Monday, March 11, 2013
March 11, 2013
My internet connection refused to work this morning despite my unplugging the router and restarting the computer several times. I boarded a very crowded trolley to get to Lingua so I could catch up with my email and Facebook postings before we started the review for applicants again.
Zarina notified me that twenty-one pre-service teachers had signed up for the workshops and she just needed to confirm they’d be fine with attending three days this week and then returning for one more session when I got back from Shymkent. She was hoping to have confirmation by the end of the day.
Anna arrived and started to print the remaining applications while I composed a list of the applications that had been sent to me in an effort to make sure no one was left out of the list. Natalia arrived a bit late and joined us in the review. We had over 140 applications for the now reduced number of only 60 participants from Kyrgyzstan.
We will have to meet one more time since Anna needed to contact some of them to clarify what they intended to do during their presentations. Overall, most of the applicants to the conference failed to address the questions in it including their affiliation, the summary of their presentation as it would have appeared in the program, or a logical abstract to give the reviewers a good look at what they intended to do.
Willoughby came by as we were finishing as I had invited her to join Zamira and me for lunch at the Frunze restaurant. Before leaving, Natalia and Gulnara sat down with me to indicate they wanted to have an opening ceremony for the workshops I’d be presenting where Johanna and someone from the Ministry of Education could be present. I told them to make whatever arrangements were suitable as I was completely flexible.
Zamira came by with her sister Rima and we were joined by yet another sister at the restaurant. They ordered perhaps seven or eight dishes, and as it’s their norm by now, refused to let us pay our share. Zamira wanted for me to go with her to her parents’ house, but I told her Willoughby needed help in purchasing some electronic equipment and to drop us off at the Tsum department store.
Willoughby decided to buy a one terabyte portable hard drive and a Kindle reader and I have to admit I didn’t believe readers of any kind would be available in Bishkek given the fact that people around here don’t seem to read at all. Low and behold, we found two kiosks selling the Kindle reader and she got her wish.
We walked to the coffee house located in the park near Lingua where Wi-Fi was available and I urged Willoughby to try her new toy and see if she could access the Internet from there. The appliance is too small for my taste and the buttons diminutive, so I didn’t even try, but she persisted and was able to get the signal from the business and log on to amazon.com.
It was warm enough at this point that the coffee house had the air conditioning on, but when I boarded the trolley, the heat was on in it. I was sweating buckets. Once I was dropped off, I walked across the street for water and juice and was then relieved to find that my Internet connection was working again.