Shahdag and Christmas


It’s been a couple months since my last post. I’ve been meaning to write, but I got caught up in school work and fulfilling the requirements for my study abroad program. I apologize in advance for the delay in responses, but I do have a few blog post ideas in mind and will be sharing them with you all. I will like to continue from where I left off last. Last time I wrote it was November and had visited the mountain city of Sheki. Since then so much has happened… It’s also crazy to think that i’ve been in Azerbaijan for almost 6 months now.

The winter months are always a hard time for students studying abroad. Why? Because November, December, and January are filled with holidays that we usually spend with families members if we are so fortunate. This time of year is definitely one where students can feel very vulnerable and alone. That is why it is important to stay active during these months hang out with friends, try new things, and call your mom every now and then. The Overseas Turkish Language Flagship, the program I am on, did a good job on keeping our minds off of being away from our family members. We have grown so close to each other that we are now our own little family in the Caucasus Mountains.

Our Resident Director organized a trip for us to go Skiing and spend Christmas together in Shahdag. Now I am from Florida, so my exposure to Winter sports has been very limited. I am always open to new things and at least attempt activities. The snow and a slight cold did not stop  me from strapping on skis and having a go skiing. However, gravity had something else in mind as I went down my first slope and plane crashed in front of everyone. Falling on snow and ice doesn’t hurt that much, but after awhile you do start to feel something. I didn’t have a problem with falling, but it was a bit more dramatic than I wanted as I did not just fall, but I also slid and my ski equipment was left sprawled all over the mountain slope. Nonetheless it was fun, I will try skiing again at some point, but I think I will take a course before I do it again.

On Christmas night we gathered in one of the student’s hotel room and proceeded to play a game of “White Elephant”. Surprisingly enough I had never played a White Elephant game before, so as you can tell I had a few “firsts” on this trip. Being on the mountain was a much needed change of pace from our daily lives in Baku. Breathing the fresh air allowed my lungs to rejuvenate. I’d like to go back to Shahdag, perhaps in the Spring when the mountains are covered in green fields.