27 hours, being a German and losing my birthday

Novxani Travel Blog

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On Monday we left Philadelphia for New York at 12pm their time.  It only took us an hour or two to get to New York, but we sat at JFK airport for about 6 hours waiting for our flight.  Other than a small time as a tourist when I was a teenager, I had never seen New York so up close.  It was neat seeing the city.

From New York we flew to Frankfurt.  I would like to quickly explain why European international fights are so awesome:

- Free booze

Seriously, I drank about two glasses of wine and a shot of Sheridan and it was all free.  Fortunately, it didn’t make me even the least bit tipsy, unlike in Philadelphia where I got very buzzed off of two beers.  The alcohol helped me deal with the weird feeling of having time suddenly flip.

Caspian Sea
  My body said that it was night, but when we landed in Germany, it was clear as day.

Even though we only spent time in the airport, Germany was fun.  It was great being able to pretend like I was German.  I would walk around and say “vie geihts” to a bunch of people and they would actually respond with “is geiht mia gut.”  Seriously, I did this for about 5 hours.  One guy even let me continue the conversation past the “how are you” stage, even though it was blatantly obvious that I couldn’t say much beyond that.  I enjoyed my two hours in Germany.

After 27 hours, we finally got to Baku, Azerbaijan.  We arrived 9:00 pm their time on Tuesday the 23rd of September and though I had spend almost the entire trip awake, I wasn’t tired at all.

  We had only travelled 27 hours, but 36 hours in real time had passed and somewhere in the mix I had lost my birthday.  We got bused to the famous Aqua Park hotel in Novxani, Azerbaijan and have been staying here since.  The air from the Caspian Sea is really nice, pretty much perfect weather for me.  Most of the others are cold though.

Mostly so far we have been sitting in conferences.  Basically for two days they have been reciting verbatim every line of policy, rules, procedures and advice from the handbook.    Finally today they went over some new material about how to really help people out, ideas on projects we can do and general development theory.  It was exciting to really get an idea of what I will be doing and some practical advice on how to do it.

So far I get the feeling that I will have to be very patient with the organization of the Peace Corps.  Just like a child with overprotective parents, I will probably end up griping a bit to my friends about the administration, but overall will remain positive, patient and understanding when I need to be.

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Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea, again from the Aqua P…
Caspian Sea, again from the Aqua …
photo by: cbstevens