I was working in a lovely mountain village last week at a camp for kids. Peace Corps volunteers there got the idea to create a camp for four weeks and organized it. We served 60 kids and it was a lot of fun. But despite the mountain setting, it was HOT.
Part of the week, there was no water in one of the volunteers' homes. It was difficult for them. We had water where I was staying, but it smelled really bad and came out of the tap sandy. Mountain or no mountain, the water there is bad.
I came home today on a 3 1/2 hour hot ride in a dilapidated van that serves as a bus between my community and the other one. I found that we had no water at our house either, but the rest of the neighborhood did. Despite this, yesterday my family had a circumcision ceremony at the house for a 14 year old relative and killed a lamb there too for good luck. I am glad I was not there.
The relatives are lovely (the boy is holed up in another room for 10 days), but I wish we had water. I have a lot of dirty clothes.
I left to go to the internet club and buy a watermelon (delicious and cheap, but hard to get home) and read these factoids from the Peace Corps monthly newsletter for Azerbaijan volunteers:
If you need to blow your nose, leave the room. It is acceptable to gently dab at your nose in front of others, but not to blow your nose. If you are in la ocation in which you cannot leave (say, for example, on a 6 hour bus ride), you may blow your nose but try to be as discreet as possible.
It is believed that for women and children, sitting on cement is bad for your health (bad for reproductive health).
Appearance is everything. Do not wear clothes with mud. Clean your shoes. Bring napkins/rag on a muddy day to clean your shoes before lessons. Iron your clothes. Men: Shave your face. Keep your hair cut clean.
I am going home to sit in front of the fan.