This is going to be a short one today. Things are pretty much holding steady at where they've been for a while. One thing that is coming up that's different is my starting at the local college next week. A few weeks back I met up with the college director and told him I wanted to start an English Conversation club. He seemed pretty excited about the idea and told me that I would start the 26th, having club two days a week. He wanted to wait until the students testing had finished. I'll have 4 classes a day. I relish this, considering work has been hard to come by lately. Perhaps I'll bump it up to 3 days a week later on.
People wonder, "How could they be bored?" Well I personally think that this is about the worst time to begin anything. The middle of winter, surrounded by major holidays, is a terrible time to get anyone motivated to do anything. Therefore, it has been pretty difficult to get the youth in town to do much more than school. All that being said, I'm ready to get something going.
This last month we have spent a lot of time simply being "out there". People are obviously curious about what the two Americans in town are doing. We've had plenty of chances to explain.
It seems that there are a lot of ties to Germany in Sabirabad. I laugh because I was asked by several people, including professors, if my german minor would do much good for me in this part of the world. I was sure it wouldn't, when in fact, it is more prevalent than one would think. For instance, my host family has a son living and working in Germany with his wife and child. He is working for the government. My host father's mother was full blooded German who married a Russian. From what I understand their family relocated to Azerbaijan when my host father was 7 years old. I was told it was because of Stalin, they say. Perhaps the purges?
I have met several people, including our head post master in Sabirabad, that have family in Germany, know German, or think highly of the country. I have bartered for a pair of boots in a mix of Azeri, English, and German. Our post master, an overall friendly guy, has studied German and will occasionally throw out a few phrases. A nearby shop owner's brother is living there currently, as well as my host father's brother. And finally a guy, who I think is related to my host family, transports random goods from Germany to Azerbaijan by traveling through Visa free countries like Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria (I think), Macedonia, and so on. The trip takes 5 days.
Alicia has set up her schedule at school and currently goes between three english teachers, and all ages of students. There are good days, and not so good days, and most days are cold days. I always loved cold weather, and then I moved to Azerbaijan. It's not the cold that gets you, it's the lack of heat in buildings. Thankfully, and we are, we're lucky to have a peç in our room, and our host family is not stingy with the gas. Whenever we are home we are warm, which is more than a lot of people can say. Either way, I'm ready for spring.
We went to our friend Jesse's house this last weekend. It was a nice little get-a-way. We watched movies and ate American food. The next few weekends are booked in the same manner, visiting friends and so on. We are heading to Baku for Super Bowl Sunday. I think the game will begin around 3:30am (Monday). Worth it.