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Ceyranbatan Travel Blog

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So, I am going to Devechi in December.  It is 2 hours north of Sumqayit and here is the best map of the area that I could find:

My initial reactions are that there are good and bad things that come along with this placement.  To start out, I was hoping to do a few things here in the Peace Corps.  One of which, I wanted to work in or with a University, I wanted to work in a big city, and I wanted to be as close to Quba as I could (though this was a minor request, the others were more important). 

I’ll start out with the bad stuff: 

  • Devechi is a smaller city
  • There is no University there
  • There is nothing interesting within 2 hours of the city (that I could figure)
  • It really isn’t a pretty part of the country

Here are the good points: 

  • The school is actually very large and it has a lot of English teachers
  • The school is also very nice, well maintained and well disciplined
  • It is very close to Quba
  • It is also pretty close to Baku and Sumqayit
  • While there is no one in my city, there are Volunteers both in Quba (1 hour away or so) and Siyazan (20 minutes away)
  • I don’t think that large scale teacher conferences have been done in this area for a long time, if ever, so there is a lot of good that I could do both for my own school and possible the region.

All in all, I think I have a good placement.  I’m not sure if that is by luck, or if they really could tell from my strengths and weaknesses where I would be best suited to be (via some magical formula, perhaps?).   

Of course, when I was applying for the Peace Corps they told me the same thing: that they could tell from my application where I would best be suited.  I didn’t believe them then, and I certainly don’t believe them now.  It is impossible to know a person and multiple areas so well that a perfect match could be picked from so many choices. 

They sometimes claim this.  In any case, I have no doubt that they tried very hard to find a good match and that it was a very difficult process for them. 

I think I got lucky.  Other volunteers, in my and their opinion, are going to have a much tougher time.

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photo by: cbstevens