Friday, June 28, 2013

June 23, 2013

The flight from Saint Petersburg to Bishkek lasted five hours. For the first time, I got to observe the moon shining on the left side of the plane while the sun rose on my right. It was quite a thrilling experience.

The airline had allowed me to bring on board my bulky backpack since it was essentially empty, so we were able to skip customs and just walked out where an older taxi driver offered to take us into the city for a combined fee of 600 soms. While approaching my flat, Willoughby discovered that she was missing her house key and I invited her to my place to make other arrangements.

The key didn’t turn up in her handbag or backpack, so she called her landlady who would not pick up her phone. I offered her coffee and my couch if she still needed to sleep some more. I got to work on my many messages and other tasks while she slept. When she woke up, there was still no return call from Tatiana, so we went together to the supermarket nearby so I could buy water, milk, juice and other staples. 

Temperature outside was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and inside it didn’t feel much cooler.

Upon returning, I asked Willoughby to look through the updated version of my resume to see if she had any suggestions. We worked on it for a while as she felt my version was a bit too wordy and that I had overlooked some significant points such as giving that speech in Shymkent.

Tatiana finally called and agreed to meet Willoughby at her flat by 4:00. I spent the rest of the day sending out emails to my RELO, the embassy people and others asking to allow me an earlier leave, five days in fact, so I could go home on the twelfth instead of the seventeenth. I explained my mom’s condition and my desire to be there for her. Jennifer wrote back immediately to say she was fine with it, but I still needed approval from the PAO.

By the late afternoon, the kitchen and study area felt like an oven, so I made sure all windows were closed and turned on the A/C unit to see if it was capable of cooling off the entire apartment. It didn’t quite reach the kitchen; I spend little time there anyway, but the study where my computer is definitely felt more welcoming.

I made a firm commitment to sending out the e-book to everyone before CATEC hoping to get some feedback from some of the participants. I decided to add three more items and as result, I needed to modify the entire index page and its numbering, but it was worth it because the pages dealt with a the use of “so, too, either and neither”, which many teachers here still get confused or don’t use at all. When it got to be half past eleven, I went to bed exhausted, but almost done.

My sinuses continued to feel clogged despite the medication. It’ll probably take another week to clear my lungs completely.

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