If there is a mixed bag for me here in the ‘baijan, I would have to say that it is my loving, overbearing host family. I’ve mentioned the concrete apartment that we live in before, but I haven’t had a chance to write about them, their personality, and what living with them is like. The host family post is always a good way to give a small window into what my life is like, but I didn’t realize how odd living with a host family was for me until I was down with a 102 degree tempurature a few days ago.
First, there’s something incredibly comfortable about having a mother around when you’re sick. I don’t think anyone can debate that. Isn’t that how you realize that you’ve moved out on your own for the first time? Realizing you are sick and you go to call out for someone to take care of you and no one is there is a hell of a realization to come to. However, one gets used to it, so being back in the former, now unfamiliar, situation has taken a bit of work to accept.
One thing that my host mother, Franges (g like get), is particularly good at is trying to feed me. Not always at feeding me things I like or want, but it’s always available. This didn’t stop while I laying on my bed feeling sorry for myself whatesoever. Combine this with the fact that I have no appitite, and my host mother has turned into quite the bother.
She was worried because I didn’t want to eat and because I had a fever so she went to my Azeri class which I was missing, and got my teacher to call the Peace Corps doctor (which I refused to do. Maybe in a day or two, but just 24 hours into it was a bit hasty for me). I didn’t find any of this out until I showed my face in class again a couple days later, and I was completely embarrased (by the ways my mom, which made me feel 13).
I called her out on it at home, and asked her if she had gone to school and why she did it. In very plain Azerbaijani, which I understood perfectly (amazing in itself) she said, “Jeff, you are my son.” I guess I forgot that she had a motivation besides being incredibely obnoxious; she cares about me.
And I feel that’s how the rest of the family feels too. I think that my host mom and I are particularly close because she doesn’t really leave the house, and neither do I, so we get to hang out a lot. My host father on the other hand is never home, so I don’t know him as well.
My host sisters, 18 and 25 years old, are both really nice to me as well. They both work at a poultry factory. I’m not exactly sure what the younger one does there, but I know the older one (listening to the ipod in the photos in the earlirr post) puts the chickens into the styrofoam trays and wraps them in plastic. A less than glorious job that she is at 10 hours a day, with a day off every other sunday, and she earns 4 dollars a day. Pretty absurd.
Coming posts: concrete, mad max, and teaching english