Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

I had a stunning view of the low-lying hills this morning from the third floor landing. The clouds had dissipated overnight and the temperature risen slightly. I had no trouble making coffee and took it back to my room to drink it while catching up with my emails and Facebook postings. I chose to wear a skirt as there seemed to be little chance of rain.

Once again, I had to carry my handbag, the tote full of cards and games, and the plastic shopping bag full of handouts. Thankfully, the walk wasn’t so far. Baktigul, an employee at the university, was waiting for us at the door and some teachers were already mingling around the foyer.

I was dismayed to see that we had only small chairs with a writing surface attached to them instead of tables and chairs that could be moved around. Except for a lectern in a corner, there wasn’t any other piece of furniture. We asked Baktigul for at least one table where to place the laptop and projector.

I went first doing an introductory game and then the classroom management presentation. I forwent the coffee break and instead worked on getting all my cards ready for the different games included in the collocation presentation. Lunch was an unpalatable plate of plov and radish salad in the university’s canteen. I couldn’t even finish it.

The collocation presentation went rather well and was followed by Elvira’s presentation on speaking activities. I was simply falling asleep and had to go for a walk around the small campus, more like a business office building. I walked across the street to the restaurant Aiperi had pointed to yesterday as being opened for dinner only.

The doors were locked, but I could see two waitresses bustling around and knocked to get their attention. I was informed the restaurant was open from ten in the evening to twelve noon. When I returned to the classroom, Elvira was wrapping up her session and asking the teachers who were members of Forum to stay for a meeting with Gulnara who was on her way.

Willoughby and Gulnara were delayed and so I started by asking the teachers to brainstorm about problems or issues with the Forum chapter in Jalal-Abad. One teacher said she hadn’t been active for the last three years and another said there were no fixed dates for meetings or scheduled workshops. Members were not paying dues and the coordinator was the only one taking care of all tasks related to the organization.

When Gulnara came in, I ceded the floor to her and she asked all those presents to be aware that their coordinator was stepping down and new candidates were needed to fill the post and create new ones. I suggested that a treasurer, secretary and vice president be added as officers to lighten the coordinator’s load.

The teachers were obviously tired after a long day of training and indicated that they would think about their options and make a decision by the end of the seminar on Friday. I got Baktigul to allow me to keep the key to the room so I could leave all of our materials there.

We invited Gulnaz to have dinner with us and headed to another restaurant past our guest house. A wedding was being hosted in the main area and were allowed into a side room where we ordered some salads and more meat. I swear I’ve eaten more meat this week than in this entire year.

Willoughby told me they had been unable to get direct flight to Jalal-Abad and had flown to Osh and then taken a taxi to get here. She was staying in a hotel in the city center while Gulnara was staying with friends nearby. I really couldn’t see the purpose of their trip to speak to Forum members since Elvira and I could have taken take of that task on our own.

Willoughby’s landlady has informed her that her son is getting married and wants to move into the apartment she’s renting. If unable to find a suitable apartment of equal comfort, Willoughby is threatening to return to the States for good as the $250.00 she’s currently paying wouldn’t get much close to the city center, and she hates the suburbs.

When our visitors departed, I got ready to go to sleep earlier than usual as my body was screaming for some rest.

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