And by back, I mean that there is news to report on, finally.
Actually, quite a bit has happened over the past few days. Last Wednesday, we had our swearing-in ceremony, in which I officially changed ranks from a Peace Corps Trainee, to a Peace Corps volunteer. The ceremony didn’t make me feel like a lot had changed from that day to the next, but now it seems like it’s time to start working. The day after we swore in, we left to our respective sites to begin our two years. Facing 24 more months, I feel as though I slammed into a wall when I arrived to Ujar.
In a little over 24 hours I went from a trainee who was fairly busy with language classes, learning activities, and social time spent with other volunteers, to a more isolated, directionless environment where what I want to do is absolutely up to me. I spent the next day in my new city dealing with a mean case of diarrhia and figuring out exactly what it was in my room that I was allergic to. This was accompanied by watching almost the entire 3rd season of Entrouge on my laptop. Even still, I layed in my bed (i.e. the floor) and thought about some good things I had accomplished that day, despite an overall feeling of sluggishness and stagnation. Regardless of how little I feel I do, I’m still making strides in understanding and in integrating. Little victories are my base, and even the smallest ones will pay off after two years.
Today was the opening ceremony of my school. There were speeches given by the school director and other teachers. They called me up and I introduced myself in English, which brought silence, and then translated in Azeri, which followed with a round of applause.
I’ll start teaching monday, which will be really chaotic. I can’t read the teacher’s schedule, and no one knows what room they will be in, or when they are supposed to be there. I’m kind of hoping someone will just grab me by the arm and say gal, or come. The first few weeks I will simply observe, so I can get used to how the Azeri classroom works. After that I’ll look to teach around 15 hours a week, mostly assisting other English teachers, but also preparing my own lessons and stepping in when I can. These first few months will be quite the learning process.
And as this post indicates, I have found an internet place in Ujar, even though I was worried I wouldn’t. I imagine I’ll come quite often, so more posts to come.
p.s. I also found out about Greg Oden today. I don’t feel so bad about missing this season now.