My Brother’s Got a Job, But I Don’t
There are a few obstacles to finding work here. First, I still have limited language skills. That’s problematic. Another is that people generally don’t really understand why we are here. Why would an American choose to come to Azerbaijan, and then also work for no money. That makes no sense whatsoever. To top it off, this American is just sort of popping in and out of places offering vague allusions to “helping.” That must be weird.
In any case, with the collapse of the credit union, I’ve got a few things coming up that might work out. The first is that there is a credit union in Masallı, about 45 minutes north of here, that I could visit a few times per week. Apparently it’s a very good credit union (relative to others in Azerbaijan, of course), but I’m told the director of said credit union is rather stoic. The guy from the CIA told me that he is a “cold person.” At this point, if he’s cold but still does the job right, I’ll take it. The last director I worked with may have had a great community reputation and was well-known, but that is certainly not indicative of the job he did at Araz Kredit İttifaqı. I’ll probably be able to better explore that situation after the Novruz holiday.
Another promising opportunity is at AccessBank. I wrote a bunch of dry posts on AccessBank a while ago, here, here, and here. And their website is over there on the right. You can also see that they’ve really expanded their business in Africa recently, attempting to take advantage of the returns on microfinance there. I met with a few people at the local branch here, talked with other Volunteers about their experiences at AccessBank, and have started thinking about teaching a basic business english course there. I might also have opportunities to contribute to marketing and their corporate social responsibility projects.