Volunteer Blog

Baku, Azerbaijan, February 2014 (By Ryan Thackaberry)

It’s been almost three months now since coming to Azerbaijan and it is beginning to feel like “normal life” here now rather than a new experience.

Ryan Fur Main

I’ve really fallen into the way of life here and have come to grips with so many of the cultural differences as well as the daily routines that differ so much from home. Many of these differences took the form of inconveniences in the early days but have now simply turned into “facts of life” more than anything. Coming to terms with a lot of these has merely been a “get used to it because that’s how it is here”  exercise and you learn to embrace them and adapt to them.

On a more positive note, I’m becoming more immersed in the daily machinations of the ASU and am learning a lot about the NGO sector and how everything fits together, from applying for funding to the challenges faced by the team, its become very clear to me that this is the type of atmosphere that I want to be more involved in.

Whilst it so different to my background, I can draw a lot of similarities too. I’m used to the whole planning/budgets/business part but what I’m coming to really appreciate is the whole feeling of individuality that comes with the role, you are appreciated and recognised for the contributions you make, there’s no one above you taking credit and you’re more than just a “cog in the machine”, you also get the chance to meet so many people from so many countries, you talk, you learn and you party together and this has been amazing.