Sunday, September 9, 2012

End of Summer

Summer is over! It is a happy time as sitting in front of my fan, drinking room temperature water while swatting flies all day is not my idea of my favorite day. Although...yes...it builds character. I believe I have build enough character in my two years. 

View from my hotel suite
With the coming of fall came our final conference. The AZ8s (and two extended AZ7s) just returned from our Close of Service (COS) conference, also known as Continuation of Service. The conference was held at a water park/hotel on the northern coast of the Absheron peninsula, north of Baku, and on the Caspian Sea shore. Before our two day conference, during breaks, and after our meetings, time was well spent on the water slides. Who would have ever thought water slides would be so freeing? Maybe it was there were no life guards, no rules, and no whistles if you were caught running. The 23 person centipede down the slide certainly could not be tried in the states. 

Last day and last session
The conference covered many topics: reintegrating back into America, the crazy amount of paperwork that needs to be completed, how to say goodbye to our communities, what needs to be returned to Peace Corps (winter sleeping bag, aka: brown monster, water filters, dictionaries, smoke detector).

This was also the last time the AZ8s will be together. We came into country with 63 and are leaving with 58 volunteers. With all of us together it brought with some great memories filled with a murder mystery night, a talent show capped off with dancing at the outdoor disco, on the shore of the Caspian Sea, until 4am. 

Fellow PCV, Julie and I
These next three months (81 days) are filled with finalizing of all sorts. Final paperwork (this is a government organization after all), dr. appointments, exit interviews with my Program Manager and Country Director, final language assessment, getting rid of my stuff, saying goodbye to my site and finishing my work at school. 

My final project is compiling materials into a resource cabinet for my teachers to use at school consisting of: English books, visuals I have drawn (yes, they look awesome), craft materials, maps, and binders filled with ideas for teaching the basics- writing, speaking, listening and reading- to use for lessons. 

I am also finalizing a few videos I shot and edited myself (pat on the back). It is about a brief overview of my village, school, and of my students teaching basic Azerbaijani words (colors and animals). I originally created it to give to my fellowship school in Minnesota, but it also makes for a great way to learn basic English words. 

With the closing of summer, school begins next week. It will be great to see my students and how much they have changed over the summer. My girls arts/dance club will start up again but only with a short time before saying goodbye to my village in November. 

2 comments:

  1. Very nice SAG! This was quite an informative (and wonderful) post my dear sister. The COS seemed like a good time. Your remaining time is filled with activity. Congrats on the videos you did. Would LOVE to see pictures of the 23-person centipede if they exist!

    -MIG

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