Just Doing My Job, Summer's Gone, Prank Phone Calls

Naxcivan Travel Blog

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Just Doing My Job

    During one of my discussion groups, one of my first year English students told me she loved Americans.  I replied,” That is great.  Have you met some other Americans recently?”
    “No.”
    “How many Americans have met?”
    “One.  You.  I didn’t like Americans before you came here, but now I love your country.”

While my main job is to teach English here, another important aspect of what I am doing is to foster an understanding between the Azerbaijani people and the USA.   Being kind here is seen as strength and not as a weakness.   I wish that everyone who reads this could experience the warmth I have felt from most of my students here (there are some who hate me because I do expect them to do the work).  Actually, one of my students, Elnara has a very thick accent.  The accent reminded me of Natasha from the cartoon the Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  I asked her to say, “Moose and squirrel.”

She looked at we weird and then said it.  I loved it.  I started laughing.  I had to explain the significance of what I had asked her to say.  It took sometime but I think that she understood. 
When I was sad about my girlfriend in the States finding someone else, Elnara came up to me and said “Teacher, I will get you Moose and Squirrel.”

I had to look at her briefly and take in what she was saying.  She had this big smile on her face.  I started to chuckle.  Then she told me, “Don’t be sad teacher.”

While there are times that I think that I am going crazy living here, one of my students will just say something wonderful.  It reminds me of working at Sunrise Acres (an elementary school in Las Vegas) and having some little kid from a poor family run up to give me a hug when they knew I was feeling down, except these are mostly18-22 year old students.  They appreciate what I am trying to do here and I know it.  Sometimes I have thought about staying here another year because in a few months I have built up a lot of rapport with these students and with their families. 

No one ever goes into teaching for the cash; it is making an impact in the lives of others.  I just get reminded from time to time that my mission here is larger than me, that I am having an impact upon international relations bigger than I am probably aware of.  
   
Summer’s Gone

Autumn has quietly approached here for the past few weeks.  I hardly noticed until recently.  All of the leaves are changing colors and many are finding a way to fall on the ground.  There is snow on the surrounding mountains.  It is incredibly beautiful when you can see them.  Many days are very hazy.  Sometimes the snowcapped mountains can be mistaken for clouds when there is enough of a haze.  As the temperature is starting to drop, the days are starting to become clearer and mountains more visible.  Some of them I have only see from a distance but now, they look incredible.

Prank Phone Calls

 I have been getting some prank phone calls recently.  The phone number that I have is the one assigned to my apartment and unlike the US; it is not assigned to me.  This means that almost everyone can get it.  Where it gets fun is when someone with limited English abilities tries to prank phone call someone who is a native English speaker.

(Phone Rings)

Me: Hello.
Female Voice: Hi.
Me (thinking it might be one of my students):  How are you?
Female Voice: (starts speaking in Azerbaijani.)
Me: What?
Female Voice: I love you!
Me (surprised): Thanks!
Female Voice: I love you!
Me: Ok.... and you are?
Female Voice: I love you!
Me: Uhhhh...that’s nice.
Female voice: I love you!
Me: I like you too.  Do...you...have...a...name? (Said louder even though the other person is obviously able to hear fine.)
Female voice: I love you!
Me (sarcastically): Great!  Let’s get married!
Female voice: Huh?
Me: I got to go and get something to eat.  Catch you later.  Bye.
Female voice:  Wait!

I hung up the phone and started to leave my apartment.  The phone rang before I reached the door.  I thought about answering it but I was really hungry.  If it iwas really important, they would call back.  I exited my apartment and locked the door while the phone continued to ring.

Looking back on it and knowing my luck, the female voice was probably from Miss Nakhchivan 2005 �" the most beautiful woman of all of Nakhchivan.  She had probably finally gotten enough courage to call me and let me know that she did in fact love me, or at the very least loved the idea of easily getting a green card.  And I blew it because I was being selfish (I had not ate in 12 hours �" wimp!) and egotistical.  That poor woman will never call another man for as long as she lives.

 That could have happened but I doubt it.  
IceTea says:
I can really see how wonderful it must feel to have students who encourage you and show u the worth of ur work.
We all have our demons and doubt is one of the greatest.
And yea I have been *loved* by quite a few non english speaking people as well. :)
Posted on: Apr 09, 2008
princess_bakes says:
LOL!!!!!!!!!! Ah what suitors you have....
Posted on: Oct 05, 2007
sybil says:
haha! who knows, maybe you have already made a binding marriage contract when you made that offer, albeit sarcastically! :D
Posted on: Oct 05, 2007
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Naxcivan
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