Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summertime and the Living is Easy...Kind Of

First off - a little "hey, hey, hey" to my dad -- Happy, Happy Father's Day, Big Dave! We love and miss you so! Only 4.5 more months to go - then I'm counting on you to be my go-to Waffle House buddy!

KJ & Big Dave -- Thanks to Jennifer for all the Pictures...
Summer is officially is crazy hot, and things are busy. Summer camps are kind of a PCV's bread and butter in the summer time. We've got two under our belts so far - Balaken (a region on the northern border) Art Camp and Girls' Soccer Camp. This week, my Run the World club starts a girls' hip-hop dance camp. So - only a few weeks into summertime, and we're already exhausted. We're hoping to use July to unplug for a bit and do our last tour of Azerbaijan. Crazy...
Here are a few shots from our first two camps. Hope you enjoy them. See you soon!

An Azerbaijani Bank funded a soccer camp in the regions this past week for girls ages 11-15. It is very rare to see girls participating in any athletic events here. So, it was great to see these girls getting excited and physical - very cool. A few of the girls that came to camp live at a local shelter for children - families who can't take care of them due to death in the family, financial problems, abuse, etc. - The first day of camp, we were walking to the field, and two of the girls were walking with me, holding my hands. They were trying to get to know me and trying to make simple conversation in Azeri that I could understand. One pulled on my hand and said -- "Do you have any sisters?"so I said, "Yes,I have sisters." A few seconds later, a tug on my other arm - "Do you have any brothers?" ... "Yes, I have a brother." Silence...more walking. A tug from the other side, "Do you have a mom?"..."Yes, I have a mom." Right away from the other side - "Do you have a dad too?"... "Yes, I have a dad too."
At that point, both girls stopped in their tracks. Still clinging to my hands, they looked at me with shock in their expressions. "You are so lucky," they said, "you have everything."
Broke me in often I forget that I do have everything as long as I have the people I love...hoping I never lose sight of that truth.

A Few Shots From Balaken Arts Camp - Dustin brought his Environmental Club students to lead a session at the camp. At the end of the week, his My Mic crew came to lead a start-up in Balaken. Thanks to the Balaken PCVs for a great time!