Monday, October 15, 2012

What I Missed

Let’s just get this off my chest quickly:




If someone can give me a combination of the three at once, I will be very impressed and grateful!!! (I’m thinking something in a burrito style)

There, now that those are out of the way, we can continue:

Smooth Highways – Oh how I have missed the smoothness of a well-paved highway, they obedience that comes with actual lanes, functioning stop lights, competent drivers and honest traffic officers. If I never ride another packed van reeking of body odor and cigarette smoke on an unpaved road again, it will be too soon!

Movie Theaters – Despite the absurd prices, to me there’s nothing better than watching a good movie on the big screen. I am so tried of watching poor quality copies of new movies on my tiny lap top screen.

Sports and Fitness – I’ve done my best to replace my lack of access to a gym with elastic bands, a jump rope, and yoga map. And I certainly get to play sports (Frisbee, soccer, and softball). But, it’s just not the same as a game of squash with my dad at the YMCA, a game of pick up hockey, throwing around a lacrosse ball with the boys, or having JMart run Ting and I through the ringer with a Crossfit workout at MAA.

Phone Plans – Buying minutes as I go is terribly frustrating. Given the number of national programs I manage, I have to be on the phone a lot, so I go through a lot of minutes. I’m sick of the little scratch off minute cards! Give me a contract, please!

American Time – I’ve broken down, almost to a science, the conversion of time between Azerbaijan and America:
-       5 minutes American = 30 minutes Azerbaijani
-       Early American = 10am Azerbaijani
-       1 hour American = At least 3 hours Azerbaijani
-       Later this afternoon American = Maybe tomorrow Azerbaijani
-       Tomorrow American = Never Azerbaijani
I love promptness and I cannot wait to return to the land of it!

Washing Machines – I have not missed anything more than my washing machine. If there were a word stronger than hate for washing clothes by hand, I’d use it. In the summer it’s so hot that you have to wash clothes way too often. In the winter, your hands freeze while washing and the clothes never dry. All of my clothes are ruined from all the hand washing, yet they are not nearly as clean as they are after a cycle in the washing machine! It’s a waste of time and the greatest inconvenience I had while living here!


  1. Jake, it has been an absolute pleasure reading about your experience as a PVC and, contrary to most of my comments, I am so excited to see you back home. In these past 26th months you have devoted your time to one of the most admirable causes I can imagine. If anyone has half of the heart and compassion you possess and demonstrated throughout this experience they should consider themselves lucky.

    Much love and Safe travels,


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