Saturday, July 7, 2012

Washington D.C.: Day 1-2


We are all in Washington D.C. safe and sound on our way to Azerbaijan. For July 5th to 7th, we were housed in the brilliant Homewood Suites in downtown D.C. The hotel was great, and I shared my two room suite with a Seattle YLP participate named Sahil Piyali. After a good breakfast in the lobby, each day so far has been an adventure.

After arriving in the afternoon on July 5th, we all walked to the Smithsonian Folklore Festival to listen to a performance of Azerbaijanii music. Though the music was interesting, we decided to walk around the Smithsonian grounds and take in the sites. A walk around allowed us to see the Washington Monument as well as some of the Art and History museums that make up the Smithsonian. After the walk and music, we at dinner at a small pizza diner in a D.C. neighborhood before returning to the hotel.

The next day we began with a walk to the American Councils building downtown. After a few hours of lecture on Azerbaijan and it's culture, we ate lunch at Potbellies Sandwiches. Later that afternoon we visited the Karabakh Foundation, housed in an 18th Century mansion. After discussing the current Karabakh Azerbaijan situation, we continued on our amazing tour of D.C. with a photo opportunity in front of the White House, and ended the day of lecture with a presentation on blogging. That evening, we had a fantastic time on the Monuments by Moonlight tour of the rest of the city's most important attractions.

Our time in D.C. ended the next day after more lectures on living in Azerbaijan and a brilliant tour of the Air and Space Museum near Washington Dulles International. I picked up a quick souvenir, a pin of the space shuttle, and got to get a good look at the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Air France Concorde!

We move on to Germany and then Baku now. Only a five hour stay at Dulles separates us from the rest of the program!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Family Connections

Hi again,

Since my last post, I have been able to connect with a member of my host family over facebook. Ibrahim is the same age as I am and assured me over chat that I would have an enjoyable stay. We talked about various topics, including school and our interests. I found Ibrahim to share many of my interests, and learned that we were both into Formula One racing, basketball, and football! We concluded our chat session with a discussion about our favorite teams, and enjoyed the Euro 2012 Portugal-Czech Republic game.

I'm rooting for England to win Euro 2012, while Ibrahim is a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Itinerary Released

Hello again,

The itinerary and e-tickets have been emailed out as of today. The flight plan calls for departure from Phoenix Sky Harbor on July 5th, a two day stop in Washington D.C., a short layover in Frankfurt, and a final destination of Baku, Azerbaijan, where the group will stay until July 26th.

Though Boeing's new 737 MAX won't be in service until 2017, it's nice to wonder what kind of plane I'll be on in under two weeks!

The journey to Azerbaijan will certainly be one for the books!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Global Youth Service Day

The first step towards Azerbaijan begins with an organized group Global Youth Service Day project. On April 21, 2012, myself and two other YLP participants attended the Red Mountain Relay for Life event to help support the research of cancer. The blog post I wrote outlining the event is attached.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

YLP Program Finalist!


The selection process has long been complete, and in a few weeks I will be receiving tickets for the air trip later this summer on July 5th. Though it was a long process filled with a number of essays, interviews, and forms to fill out, I have been accepted to act as an official U.S. diplomat in Azerbaijan! Soon, I will be provided with more information about my host families, as well as a program schedule. I certainly can't wait!