I was invited to Baku, Azerbaijan, by a university student, Elnur, whom Mark and I met in Istanbul. Mark is a friendly fellow, and when I travel with him....I meet lots of people. Elnur wanted me to meet his mother, who is also a school teacher, like myself. Although I have the credentials of a public school teacher, I only teach my own children at home....but non-the-less....he thought we would enjoy knowing each other.
Ayur and Flowers Photo by Kari
The next time I was in Istanbul visiting our son, Andrew, I decided to hop on over to Baku....well, fly, actually. It was right after some new James Bond movie came out, "The World is Not Enough", which happened to take place in Istanbul and Baku. I even happened to see the film on the flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Guess what my flight's number was? Yup....007!
So....there you have one of the family's jobs in Azerbaijan -- school teaching. I was really hoping to visit her classroom, but alas, that did not materialize. It turns out that having a guest from the USA was quite a big deal and she took time off of teaching to be with me and cook for me! I was honored.
When I mentioned a desire to visit the Azerbaijan school, the request fell flat. I don't think she was too pleased with or proud of her school. As the days went on, I learned more. Her salary amounted to an equivocate of $30/month...yes, month. There is little or no heat in the building and she never takes off her coat. That alone said a ton. I could only imagine the rest. The children were unruly and didn't want to learn. She had migraine headaches often. The last thing she wanted to do was go back there on her few days off.
Their daughter, however, Ayur, had a jobs Azerbaijan that got the whole family boasting. She worked for ANS TV which is like CNN TV in the USA. Here she is with this fabulous bouquet of flowers that she is bringing to a birthday party at ANS.
I was fortunate to join her for the party, which was a blast.
Being a powerful jobs Azerbaijan journalist is a very esteemed position anywhere and especially in Baku, which was still very much emerging from the communist Russian era when I was there.
The father was a retired Russian soldier complete with benefits--free rent, free heat, free transportation--which he was very proud of and which caused him to hold on tenaciously to his jobs Azerbaijan communist point of view.
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