Two New Uncles

Beautiful Persian rugs in Azerbaijan

Our final day in Azerbaijan was a day trip to the American Corner in Salyan. 

Not far from the Iranian border, Salyan was dry, warm, and the streets were lined with pine trees. Just like in the U.S.; weather, food, culture, and people are unique region-to-region. What’s especially interesting about that is Azerbaijan is about the same square mileage as the state of South Carolina. 

We warmed up our voices and instruments, did a sound check, recorded a video of a song that we learned in the Azerbaijani language called “Sene de Qalmaz,” and recorded a video of a newer song I’ve written called “Try to Trade.” (*Take a listen and see the cool library space in this new video): 

Before the concert, our group went out for lunch and ate local river fish kebab-style. 

Fish kebab

When we arrived back at the library, the audience was politely seated at the desks that stretched across the room. I introduced the band and myself and said “even though this is a library, and it’s usually a quiet place, today I wanna hear some hands clappin’, feet stompin’, and voices singin’!” 

By the end of the show, it was an all out dance party… We had so much fun. Our new friends were very appreciative and seemed eager to practice English with us.

Group selfie after our concert!

That night, we went out for one final, large meal with our hosts in Baku. We walked back to the hotel together and said a long goodbye.

As we parted, our friends Fargani and Hickmat said to tell my son Theo that he has two new uncles. It was a really sweet thing to say, and a gesture of friendship that was both heartfelt and endearing. 

I’ve heard it said that if you want to get to know what someone’s personality and attitude is really like, travel with him or her. Perhaps that is why tight bonds of friendship form quickly on these tours. 

We woke up early the next morning, drove to the airport, and our eyes looked over Baku one final time on this tour before turning their gaze toward Georgia.