Monday, April 8, 2013
April 8, 2013
I got to Lingua on time for my meeting with Anna and brought Zarina a couple of crystal items I had purchased for the apartment and no longer would need so she could have them for her own flat. She appeared to be completely taken aback by my gesture and very pleased at the end. I had given her my crystal vase a few weeks ago as well.
Anna was a bit late, so I started to review my PowerPoint presentation for Thursday and then stopped when she got in. We worked on the schedule for the CATEC with only the days and times while the bigger task of plugging the names of each presenter will take a while longer. We agreed to meet on Wednesday again.
Zarina had asked me to stay until 12:30 as Gulnara, Leila and Natasha had had birthdays over the weekend and pizza had been ordered for everyone to enjoy. Douglas, Matthew and his wife Elise were also present for the celebration. The honorees were given towels as presents and someone brought in a bouquet of flowers made from balloons.
I happened to sit next to Gulnara and while partaking of the desultory sushi and dry pizza, she mentioned she’d notice that I was very active on Facebook. I informed her that my Facebook page was my soapbox, a term she didn’t understand, or platform for me to express my views and advocate for change. I could see from the expression on her face that she felt my views might be too extreme for her.
On my way home, I stopped at the underpass and got some pages laminated and then walked on to the NT stationery store to buy plastic pages for the workshop on Saturday, a modified version of the popular “Six Hats” approach to critical thinking. I walked home getting rid of my sweatshirt along the way as the weather had become quite warm indeed.
When I turned on my computer, I found that both Gulnara from Lingua and Chynara had replied to the letters sent by Forum and the vitriol was all over them. Gulnara from Forum as well as Elvira immediately fired emails to Willoughby and me asking for us to compose a suitable reply. I told them I had no time for that at that moment and that there’s no need to reply immediately.
Matthew, whom I had asked to create a cover page for my resource booklet, sent me scathing SMS telling me he didn’t appreciate my mentioning to other Peace Corps volunteers that he had let me down on numerous occasions and that perhaps he didn’t care for any of the projects I had asked him to help out with. So instead of telling me “no” to my face, he just blew me off hoping I’d get the message. Such a mature way to act.
Two ELFs wrote emails to me wanting to have their colleagues be accepted to CATEC even though the deadline had passed even for those wanting to participate paying their own expenses. Chris had carbon copied Jennifer on his email, and she piped in saying Lingua couldn’t deny access to the conference to those who were self-funded.
I mentioned to Jennifer that I had made the same point to Anna in the morning, but her riposte had been that the resort couldn’t accommodate more people than those already accepted. Jennifer sent an email to the entire CATEC committee reminding her that this was an open conference and those wishing to stay somewhere else should be allowed to participate.
The organization of this conference is beginning to give me a headache.