I am an English Language Fellow providing teacher training workshops and feedback to teachers in Kyrgyzstan so as to make their classes more interactive and fun.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
October 2, 2012
More beautiful weather greeted me this morning, and I simply couldn't believe that it was 43 degrees outside as my Google page stated. Since
all my winter clothing is still in Dushanbe and Ryan might not arrive until
next week, I had to put on my jeans, a shirt, the heavy sweatshirt Matilde had
given me and socks to walk to the Osh Bazaar to buy produce. It didn't feel
cold at all even when people around me strolled around wearing fancy coats and
It was pleasant three block walk to the market and I had no trouble
buying everything I wanted: eggplant, carrots, cilantro, potatoes, bananas,
pears, mixed dried fruit, raisins, tomatoes, dill, pickled mushrooms, cabbage
and even plov seasoning, something Zarina had indicated was not sold here and
she never used when cooking her own version of plov. Just as in Dushanbe, most
vendors had a calculator with them to show me the prices of the items purchased
and the one who didn’t, used my cell phone to punch in the prices for me. And
just as usual, I bought way too many items and had a difficult time making it
back to the apartment with my purchases.
I ate my muesli and took a long shower before departing for
Lingua School where Zarina told me she needed additional information from me on
the lineup of channels I wanted to contact the other cable supplier. The guy
who comes in daily with his meat freshly cooked turnovers showed up and I
bought two of them. Gulnara, Larissa and I retired to the teachers’ lounge
where Larissa prodded us to eat her combination of eggplant fritters with
layers of tomatoes and mayonnaise.
I had to rush to take the marshrutka that would get me to
the American Pilot School and found Zeinep, another English teacher, tutoring
two students of Russian descent. Tatyana showed up a few minutes later and took
me to the main building where I was given a tour of a relatively upscale school,
or gymnasium as they like to call it here. Although it’s a public school, the
parents have to pay 5,400 som a year or a little over $100.00 to get their kids
into this school. The halls were spotless, there were flowers on the front
entrance, and a snack-vending counter at the front in addition to a gym and
cafeteria where even the parents are allowed to come and have lunch with their
One of many posters on display honoring teachers
On the occasion of Saturday being the day of the teacher in
Kyrgyzstan, the halls were decorated with numerous posters made by the students
to honor their teachers. I was taken to a biology classroom containing a smart
board and tons of plants as the teacher here had won the right to be the first
one in the country to have a smart board.
I got to observe an older female student teach an eighth
grader class for 45 minutes and subsequently observed Tatyana’s class. I told
both teachers that I’d need to summarize my notes and meet with them
individually to discuss what I had observed and my suggestions, if any, for
With Tatjana at the American Pilot School
As I walking to the bus stop, I was approached by a young
man who wanted to confirm I was the fellow that would be making future
presentations at his university. He was currently doing his internship at the
pilot school and was happy to know that I’d be doing some teacher training for
members of his class. I gave him my card and asked him to call me if he needed
I didn’t return to Lingua School as I decided to find my way
home on my own. I managed to make it back to the Beta store where I got the
dish rack I needed and bought some additional grocery items such cinnamon,
which I had forgotten to pack, rice, beans and butter. I think I’m pretty
stocked up with everything I need now.
I was able to cook the beef and lamb brought from the
Chinese place with lots of eggplant, but it was still way too spicy. I ate it
with some Turkish bread and turned to face the long list of topics provided by
both the Forum Association and the Kyrgyz National University. I have a lot of
work ahead of me.