting my life organized/prepared to take off again for another year, then take off for Washington DC next week for two weeks of training and then I’m off to Iraq on the 4th of July. Needless to say, I have had a lot on my mind and have been a tiny bit busy lately. I fully intend on having a blog over there and will post the new web site link later, along with my final thoughts on my time in the PC. I’m sorry it took so long to post this…



At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Ashley. Can't wait to read about your next adventure. If you have a moment when you're in DC give us a shout.
Jane's Mom

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Erica said...

WOW Ash!

Congratulations on the new job. Please keep us updated!


At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashley! I found you thru Erica. How are you? Love hearing about your adventures. Good for you! We moved to Houston recently....

Can't wait to hear about your job in Baghdad...please be careful over there. Hello to your family.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eea z bma c, free xxx. qgc v, whk ddwbly! elxb n qii bk.


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