Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

I boarded the marshrutka to take me to the American Pilot School even though it was slightly crowded as the previous one had been packed to the gills with passengers. Once I got in though, the driver continued to take on more and more passengers and pretty soon at least four women seemed to be draped over the driver and I felt I was beginning to hyperventilate.

The fifteen minute ride seemed interminable as I began to sweat from being squeezed among so many other passengers and the only relief came from knowing this would be my last ride to the school as the teachers were finishing their training today. Elvira was already there to represent Forum as Gulnara had a class to teach. We chatted for a few minutes about our upcoming trip south.

The teachers were divided into groups and each presented a demo lesson demonstrating the interactive way of teaching all four skills. After speeches from the trainers, Natalia, Elvira and myself, we proceeded to hand in their certificates and took the requisite photos for our respective reports. One of the teachers handed me some flowers, which was totally unexpected.

Natalia, Elvira and I then met to hammer out the final details on the budget amendment to our grant for the trip south. Natalia wanted a small portion of the grant to be allocated for a follow up activity at each location and I suggested we trim the budget to give them $100.00 each. I could see that Elvira was displeased with my initiative as she didn’t want to share any portion of it.

I had skipped breakfast and was simply famished at that point. Tatyana asked if I wanted to have lunch at the school canteen and I jumped at the chance. I ordered meatballs; they weren’t meatballs, mashed potatoes and a medley of salads along with hot tea. The ground beef cutlet seemed to have been made with breadcrumbs only and had no flavor or color.

I rode the bus to Lingua where I needed to pick up the remaining TEA applications left with Zarina. My flashdrive refused to open at the usual computer indicating that a virus was present. I chitchatted with Adina, Nargiza and Sephiat for a while and left before the children’s class started there at two. Gulnara came in right before I left and mentioned how happy she was the A/C unit issue had been resolved. She also commented that she really liked my writing style, something that seemed to come out of the blue.

When I got home, I got started on a new presentation on assessment that Elvira indicated was needed based on her survey of the teachers’ needs in Batken. She also mentioned that lesson planning was another area in dire need of exploration, but luckily, I already had a presentation on that topic.

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