Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

The fog was thick enough to obscure even the top of the buildings around the courtyard presaging the snowstorm that have has been forecast for tonight. I got dressed to get to the bakery and the supermarket to get a few more things for the evening’s meal and could tell the minute I stepped outside that the temperature had dropped considerably. On the spur of the moment, I decided to try my credit card at the ATM inside the Narodi Supermarket and viola! soms came out flying from the machine for the daily limit of 8000. I was so relieved not to have to bother my sister to contact the bank on my behalf.

I rode the marshrutka to the underpass, collected the laminated materials and then proceeded to the Arabaev University so I could put together all the materials for the session on grammar games. I had emailed Jyrdal earlier attaching all the handouts, but she hadn’t acknowledged their receipt. This is one practice in Kyrgyz society that is driving me up the wall as no one seems inclined to respond to emails at all.

The young woman staffing the resource center allowed me to work at one of the tables and then called Jyrdal confirming all handouts had been printed and would be brought up to the center a few minutes later. This young woman then told me she was a graduate of the Lingua program and had graduated from the Kyrgyz International University where my Russian teacher had been her teacher as well. Small world, indeed.
Twelve teachers showed up for the session, and in spite of the crowded conditions seemed to enjoy the activities and asked for both the presentation and handouts so they could replicate the games in their own classrooms.

Coming out of the building, I notice the first snowflakes coming down and I went straight home thereafter as both Willoughby and Elvira would be coming by earlier to discuss the book adaption proposal and I also wanted to start cooking right away. When Willoughby showed up, she informed she’d decided not to spend the night as she needed to travel out of town the following morning and would need to be at home to do the necessary packing.

We had a glass of white wine, which was not too dry, and then joined Elvira to discuss the project. Willoughby informed us that a Peace Corps volunteer had already started the book adaptation plan and she even had the materials in her flashdrive. We both copied them to our computer and flashdrive and agreed to meet tomorrow to continue the discussion.

Gulnara, from Forum, showed up with three of her students who work for that language school, Express Learning, I had laughed at when I first saw their sign. They were a bit miffed when I mentioned I had taken a photo of their sign and posted it on Facebook expressing my amusement at it.

                                Willoughby, Elvira, Bermet, Gulnara and Saadat at our first meeting

No one else showed up for the book, not even Rebecca, the co-host, and she didn’t even bother to call with an excuse. Needless to say, no one from Lingua showed up either. We had soup with flat bread, the fruit bars Willoughby had baked, coffee, tea and wine and then repaired to the living room to discuss the format of the book should there be other opportunities to hold it.

Willoughby agreed to hold the one in January and three books were exchanged as neither Gulnara nor Elvira had brought a book that could have been donated. Gulnara expressed her gratitude for the idea of a book club where teachers could talk about reading, but admitted she had no time for such activity and was hoping that the younger teachers, unmarried and childless, would be the one to keep the club going.

Elvira offered to give Willoughby a ride home when her husband came to pick her up and I went to bed exhausted.

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