Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two Months Before Departure

I wanted to go ahead and get a blog started about my upcoming transition in life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Azerbaijan. I also thought this was a great way for my family and friends to learn more about my country prior to leaving. I am set to depart on September 28th and will be in Azerbaijan for 27 months working in the area of Youth Development.

To answer the majority of questions I get on a regular basis:

I will be flying to Philly and then taking a bus to NY City to fly over to Baku (Azerbaijan's capital). Once there I will be living outside of Baku with a host family for three months during my orientation. I think I will be staying in Sumqayit - a PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer) in the country mentioned this area. After the three months, I will then be sworn in as a volunteer and move to my host city where I will be for 24 months. No I am not able to come home, but my family / friends are able to come over to visit me.

This is a great website to learn more about the current events in Azerbaijan so please check it out:

The official language is Azerbaijani or Azeri for short. It is a majority Mulism country located in the Caucasus region on the Caspian Sea. Their culture is a lot more conservative than the U.S. so there will be some restrictions I will need to adhere to as a woman, but I will not be required to cover my whole body. I will be working with youth and young adults focusing my activities to: working directly with youth helping them to become more successful and responsible adults in the future; working with youth service providers and organizations within the country to better serve their local community in the area of youth; and engaging parents and other community adults to help them to recognize young people for their talents / contributions, supporting greater participation in the community.

My reasons for joining the Peace Corps are quite simple: this is something I was born to do. I want to dedicate my life to helping others and I hope to gain an insight into ways to help young people in our world today work towards positive change in their local community. I understand that I am going to learn more than I can teach anyone in Azerbaijan. If anything I can provide them at this point is just as a friend and share the love that I have to bring happiness to the live's of others.

Please feel free to comment or send suggestions for things I may need to bring with me on my trip.


  1. Hi Jessica,

    I am also in AZ7 in the YD program. Had a question about where you got your information on Philly, did you hear this officially from the Peace Corps, or what you learned from last years volunteers?

    Also wanted to let you know there is a group on Facebook for AZ7, It is called "Peace Corps Azerbaijan 2009-2011 (AZ7)"

    Look froward to meeting you soon, (less than two months).

  2. I was given that information from my country desk officer that I would be making flight arrangements to Philadelphia and then we would be taking a bus to fly out of New York to Azerbaijan. I make my arrangements soon and not sure if that information has changed. Should I check with him? I am soo glad to have the ability to talk with current volunteers and I requested to join the group on Facebook. Thanks.

  3. Oh no, I won't be the only Jessica in PCAZ. Hi! I am an AZ6 CED (that's community economic development). Enjoy your last bit of time in America. If you have any questions you can email me at I have access to dial up most days. Jess

  4. Thank you for posting.
    it is really helpful to all.
    such a nice topics.