Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

My body must be getting the right training for I have been able to sleep until 7:30 or 8:00 most morning these days and that is in the absence of my taking any Benadryl to contend with my post nasal drip. I am delighted to have been able to kick the habit, something I had been doing since my days in the Peace Corps more than ten years ago.

I made it to the KazCom Bank’s ATM around the corner from my apartment and this time I got a clear message that my card had been turned down by my bank. There was no sense in my panicking since there wasn't much I could do at that time. I’m so appreciative of having people like Willoughby in my life to lend me money at the drop of a hat, but I’ll have to bother my sister Esther again to intervene with the bank on my behalf.

Since I was close to the Beta stores, I stopped to buy the French roast coffee that Sierra Coffee offers through a kiosk in front of their building. The very handsome young guy tending the kiosk spoke no English and all the labels were in Russian. In exasperation, I finally pointed to my black beret and asked for “chorni” beans and he produced a package that he claimed contained Brazilian coffee.

I walked the rest of the way to Lingua fighting not to be run off the pavement by the Kyrgyz drivers who look at pedestrians as lowly, insignificant nuisances to be scared away whenever possible. I met with Anna and finalized the rubric for the selection of the participants and mailed it to all those involved in the conference.

While waiting for Gulnara to return from lunch, I continued to work on my presentation for tomorrow and on locating a few examples for handouts that the teachers could work on for better understanding. I had to vacate the room at two for Nargiza’s class and then waited for a few minutes to meet with Gulnara who was in the process of delivering a stern lecture to a misbehaving student.

Along with Zarina, we selected the dates for the sessions I’m to going offer beginning on March 5 and ending on March 28, twice a week for four weeks. I asked for twenty participants, a laptop and projector and put no barriers as to who could attend as long as they were fourth and fifth year university students planning on becoming English teachers.

The sunshine was gone by the time I left the building clearly indicating the approach of the snowstorm expected for tomorrow. My boots have come unglued already and I was hoping to have been able to ditch them, but it looks as if more snow is coming our way this week.

I settled down at my computer with the firm resolve of finishing my mid-year report and send it on its way to all those concerned. Willoughby convinced me I was right in mentioning the shabby way I had been treated by the RELO, the embassy and the director at Lingua when it came to notifying me of the non-renewal of my post. I did my best to make it sound professional and not just like I was whining.

In adding up all the expenses I have incurred so far that will need to be reimbursed from my PAA, I found I have just spend $320.00, or practically peanuts. Jennifer recommended waiting until the end of my fellowship to decide if any money was leftover to buy the books Lingua had requested last summer as the PAA wasn't actually intended to build up the host institution’s library.

I skyped with my sister and she informed me my bank had sent a new debit card and that she had mentioned it to me before but I had disregarded the note. I really don’t understand that since the one I have doesn't expire until 2014. She’ll call the bank on my behalf to figure out what can be done until I receive the new one.

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