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 even boots.

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 children.

                                   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 improvement.

                                    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 any help.

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.

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