Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 19, 2013

It was a beautiful morning and I set out early on to catch up on all my pending emails before turning to my presentation for the day. I sent the handouts to Zarina to be printed and made arrangements to have the Lingua driver pick up the two couch surfers that were coming to stay with me from Dubai. It was only for one night and it dovetailed nicely into my schedule.

I stopped at the ATM to withdraw money, exchanged it at the next bank and then boarded the marshrutka to take me to the seamstress. A young woman promptly sidled up to me and showed me she had a business card I’d given her last year. I had no recollection of ever meeting her, but she mentioned she studied at KNU and was graduating in June as an interpreter although her English was halting at best.

When I informed her as to my destination, she insisted on coming along so she could practice her English and also to ask me if I knew anyone who could hire her. I didn't have the heart to tell her that her level of fluency would never get her job when competition was so fierce and there were so many other students out there who could actually speak English reasonably well.

My suit was ready and looked quite professional. I decided to also spurge and buy the celebratory hats, coming from Uzbekistan, that women used to wear in Tajikistan so I could display them on a wall back in Florida. Exiting the market, I bought some flat bread and said goodbye to the student who was heading to a bank nearby, but not before promising we’d stay in touch.

Zarina was waiting for me to show her how to configure the certificates for the pre-service teachers as she was going to be the one taking them to the embassy for the required signature. She had the handouts ready for me and then I was told about the lunch the next to celebrate Navruz. I was expected to contribute an American dish. I told them I had no time to cook since I was expecting company and they had informed at the last minute. I offered to bring a salad from the bazaar.

I went to the classroom to rearrange the tables into individual ones with four teachers sitting around them so we could play grammar games comfortably. There were 33 people in the room and it was suffocatingly hot as the windows couldn’t be opened and the A/C didn’t work. In spite of the discomfort, the teachers appeared to have fun.

I returned home while the sun was still out, a first for the season. I had leftovers and then sat down to watch a disturbing film, “Take Shelter” about a about an impending disaster. The director did a tremendous job in keeping the film totally absorbing throughout.

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