It is amazing how fast two years go by. It feels like I have been here forever and at the same time, I can't believe it is already time for me to leave. My friends and family and most of my loyal readers know how excited I am to be coming home in about a week and a half. But at the same time, leaving is HARD. I guess that means I did it right, though.
Tomorrow, I leave Lankaran. I have spent the past week or so guesting, saying goodbye and spending time with the people who have come to mean so much to me. I haven't prepared supper for myself in over a week! I've gotten my fill of lavangi, plov, kompot, and chay. I've spent my days walking in the park with students and friends and having tea at the library. I made the tour of shops and the post office to tell them I'm leaving and I'll miss them. I went to school to visit with my director, the teachers and cleaning crew.
Many times over, I have promised to...
- return to visit with my husband and children (that's assuming I'll have a husband and children).
- write letters, emails, text messages, and talk on Skype.
- say hello to my mother, father, Barack Obama, and America.
- show them around Washington D.C. if/when they come to America.
I have turned down offers to...
- marry an Azeri boy so I can stay in Azerbaijan.
- take jars of pickled vegetables and jam to my mother.
- throw out all of my clothes and take him/her in my suitcase instead.
Everywhere I've gone there have been hugs and kisses and tears and many, many pictures. It's been lovely and sad. Knowing that I will probably never see many of these people again makes departing that much harder. I have loved my time here and the people who filled it. I am so lucky to have had all of these amazing people in my life. I will keep it touch, and I hope visit one day. But, for now, I'm saying sag ol and sag ol (goodbye and thank you) to my Azerbaijani family.