The Pieces are Coming Together….

What joy, what happiness! A few days ago I received BIG news about my time in Azerbaijan, which I can better rely as a list:

  • Dates. The embassy wants all ETAs to arrive at the end of the first week in September, and we’ll have an adjustment period to get settled. It’s quite possible that I’ll leave for Azerbaijan on my birthday (September 5th), or a day later. In any case, exactly two years ago from that date was when I left for Turkey, so I think that’s a good omen!
  • My Post. I will be teaching at Azerbaijan Tourism Institute (ATİ), or Azərbaycan Turizm İnstitutu in Baku (the capital city). I did some digging, found their website, and in the midst of Azerbaijani text, saw these wonderful words: “There are no translations available.” Really? But there’s a British flag in the top right corner, maybe if I hit it anyway some English will appear? No? Alright, then. So I get to test and develop my (very limited) Azerbaijani language skills in order to learn about the university. What I’ve been able to discover so far…
  1. ATİ was founded recently, circa 2006/2007 in order to meet the increasing and diverse demands that come along when people visit your country: language barriers, management, organization, activities.
  2. ATİ emphasizes the social sciences, area/regional studies, language courses, and management classes. Right up my alley!
  • Contacts. I have people to talk to, to ask questions about housing, about registering myself with the Azerbaijani government (and getting my residence permit–such a hassle!), about ATİ, etc. This is good.

So what’s next? The next big development is the Pre-Departure Orientation, taking place in Washington, D.C. during the last week of this month. There, I’ll meet the other ETAs and we’ll receive host country and teaching information. Needless to say, I’m excited (and nervous, but mainly excited) because developments are rolling along at an accelerating rate. Until next time….  (:

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