Lavish Lankaran: My Future Home
Five weeks in, we now have site placements! After going through housing requirements, organization requirements, and personal interviews, our program manager, Elmir, gave us our placements yesterday, and I’m heading to the south! Off to Lankaran, my own personal Emerald City! Notice it’s location there on the map to the left. (Also notice how Azerbaijan looks like a bird? Right now, were up by the top of the head of the bird)
A few quick hits about Lankaran:
- Stalin was once held as a prisoner in Lankaran
- Lankaran is famous for a dish called Levengi
- Lankaran’s population is about 60% Talysh and 35% Azeri
- My site, being in Lankaran, is very close to Iran
For more, the Wikipedia page as a brief outline of what’s going on in Lankaran.
You might also wonder what I’ll be doing there. The information that I have right now is that I’ve been assigned to a credit union, Araz Credit Union, that works on microcredit lending specifically to farmers. They have about 400 farmers on their rolls in Lankaran, and also have branch offices elsewhere. I don’t know what I’m going to end up doing for them, but my general idea is that I’ll be helping improve their record-keeping and communications. And I’ll probably end up teaching some english lessons, too.
The interesting thing I noted is that they have an office in a small village nearby, in addition to the branch office in Lankaran. So it appears there might be some travel involved between that village and the city each week. We’ll see how it goes! I’ll be meeting with my counterparts at a conference on Friday, and hopefully I’ll get some more information then!