Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

I made it to Lingua by nine in the morning as agreed to with Anna so we could finally conclude the selection process for the CATEC and send the respective letters of acceptance or rejection. We were fortunate to have Jennifer penned those letters for us so that we only needed to make minor changes to them before sending it to the respective recipients. It still took all four hours Anna had available before we paused for the day.

Brice had provided a telephone number for Max, so I called him and discussed traveling together to Taraz and then Shymkent on Friday morning and he agreed to that arrangement. I felt relieved to be traveling with someone else and assured him that Holly would be waiting for us when we got into the city.

While on my way out to get lunch, Zarina informed me that Olga had called in sick and Lingua needed a substitute teacher for her class. I agreed to do it and then walked to a nearby cafeteria where I was able to get a generous serving of plov and a delicious fresh salad along with a glass of compote. The weather was still on the cold side and the skies remained overcast.

I returned to Lingua and made more copies of the cards and strips of collocations for the afternoon sessions since I had never made enough of those for thirty teachers. Sephiat came in then and we chatted for a while as she had a few questions regarding her lesson for that day. She promised to show me the section at the Osh bazaar where the fabric and seamstresses were located so I’d not need to go to the Madina market, which is somewhat distant for me.

The workshop went really well even when I had too many teachers and not enough tables or cards for them to play all the games. I arranged for some of the teachers to serve as observers to insure players were following the rules. The woman who had invited me to her church approached with a piece of paper containing the name of the pastor and the church’s address. I promised to give it to Willoughby who had indicated an interest in attending Easter service.

I took a short break to have a cup of coffee and a couple of biscuits before reporting to Olga’s class and found Douglas in the teachers’ lounge. He seemed deep in thought and somewhat unhappy, so I asked how things were going and he said he needed to quit teaching at Lingua since his internship at the FAO was taking up a lot of time and he was getting credit back home for that service. He had been able to arrange for someone else to take over the class at Lingua later on this week.

Olga’s class had only eight students present and the topic of the day was money. The office didn’t have the corresponding CD, so the listening portion had to be skipped as the students indicated they had never heard of the term “schwa”, and I was not about to try teaching it without any sounds to illustrate the point.

When we were done, the office guy, Janark, offered me money to take a cab home, and Nargiza negotiated with the driver for me. It was great to be able to get home so quickly as I was very hungry indeed.

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