Sunday, October 26, 2008


A large portion of our training takes place here, the school, or məktəb (Remember how those ə’s are pronounced.). We’re fortunate enough, here in Ceyranbatan Two, to be in a pretty small community with a modestly sized school, and, to boot, it’s a pretty new school, from the looks of it. If you look around the building, you will see several signs saying “From the people of Japan”. That’s in English too, by the way. Thanks to Japan’s generosity, we have a nice facility.

Just about every day, except “Hub Days” and Sundays, we walk over to this building for our language lessons. They’re scheduled from nine to one in the afternoon. Now, as far as language lessons go, I have nothing to complain about. They’re what you’d expect. And there’s another thing I’m happy to not have to complain about, and that’s the students. Now, seeing as I may eventually be committed to two years of volunteering in a school, complaining about the students before I even teach them would probably be a bad sign. Nonetheless, I’m happy to say that the students at the school in Ceyranbatan Two are well behaved. That’s not the case everywhere. I’ve heard about students constantly opening and closing the trainees’ classroom doors, sliding notes under the doors, throwing rocks at trainees, etc. And, of course, there’re the constant “hellos” that trainees receive, iterated at an elevated volume, with the stress on the first syllable, so, as a trainee runs the gauntlet of children, he must withstand the onslaught of “HEllo,” “HEllo,” “HEllo” that comes his way. It’s cute at first, but only at first. None of these are encouraging factors of what lies ahead of us, but if I wanted an easy teaching job, I guess I would’ve gone…well…nowhere.

Our language lessons are taught by a gentleman named Qaymar (pronounced Guy•mar. In Azerbaijani, ‘q’ is pronounced like ‘g’.). He’s in his early twenties and has done his military service and worked on offshore oil sites. He’s about as friendly as they come. He almost always has a big smile going, and he also takes our language progress seriously. Our cluster is giving him some help, too. He recently asked us to help him with his writing because he wants to study in The United States. Charlie has already helped him outline an essay, and we hope the best for him.

Life at the school is good, and we hope to make more and more progress in our language before the end of training.


löki gale said...

I am excited about the introduction of pictures! When I get a chance, I will email you the ones I "made" for you!


jsherman said...


Your dad shared your blob with me. What an adventure you are having! Ah caramba! You are really being Don Quijote. I commend you for your enthusiasm, sense of adventure, determination and willingness to help others. Thanks for the pictures, too.
Thinking of you, y te mando un abrazote!
Jennifer Sherman