Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 22, 2013

I was delighted to see bright blue skies and torrents of sunshine streaming through both the kitchen and living room windows. After making my coffee and catching up with the news of the day, I was ready to tackle the kitchen duties. I stir fried the broccoli, boiled the pumpkin and marinated both the pork chops and pork ribs to make soup later on.

I did the dishes, cleared up the table of all other grocery items and put away the eggplant and cauliflower I hadn’t had the time to cook. I was able to do one load of laundry and had to spread this load over the furniture to allow it to dry as the rack was still full of drying clothes.

It was time to get ready to meet Natalia and Jennifer for lunch at a restaurant just about three blocks from my flat. I had a difficult time finding it because it wasn’t at the corner as Natalia had indicated, but a little up the street. We sat outdoors on beautiful rattan furniture and I ordered the fried lagman and salad I usually have, but instead of the tomatoes and cucumber I normally get, I was presented with a huge salad with no dressing of any kind.

A request for oil and vinegar went unanswered and by the time the noodles came, I had to hurry up and eat about half of it before it was time for us to go to Lingua. I had the waiter bring me a container for the lagman and the salad went into a plastic bag so I could have it for dinner.

The embassy driver dropped us off at Lingua where we met with Anna to go over the tentative schedule for the CATEC conference. Anna appeared to be angry at the requests for changes that Jennifer was making and especially her opposition to the addition of an extra session for Amanda, the ELF who used to be posted at Lingua.

Anna had a class at two and had to leave the meeting. I agreed to try and make the changes to the timetable once Anna sent me the entire document. It’s going to take quite a bit of work to make all the changes Jennifer wants, but I’ll do what I can knowing that Anna has done a lot of the work on her own.

We proceeded to the grand opening of the McMillan book shop attached to Lingua. There was the usual lineup of speakers from the Ministry of Education, McMillan representatives, and embassy employees and so on. The pre-service teachers, who had just completed their methodology course at Lingua, were also present so that Jennifer could officially hand them their certificates of completion.

Jennifer had requested that I try to fill my remaining time in Bishkek, now that schools and universities were closing for the summer, with activities for the Access students. I informed her about my intentions of traveling abroad with Willoughby for at least one week. She in turn asked me if she spend the night at my apartment before departing for Almaty Friday morning.

Rebecca was present and we had a little bit of time to talk about the upcoming teacher training sessions for Accels teachers and the summer camps for the Micro Scholarship program. She didn’t have a timetable ready yet, but promised to keep me informed about its progress.

After the speeches were finished and certificates handed out, we had time for coffee and pastries. I ran into Tatiana from the IUCA who had a question regarding the IBT, but I don’t know a single person who’s taken the TOEFL online and could comment on it. Gulnara commented that although she’d invited all members of Forum to attend the event, no one had shown up. Johanna and I talked for few minutes before she’d to move on to another event.

I made it home and put away the marinated pork chops in individual Ziploc bags while cooking the pork ribs so they would be ready for tomorrow when I’ll make some red lentil soup with them. I ate the remaining lagman for dinner and watched the movie “Everybody Says I Love You”, an unusual musical filmed by Woody Allen back in 1997. I really don’t remember ever reading about it and didn’t find it as satisfactory as other films in his oeuvre.

Anna forwarded the CATEC program pages without even including a greeting to me, that’s how mad she’s about the whole thing. Who can blame her? She’s probably overloaded with her classes as it is and then on top of that she’s got to work on this project for which she probably never volunteered in the first place.

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