My Thanksgiving this year was one of the best I've ever had. We had a huge dinner at my host family's house with a total of 20 people, half Azerbaijani's and half Americans. We each cooked a dish and brought it over to make one of the most beautiful buffet's I've ever seen. The Azerbaijani's were extremely impressed with the buffet style of eating and wondered why us girls weren't serving everyone. haha It was truly one of the most unique experience of cultural exchange that I've ever been apart of. Before we ate, each person stood up and told one thing they were thankful for, even the Azerbaijani's! My friend, Tony, who speaks Russian translated the English into Russian for the Azerbaijani attendants, and then the Azerbaijani's spoke in Russian so that he could translate that into English. Then, we sat around eating and conversing about differences and similarities in holidays for both cultures. It was such a special night, one that will forever be written in my soul. Not only was their great company, but delicious food too, quite the international setup.
Yesterday we had a cultural day that was set up partly by the Peace Corps, partly by our group. In the morning, my language group went over to Amy's host family's house where her mom taught us all how to make Vegetarian Dolma, which over here is called "yalanchi dolma" or lying dolma because it doesn't have meat! haha. I say all of us, but I forget that Josh, the only boy in our group, was forbidden to help cook. He sat around watching us while drinking a nice cup of tea... not quite so unreluctantly. ahah. Then, the Peace Corps had set up a concert for us at the musical school in Sumgayit (our training city). We were there for about 3 hours, listening to amazing children musicians and singers and watching the dancers. It's something I imagine Meemaw would LOVE! It was very impressive and a nice cultural day event.
As for this week, the countowns begin. From today, I have 11 days until I officially swear in to the Peace Corps Azerbaijan. I have 12 days until I move to Liman and my 2 years officially begins! I have 1 week of Azerbaijani language class left, and 1 week until my official language test! yikes. I cannot believe my training is almost over.