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…

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Final Blog on this Site...

I'm sure not many people will read this final post on this blog, but I'm writing it anyways. Since I last wrote I have gone home to Houston to see friends and family and just got done with my first week of training in DC. There are two training update blogs on this site that I posted this week fyi. I will be here a couple of more weeks for training and will then head off to Iraq in a couple of weeks. I wanted to write a big long blog wrapping up my PC experience, but I've been insanely busy-my bad. So here are my quick final thoughts about my time in PC:
I'm sad/disappointed I didn't make it the full two years, but the new job was too cool to turn down
I honestly have no problems showering once every 4-5 days. Since I've been home I'm still having a problem getting motivated to shower and change clothes every day
Sleeping on crappy beds for almost two years really messes up your back-I got a massage the day I got home and it almost killed me because of how knotted up I was
I learned that we live WAAAAAY in excess in the States and am sure I will feel that for a long time to come and hopefully live a little more within what I know is fine for me
The people of AZ are amazingly kind, friendly and caring people and I am extremely grateful for their hospitality-they made trip unforgettable
It is scary to not drive for two years then come back and get on a highway-after two weeks I'm still not comfortable
A Butterfinger Blizzard from Dairy Queen is the best thing I've had since I came back (second place tie goes to a filet mignon steak with crab meat on top of it and lupe tortillas)
I have always thought I could move to an island or something and live the basic life for the rest of my life-now I'm almost positive, not saying I'm going to do it...yet
I had a lot of what I'll call smaller successes and no big ones (in my mind), but over all I think I had a positive impact in the PC
The main thing my time in PC did for me was show me that I want to start a career in development work because there are a lot of people/countries out there that need help and it led me to my new job
You can give all the trainings or demonstrations you want, but unless the people you are trying to help/work with honestly want them, they will never work
It's easy to find people who are willing to give grants and people who will accept/want grants, but it takes very special and determined people to work for the grants and/or work hard with the grant once they get it
I loved being a PCV, and it certainly is true that you only get out of it what you put in it-sadly part of the time I didn’t put near enough into it, but live and learn I guess
If you aren’t going to put in more than one hour a week of class and a ton of studying, you are not going to learn Russian very quickly
I actually like more fruits and veggies than I thought (although they are all still lame)
I’m pretty sure Tom and I (Tom is still improving on it) set a new world record for most road miles in old buses in a two year period in the AZ EVER
I am 100% glad and proud that I was a PCV and wouldn't trade those almost two years for anything...

Two things before you go: First, thanks for reading over the past two years-I hope I didn't bore you too much and second, my new blog's address is
and will be password protected due to my new job so you have to email me at and I will send you an invite to view my blog. It will be the same thing, just about my next adventures in Iraq and beyond.
Good bye from this blog and a big NUSH OLUN to everyone I had to leave behind in Azerbaijan...Ashley


At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God speed, Ashley. It's been a pleasure to follow you and I'd love to continue doing so. I hope you get to enjoy the DC fireworks on the fourth! Jane's Mom

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

We look forward to the new blog and plan to stay updated on your experiences. Soooo glad we got to see you recently! I know Chris sure misses ya and a special thanks for calling him on his Bday--outside of family your the only one who called him. Good luck & be careful!!

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