Hello from Virginia, USA.  Yes, I'm still in the states.  At this point, I'm still packing up my apartment getting ready for my summer internship with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in Baku, Azerbaijan.  Baku?  Where on Earth is that?  Well, as you can see from the map, it's to the west of the Caspian Sea, above Iran, below Russia, and west of Georgia. 



Azerbaijan was a part of the U.S.S.R. until its collapse in 1991.  Azerbaijan is an oil rich nation, the majority of its citizens are Turkic and the country's primary religion is Islam. 

Technically, my ten week internship doesn't start until June 15, 2009.  Starting late, right?  Well, immediately after my externship ends, I am headed to Beijing, China to study abroad for the fall semester.  One of the coolest things about my program is their flexibility -- when I told them I would be studying abroad in the fall, the Program Director worked with me so I wouldn't have to spend all my loan money (poor law student) flying back and forth to the U.S. 

I'm really looking forward to the summer, even though I don't know what to expect. I don't even have a place to live yet!  I will show up in Baku on June 14 with no place to live -- apparently, once I arrive someone from the program takes me around and shows me a couple options for places to live.  I don't really know what I'll encounter; thankfully, I'm a pretty laid back person -- all I need is a clean place to sleep and a bit of running water.  I will let you know how it all works out!