Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Week of Frustrations & Inspirations

It's been a frustrating week as the school year closes. Every little thing looms large due to the discomfort I have in my left foot. The smallest problem becomes a bigger irritant – slimy slugs leave a trail on my kitchen sink, biking boys trick me by braking in front of me, teachers chat with each other during class, the store is out of my favorite tandir bread. Grrrr. I've yet to find the word for “crabby” in the Azerbaijan language. Even my English teachers know I'm irritable.
Wednesday I decided to stay home from school and try to stay off my feet. It has been a month since my foot became swollen and painful on the top - not at the ankle. I saw an orthopedist in Baku, but I haven't started feeling relief until this past week by taking ibupropen daily and riding not walking to and from school. I'm paying more attention to how fast I walk, the shoes I wear, and the amount of gravel I walk on. I suspect it was sharp gravel under the ball of my foot that caused this problem initially.

This morning I'm sitting outside in the sunshine waiting for either the water truck to come by or a “master” to arrive who can repair the water pump so that it fills the water tank for my house. I only need to fill it about every 6 weeks but wıthout water I can't cook, bathe, wash clothes, etc. It's a frustrating weekend when I can't do household chores. Well . . . there is one thing I learned to do for my mental health back in Minnesota: pull weeds! My yard is without the grazing of a cow and her calf. One of them snapped the electric wire leading from my house to the water pump, so the landlady won't allow the farmer use my yard again. (My neighbor Sakit spliced the electric line, but the pump still doesn't work.)
I do a little self-talk to get me out of my pissy mood by thinking instead about all the positive things that happened last week. Here goes:
  • great language sessions with my student Georgie; he loves the visual dictionary
  • Georgie brought me tandir bread from his father's store
  • I killed those slugs with slug pellets
  • my home phone and internet are working again
  • a shy 5th form boy started speaking English in class this past week
  • students gave me many red roses on Friday
  • I introduced another English teacher to the new restaurant in Masalli
  • the new school director requires assembly and national song before school starts each day
  • I am reading All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  • Facetime video chats with Anton, Tracy, and Deb S. this past week!

For added interest, here are a couple photos from a weekend in Baku with PCVs Elaine and Suzi. 

We went to the site Atashgah where Zoroastrianism began (fire worshipers) plus located several homes (now museums) of early 20th century oil barons, and the Aristocrats Society in the old city. Best of all we had great meals (Shamrock burgers and Caesar salads and white wine) and laughs (don't ask about whales) together.