Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Update/new look

Hello all!

Now free, refreshed, and relaxed off a good two weeks of summer break, I'm back to share some recent experiences and explain the changes to my blog!

I've been in the habit of changing up this blog's name and description when I embark on new experiences. When I first started it, in anticipation of my AFS year in Egypt, it was called "A Year in the Mother of the World," inspired by Egypt's monumental Arabic nickname, "Umm ad-Dunya." When I headed to Turkey the first time with NSLI-Y, I renamed it "Good Dil," a play on the English phrase "good deal" with the Turkish word for "language." When I journeyed to the Westfjords of Iceland last summer for a language immersion program, it became "Eldur og Ís(land)," meaning "Fire and Ice(land)," a pun on a common nickname for the country, and its actual name, which luckily works in both languages. And in between, when I've just been living my everyday life in high school and college but still keen on sharing my reflections and thoughts, I've called it "Nico and the world."

As you can see, I enjoy changing things up a little when the opportunity presents itself, giving my blog little touches of the places I go and the things I do.
And this summer is no exception.

The new title, AzerbayCANIM, is a play on a common Turkish term of endearment, "canım," literally meaning "my soul" but used more like "dear" or "darling," fitted into the name of the country Azerbaycan (Azerbaijan).

So there you have it.

Things have gone pretty well over the past few months and weeks. I finished the semester pretty strongly in terms of grades, overall satisfied and happy. There were definitely moments of struggle, but my sophomore year of college was immensely enjoyable and successful in most aspects, and I will generally look back on it fondly.
I headed down to St Louis on the 9th with my good friend Abby, who lives in a town just outside the city, and spent a few days with my family before my mom and I FINALLY headed back up to Ann Arbor for a long-awaited visit (more on that in an upcoming post).

Now that I've returned from that trip, I'm doing my best to focus on striking a balance between relaxation and productivity as I gear up for my departure on the 11th of June.
I'm a little nervous, given the haphazard nature of my Turkish skills, and the nerves of venturing to a little-known new place.
But I'm also overflowing with excitement, ready to discover the intricate beauty of Azerbaijan, and bolster my knowledge of one of the languages most special to me.
There's not too much new information. I know now the logistics of the situation - that I will arrive in Washington, D.C. for a pre-departure orientation on June 11th, and that we will fly out to Baku as a group on June 13th, returning the 14th of August. We will fly Lufthansa and connect in Frankfurt both ways.
Still no word on my host family.

I'm not really sure what else I can say for now, so I will be back soon with more.

Take care in the meantime! And enjoy one of my favorite Turkish songs.