Friday, January 18, 2013

January 17, 2013

As luck would have it, the #8 trolley came by the minute I stepped on the curb and took me to Lingua in about fifteen minutes. Willoughby was already there talking to Gulnara in the lunch room and then Elvira, Nurkys, the other Gulnara and a severe-looking woman from the newly-created Center for Professional Development, Emma, joined us and the meeting got started.

We discussed the logistics involving the pre-conference schedule and recommendations were made to contact the RELO and Peace Corps to determine what they would like to see included and how they would contribute to the entire program. Gulnara, from Lingua, wanted to include some sort of survey to determine why some branches of Forum seem to be extremely successful, i.e., Issyk-Kul, while others were not. 

Since my RELO will be visiting the country at the beginning of February, Gulnara suggested offering an additional Forum session on the second to showcase what we do and to allow her to announce the winners of the pre-service teachers competition we held in December. Willoughby and I will decide if enough time would be available to offer a short presentation on Valentine’s Day.

Zarina and the new girl had gone out to lunch at a new Chinese place nearby and the samsi guy didn’t show up. I went downstairs to the Halal Kitchen and ordered lagman noodles to go. I saw that Matthew came and went out of the office, but didn’t acknowledge my presence. I’m so disgusted with his behavior for not showing up, or even offering an excuse, at the winter sessions, that I ignored him as well.

I worked on a variety of projects at Lingua while making time for the construction crew at the apartment to hopefully be finished by the time I got there. I was able to board the #4 trolley after a somewhat lengthy wait and struck a conversation with a young woman who appeared mortified at being found waiting the exact same animal print coat as an older woman behind us. She spoke English reasonable well and turned out to be a student of my colleague Elvira at the American University of Central Asia. Small world.  

I finished the evening by watching the final segment of the three part documentary “Welcome to India”, focused mostly on the state of Kolkata where its residents prepare to celebrate the Mother Durga festival amid the squalor of the city and heavily polluted waters of the Ganges River.  Yes, Indians are to be admired for their resiliency, unbound optimism and blind faith in a better future for their children. Wish I could feel the same way.

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