Sunday, January 25, 2009

Brother and Sister

17 January 2009

How many of you can relate to this concept? I know I can. My sister Catherine Grace is four years older than I am, and we have many memories growing up together.

Well, these themes don’t stop at the border. In fact (And every Peace Corps Azerbaijan crony can agree.), family is a prime topic of conversation around here. They wanna know about your parents and grandparents, how many brothers and sisters you have, what they do, whether they’re married and have children or not, and so on and so forth. They’re very interested in that, and they’re especially pleased to see pictures. Just today, I brought a picture of my parents and me to a friend’s house, and the picture was passed around to everybody. Everyone made sure to give his or her input about who I looked like (Some said Mom, and some said Dad, which is interesting.).

But in this entry, I’m not specifically talking about my family. What I wanna get at is my host family, in particular, Hökümə, my host sister, and Rustam, my host brother. The sister is a teenager, and the brother is about nine. Now, think about that for a second. What’s the dynamic that comes to mind when you think about the relationship between a teenage sister and a kid brother?

Well, I had my own preconceptions, too, seeing as I am a kid brother and, at one time, was nine when my sister was thirteen. However, those preconceptions were blown away when I saw how these two got along. They do everything together. They’re like best friends. So far, one of my most vivid memories occurred on a snowy day. We were having lunch after school, and right when the two were done eating, they raced outside and immediately started playing in the snow together. It was beautiful, really, and I’m personally amazed at how two young people spend their free time here. I mean, it’s a little village that’s pretty dark at night, not a street light to be found, so what do they do on the weekends? Well, they stay at home. A Friday night is simply a night to stick around the house and relax, and Saturday and Sunday are the same way. There’s no movie theater to go to, no sleepovers like we have in the States. Home is where it all happens, and, with this being the case, I’d say it’s a pretty darn good thing these two get along so well. Nonetheless, it’s cool to see.

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