Thursday, August 26, 2010

Conversation Cafe'

I love projects.
LOVE projects
I love the brainstorming stage when your mind is just a jumbled mess of creativity.
I'm addicted to making lists (even though I never seem to accomplish anything I put on them)
I love setting goals and deadlines and breaking them later.
I love tangible progress.
I love when a project is finished and what once was only a picture in your head is right there in front if you.
I hate and love the nagging desire to scrap it all and change everything (because the possibilities are endless)
Like this blog for example
Some days I want bells and whistles.
Some days I want black and white and words.

I have been working on a project for the past few months that is very dear to my heart. Its not quite finished yet, but its gettin there. A few months after we got to Azerbaijan our team started teaching English at a well established English school here. A few months after that one of the directors asked who would be interested in starting a small scale cafe' in an empty space at the school.
I said pick me.
Then I said whats the budget look like?
He said budget?
Problem var

We have accomplished a whole lot on almost nothing so far.
The cafe' is super small scale. Tables, chairs, self serve cofe va chai.
Games, music, a few stolen carpets from the teacher's lounge.

The idea is to give students a cool atmosphere outside of class where they can practice English, work on homework or just play games and relax before class. The vision is to get into their lives and make deeper relationships.

We have been overwhelmed with how attracted the students are to the cafe'. Some will come hours before their class starts just to hang out and talk with no real agenda all, just to be there. We are finishing up our summer semester where the attendance is 1/3 of what it is during the fall semester. Even now there are times when the cafe' is packed with no room left. We welcome this problem.

This is a samovar. It is used for heating up water for tea. Over here, tea (chai) is made by first making a small pot of loose leaf concentrate. You mix the concentrate with the hot water to make your tea as dark or light as you want.

this is part of Ryan's class. they are great.


  1. Noelle! This is awesome! This is totally right up your alley! I love that you're getting to do something you're good at and enjoy doing. ok, that's it, next time we skype, i'm not talking at all and YOU are doing all the recapping. i feel like i have no idea what goes on over there.

  2. Noelle -- this is really cool!! Thank you for posting it on your blog :)

  3. : ) so great! i got your package...ahhahahahah i loved every bit of it! I put Selah in the cupcake outfit and was so excited to take some pictures and send them to you...and then she pooped everywhere : ) So I will send photos after next laundry day. All my love!

  4. OH!! wonderful!! i'm so glad you got the package! I probably had more fun making it than you did opening it. sweet Selah...she just wasn't feelin dress up time. yes please, i would love to see more pictures :-)

    Ria- thanks for your comments! its encouraging to know people are stoppin by :-) great job on Laurel and Andrew's engagement photos by the way - i just recently saw them and they were just too stinkin cute!