Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 11, 2013

I got up earlier than usual conscious of the fact that I needed to go to the Osh bazaar to do my shopping before heading to the seminar. Shortly before eight, I got on a marshrutka and made a lightning fast shopping trip where I got the two kilos of imported American chicken legs, tomato paste, beans, and cilantro and green olives in addition to some luscious cherries for my delectation.

I was back on the bus by half past eight and home by nine. I picked the beans, rinsed them and then left them soaking for the entire day. I marinated the chicken, placed it in the fridge and then took a shower and got dressed.

I had an easier time reaching the Demi Guesthouse this morning since I was able to take the #11 trolley which dropped me off about three blocks from the site. It was still a hike to get there especially since I was carrying my laptop. I made it in just before the coffee break.

The presentations today took place in Russian, contrary to what Willoughby had requested, as evidently there aren’t enough fluent English speakers to perform this type of presentation. The doctor who came in to speak about the distribution and spread of HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan read straight from his PowerPoint and I was amazed to see that the participants remained awake throughout.

Natalia came in at noon so we could have lunch together and discuss the situation with Forum. The former Wasabi restaurant is now called Mojito, in Russian of course, and was completely empty but with three huge flat-screen TV blaring at every corner.

I ordered a pasta dish with smoked salmon and even that took about an hour to be prepared. The dish wasn’t bad, but I can’t see how that place can stay in business. I gave Natalia my frank opinion on the status of Forum, its officers, and the future of teacher training in Kyrgyzstan. She’d like for all of us to meet for coffee one last time before my departure.

The greatest accomplishment of my day was finishing the table of contents for the e-book while attending the seminar. Willoughby congratulated me as she knew how much I’d struggled to finish this project. I still need to go over the answer keys and assign a number to each entry, but that should be a piece of cake.

I stayed at the guesthouse until it was time for dinner as I had nothing to eat at home and it was really hot outside anyway, so it was nice to be in an air conditioned space. The food was the usual bland variety, but we had something new labeled “French meat”, beef covered with mashed potatoes and grated cheese.

Just as I was about to leave the guesthouse, the rain started and I had no umbrella or shawl. I missed the trolley by about a minute as it was turning the corner just as I got to the intersection. The next one took another twenty minutes to show up.

When I got home, I started to cook the beans and the remaining pork chop and tested the A/C to see if it would be able to cool off the entire apartment for tomorrow evening. It seemed to work just fine, so should be able to enjoy a respite from the heat. I had enough time to upload the photos of the initial day of the seminar to the Forum's Facebook page as Gulnara had requested.

No one else has written to confirm attendance for the book club. Max had written to say he had had a family emergency and was leaving the country earlier than planned that same day. I was really disappointed to hear that because he had been the most articulate and funny of all the participants in the meetings.

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