A Great Find
One of the really cool things about Lənkəran is that they actually have a rather robust group of english-speakers here. There is a program called the American Course that turns out fantastic speakers, there is an American Center in the library, the local state university has a decent english program, and there is a brilliant group here called AzETA, the Azerbaijani English Teachers Association. I’m sure there are even more programs helping people with english. What this means is that there are quite a few FLEX, UGRAD, and Muskie students, American exchange students, around Lənkəran, and they are generally a joy to work with.
This is especially the case with a prospective Muskie student, Aytəkin, who called me last week about helping with her interview and test prep. We’ve enlisted the help of the other PCVs around here to prepare and things are going pretty well. Since she’s made it through round one, the application, we already know she’s got to be pretty good. But talking with her and her sister, a former FLEX student (studied in California), we’ve realized that we stumbled upon a real gem here in the south. To give you an idea of what we’re discussing, she’s interested in the use of new media, like social networking and blogs, to help bring democracy and free speech to Lənkəran and then Azerbaijan. We’ve talked about things like women’s rights, Azerbaijani culture, and destroying stereotypes. It’s been a lot of fun spending time with her family and helping her with the preparation. Her interview is this week!