Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

The day started out quite promising as I took my trash out and all the plastic bottles, takeout containers and yogurt cups in a different bag as Anna had advised me that I could leave those on the side of the trash bin and people would come by looking for them for resale. Low and behold, when I got there I saw a grizzled old man, he looked like a bum, rummaging through the trash in search of those same items. I showed him the content of my bag and he happily took it from me.

I unloaded all the pages that needed lamination at the young man’s little place, not bigger than a broom closet, located in the underpass leading to Lingua’s offices and walked there under the most beautiful fall weather one can imagine. Leaves were fluttering in the wind carpeting my path while the sun shone only slightly warming my skin.

Anna was already there and after I took care of my email, we sat together to review the two formats we had selected to decide which one to use for the CATEC event. I’ll be putting the finishing touches on it in preparation for the meeting on Wednesday. Natalia called to say she had arranged for us to meet with the head of the Peace Corps on Thursday at 10:00am and she’ll come to pick me up.

I went back to pick my laminated materials, and they guy had done a terrific job and even had my receipt ready as I had asked him to do. Back down to the Muslim Kitchen for a takeout order of fried lagman noodles, they were out of salad again, and up three flights of stairs to Lingua to cut up the materials into cards to use that afternoon at the Kyrgyz National University. Nargiza mentioned she too had ordered noodles and would be happy to pick up my order. We had lunch together and agreed to go to the botanical gardens on Sunday if Ryan doesn’t make it here this week as she has never been there.

Made it to the university and was met by Gulnara who had left the photocopies of the handouts I had emailed her and needed to move on to another university. She teaches at four of them in order to make ends meet as she has four children. Full time teachers only make $5200.00 som a month or about $113.00 for a teaching load of 18 hours; therefore, many of them either request additional hours, sometimes double that, or teach at other places.

One of the teachers at the workshops, Bazilat, told me she had used the “The Name Game” with her class last week and it had been a hit. Other teachers commented that they really enjoyed my sessions because I always had fun things for them to do. My head was getting really, really big. I asked them to please complete the original survey I had crafted for Forum and was dismayed to see that even these college professors could not understand the questions or provide comments in writing. Some of them returned the form practically empty.

The grammar games were a hit even though we got to play only about half of the repertoire I had created. I promised to email them both the PowerPoint presentation and the handouts so they could recreate them in their classrooms. I was very pleased with their reactions.

Walked home slowly savoring the waning sunlight and appreciating the changing colors of the leaves on every tree as I went by. Once I had dinner, I watched a classic movie I had wanted to see for the longest time: Luis Bunuel’s “Tristana”. Great acting, vivid colors in spite of the age of the film, and an ending that still has me puzzled.

Elvira, from Forum, called tonight to say that Natalia had asked her to help me out with the formatting of the newsletter, and we agreed to meet at Lingua tomorrow to work on it. A most productive day indeed.

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