A little bit about me...

Hi my name is Raechelle, and I lived in the secular Muslim country of Azerbaijan as a Youth Development Volunteer for the Peace Corps for three years and three months. I am now the Administrator of the official Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Friends of Azerbaijan group. As such, I am working to promote Peace Corps third goal of helping promote a better understanding of Azerbaijani people to Americans.

I created this blog as a way for future Peace Corps Volunteers, my friends and family, and Americans in general to understand what life as a Peace Corps Volunteer is like. As part of the pilot program for Youth Development in Azerbaijan, my work in Azerbaijan was diverse to say the least. I took on a role as youth educator, mentor and promoter. I helped with academic advising, established informal youth service clubs, encouraged youth to be proactive in their communities, promoted volunteer-ism and making a positive contribution to their communities.

I served as an extended volunteer, meaning that I served a third year instead of the traditional two year and three month service. During that time, I got married to my community counterpart and embraced many parts of the Azerbaijani culture. It is my hope to provide you a sense of understanding of life as a Peace Corps volunteer, life in Azerbaijan, and a bit about Azerbaijani culture through my experiences. Please feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions or suggestions for topics you'd like to hear more about.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

RPCV Friends of Azerbaijan

Just before the end of my service, I submitted a request to the National Peace Corps Association to form a returned peace corps volunteer group for volunteers who served in Azerbaijan.  It took a few months to get a reply, but the NPCA approved our request and will be giving us official recognition as an RPCV group!  This is great, but also a bit frustrating as well... in true Azerbaijani fashion, the volunteers who served there tend to procrastinate (you know it's true!)  So the burden of creating materials, events and finding information for the group is currently resting primarily on my shoulders.

For now, we have a Facebook group, as well as an email address (friends.of.azerbaijan@gmail.com) and a quarterly newsletter written by yours truly.  It isn't much, but it's a start. So if you are an RPCV from Azerbaijan, please let other members of your group know the news.  It's my goal to keep my blog going as the online publication forum for our quarterly newsletter and RPCV information.  I can't see just deleting it, and want to continue to reach out to those who served.  If you are interested in helping with the quarterly newsletter, have ideas for the group, or comments regarding the Friends of Azerbaijan RPCV group, please contact me at the email address mentioned above.

1 comment:

  1. Just let me know what I can do. I bet my counterpart would write fun Azerbaijani word games to help people keep up their language skills.