On Sunday, we bravely awoke at 5:30am to take a taksi, bus, subway, and then train to make our way to Lankeran, which is at the south end of Azerbaijan. My cluster mate and myself are staying with Hiba a current Youth Development Volunteer and I can say that, at least for me, it has given me more motivation then any training so far. I am excited to have the opportunity to live in this country in my host site and develop these close relationships with random people in the town. I am doing that now, but we are soo busy with training that it's hard to find the time to really wander around town and my language is not up to par. The city here though is really beautiful and there is a quite a lot to do so I actually feel like a tourist somewhat. Pictures to come shortly when I have the time.
Hiba let us sit in also on her TOFEL class yesterday and it gave me a better idea of how I am acutally going to teach youth how to speak English or help them with tests that allow them to study abroad. Youth Development workers here do tend to start off teaching English and it was a bit scary to think about that, but with the observation of her class the tension has eased for the time being. I have a head full of ideas and at times it is exhausting because I have no idea what will actually work in my town. I am beginning to accept the fact that as a YD volunteer I will have different challenges with staying busy or getting projects off the ground, but every volunteer so far has stories of big / small projects they have successfully completed. This gives me hope of being able to stay busy and leaving something for future volunteers to build off of.
I am looking forward to more than anything else though to just live in this country and develop new hobbies, skills, and relationships. I'm going to be such a different person when I come home.