Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New House

It's been a little while since I have posted anything and there has been many changes to my life here in Tovuz, Azerbaijan. Recently, I moved into a new house that my friend here helped me find. It really is quite big for just myself and can say that I lucked out. I made the decision quite late in the game and was all determined to stay with my host mom until I talked with a lot of people who were moving out. I am about to turn 28 years old and thought I was really going to miss out on having my own space and actually living on my own in a foreign country so I made the decision. It was really hard to tell my host mom who could not understand why I did not want to stay with her. She actually has been trying to blame my friend for talking me into leaving her, which I had to explain was not the case. It's hard for Azerbaijanis to understand why someone would want to live on their own because not even men do, everyone lives with some of their relatives. I heard everything from, well don't you like your mom? to aren't you going to be afraid? Now that I have settled in I can tell though that my conversation club girls are excited about coming over and really want to get started on a Cooking Club.

I think it's a great example to set for a woman here to move out of her host family and the exciting thing is that after moving out guesting is actually a lot more fun. I am away from Azerbaijanis for a good part of my day and when I go over to their house to have dinner it seems in a way that we both appreciate it more. Of course, it helps me to not have to spend any money or time on food that night, but also when your living with a family theres this obligation to be around and sometimes you turn down guesting opportunities becuase of them. I have a lot more freedom and even though I sometimes get lonely it's been really worth it. Having a house though does add a lot more problems to the mix of your life. For one cleaning is so much harder because I have to go outside for water and there's no vaccum cleaner, washing machine, or dishwasher. You spend a lot of time trying to keep everything up and I didn't realize also how many problems I would have since I moved into a house that no one has lived in in some time.

1) Fridge wasn't working - got that fixed
2) Heater - has a clog and almost killed myself and my friend after the room filled up with carbon monoxide. Thanks Jessi for saving our lives.
3) Gas leak in my shower - I have to turn on the water heater and open all the doors / windows then shut off the gas before I shower each time.
4) Western style toliet that doesn't flush - I have to get water to flush it and it definitly can't handle multiple people using the bathroom over a weekend so I need a plunger. Never thought I would wish for a squat toliet, but it's so much easier.
5) Power going crazy - I turn on the lights and then plug in my computer and everything goes crazy - luckily after the power went completely out for two days they came and fixed everything.
6) The elusive slime bug - I have no idea what the hell it is or when at night it decides to slime all over my kitchen, but I'm going to keep a close watch out for the day of my revenge. It slimed all over my cleaning pad and then crapped on it.

I guess the importance of each one of these problems is really learning how to think on your feet and make things work. It's a lesson that most of us have learned already even only being in the country for 7 months. Volunteer life is so different and my children will hate me for having experienced all of this because there will be no excuses.