Volunteer: Jessica Alcantara
From: New York City (Washington Heights)
Graduated: from Dartmouth College in 2008
Currently: Youth Development PCV in Azerbaijan
Contributions from Jessica Alcantara
In Azerbaijan us PCV's use the word 'guest' as a verb, and 'going guesting' usually involves visiting an HCN's house, bringing them a small gift, having many cups of tea, and being greeted with a LOT of delicious food! Pictured here are: fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, an assortment of pickled items, stoliçni (an Azerbaijan potato salad), uç bacı dolması (three sister dolma, which is stuffed eggplant, tomato, and pepper), and a fresh pasta & chicken dish whose name I forget.
One of the volunteers had a birthday a few days before Christmas, and a bunch of his HCN friends threw him a party at a local restaurant, complete with a Christmas tree! We gathered in front of the tree with the local Şaxta Baba (Azerbaijan's version of Santa Claus) for a PCV family photo. (Please Note that Santa Claus is smoking hookah, haha.)