Saturday, October 31, 2009

Salam! We are finishing our fifth week here but we’ve gotta say, it feels like we’ve been here a lot longer. Training has picked up a little (at least for me) because I’ve started my practicum in the school where my language class is. I teach about two to three classes a day ranging from fifth form to seventh. It’s interesting, especially since I have very little teaching experience. I feel completely outta my league, but Derek has been really encouraging. The language barrier is incredibly difficult in the classroom. The kids are enamored by the crazy Americans, though, so keeping their attention isn’t hard.

Derek’s been making up songs so we can remember new words. It’s pretty funny, especially when he rhymes. I’d share a few, but it’s all improv (as is my teaching, ha!) We’ve managed to stay pretty healthy. I’ve never eaten so much fruit in my life, or snickers. We have definitely made a wish-list for our families, though (thanks in advance, guys, we love you).

Today I came home after class and made lunch for Derek and I. While I was frying up some potatoes, I listened to one of College Heights’ podcasts. Randy’s sermon was from II Peter and he spoke about hard times. It hit home, especially since this past week was difficult. I often think about how much more comfortable I would be at home and how I wouldn’t be missing out on so much if I could just go back. But Randy’s words were just what I needed to hear. God doesn’t want me to be comfortable. He wants me to follow Him, wherever that might be. Right now, it seems to be a country I can’t quite understand. Derek has been an amazing husband to me these past few weeks. I couldn’t have asked for more patience, understanding, and wisdom from him. I am so blessed that God put him here with me.

It’s getting cold here. It’s been in the 70’s most days until this past Monday when it dropped to like 40. We put our laundry on the line to dry and had to leave it up for three days because it kept raining. Ana doesn’t think I know how to do laundry or cook. I’ve finally convinced her to let me use her oven this weekend. I’ve been patiently waiting for an opportunity to bake. She brought home a “pumpkin” for me to make a pie. It’s a squash. I’m going to make an apple pie instead. I’ll let you know what happens to the squash.

Many days I think about what we’re going to do when we get home. It’s fun to daydream about the future (especially after you’ve trekked to class in the pouring rain and you’re covered in mud and the school director tells you that slacks are unacceptable for women to teach in). I don’t know if I will teach when we go home. I’ve been thinking, maybe I can open up a bakery. This is something I never tire of. I know it’s a million miles away, but Derek and I have fun thinking of names and different things I can make. Maybe we’re just hungry.

The other day, Ana’s niece came over and brought her cute kids with her. They were talking about how Nazerene (7) is “topush” or, chubby. I felt sorry for Nazarene and said, well, so am I. Her mother quickly responded with “Only a little.” No worries, guys, I’m healthy and only a “little topush”. Haha!

Happy Halloween, for those of you celebrating. Wish we could be home to see the cute fairy and butterfly (Addie and Whit). Deidra, is Kaylee still gonna be a lion? Alina, have fun with Em and the kids and make sure you send me pics of Jaben in his costume. I miss all of our sweet kiddos so much. I cry everytime I hear Addie’s voice or look at pictures of all of them.

Special congrats to my cousin, Miranda who has just gotten engaged! I am so happy for you. Matt is more lucky than he will ever know. I love you and wish there was some way I could be home for your big day. “Enshallah”-Lord willing.

Thank you all for reading and allowing me to share my ridiculous thoughts. Any requests? Anything you want to know about Azerbaijan or our life here that I’ve missed (that we’re allowed to discuss)? Let us know. Derek begins Whiskerino tomorrow. Should be interesting. God bless! We love and miss you all!


  1. It was such a blessing to see both of you today. Our prayers are with you. David checked out the USPS and they "said" it will only take 6 days to get the box to Azer. We'll get it put together and see how it goes. Do we send it to the address on your Facebook? I should have asked you that this am. Anyway, thanks for giving us so much time on Skype - we love and miss you so much! Mom

  2. Sorry this says anonymous. I've never done this before and obviously don't know how! I have 2 questions. What language is spoken there and what is Whiskerino??? - Joyce

  3. Alicia--your posts are hilarious! I love reading about your life and the exciting road God has put you and Derek on. What an amazing journey you are walking now! And what exciting stories you will have to tell your kids someday. :) Take care--God bless--and know you are being thought of in K.C. :)

  4. I am glad to hear that Derek will not be skipping Whiskerino! TOO FUNNY! Alicia, I miss you so much, but it is nice to keep up with what you two are doing. I think of you often and hope you both stay safe! Tillie was a fairy witch for Halloween. It was so cute because she understood what was going on this year. Sebastian is HUGE!! You wouldn't even know he was in the NICU.

    I am so happy to know that you are thinking of opening a bakery! I have been really thinking of not teaching and opening a wedding business! You can bake the cakes and goodies!!!!

    Love ya :)

  5. what can we send you??? if you want it and it's mailable, we'll do our best. sounds like you're fairing pretty well. God is good but know that doesn't necessarily mean easy! know we love you both and are praying for you.

  6. You guys are so awesome. I am praying for you everyday.

  7. Your Oct 31st post brought tears to my eyes, Alicia. I can't imagine doing what you're doing and even though you think you're not strong, you are and I commend you for following God in this journey!

    The guys FINALLY played their last softball game Thurs night (b/c they'd been rained out until then).

    We love and miss ya!
    -Hilary (also don't know how to do this so it's 'anonymous!'