I am in my hotel listening to Amy Grant’s 1992 Home For Christmas CD. I am about about 90% packed, however I still have some souvenir shopping and a few more memories to make and good byes to say. I can’t help reflecting on this amazing journey I have been on the last month. Last night after an amazing dinner at Sumack, which serves a traditional Azerbaijan cuisine, I tried to tell Mel all about the first few days of the build. It was hard to remember the smaller details. But here are a few things I will never forget!
The people of this country and that I have met here are truly amazing. They are remarkably caring and very hard working. From Jimmy who worked in the set up to Erkan my Turkish friend who I didn’t get to say good bye to, I have met some grand people. Anar and Slim to Khagani have been incredible patient with use. The boys who work the simulators are an outstanding unit. They work well with each other and take care of each other. They showed me kindness that I will never forget. We gave them call signs, wings and even a challenge coin. But those gifts are not as wonderful as the last impact they have made on me with their outstanding spirits and hospitality.
What I have been doing is not curing cancer or ending poverty but it has been wonderful to work with wonderful people doing really neat stuff. I have enjoyed working with my hands however, I think I need a manicure. Working with the people from camp I don’t get to work with on a daily bases was awesome. I love Cowan! And Michael is a funny guy! But I will look back and always be thankful for meeting Joel. He taught me a lot. I think the original plan was for him to stay only a few days, but he stayed over two weeks. Without everyone pitching in an extraordinary amount the exhibit would not have open before Thanksgiving and many people would have not been home with their families. Plus the stuff I got to work with. I have held meteors and a moon rock. I have build display cases and stripped a Russian mannequin… the Russian mannequin was one of the coolest things.
Being away from my family and friends has made me miss everyone so much more. Put thousands of miles between me and my parents, all the crap they gave me as a kid to get me to eat green beans melts away. I have tried a lot of different foods. I have talked more to my parents this last month than any month I spent in Alabama. But also, my dad had back surgery a week or so before I left and my mom just had knees surgery last week. I have been a bad daughter being in Baku. Thanks to Facebook, Skype and Oliver Florist I am not a total loser. Even people who live a few states away from me and only see once or twice a year I miss more. I guess you don’t truly appreciate something until you don’t have it.
This trip and work has taught me a great lesson. I think I have spent too much time in my left completing task and I have failed to connect with the people around me. I love connecting with people. But I really suck at it at times. I rush, rush, rush and I don’t truly connect. Over here, I haven’t been able to communicate as effectively using language, but I have still connected with them. Heck, language is not my strongest quality. I am not so good with words, you know? But I need to stop and connect with more people. Stop talking so much! Just listen and connect, even if I have to use Azerbaijan charades.
As the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas comes on I will end this post! I need to finish my shopping and make just a few more memories. Elvin, here we come!