Thursday, September 10, 2009

Somebody Hit the Lights

Wednesday, September 9
Since I have no lights tonight, I thought it would be easier to write on my laptop as opposed to my journal, though usually when this happens I just use my cell phone to see. Today was a pretty average day here. It was a technical day so we didn't have to be at the school until 9 30... which I enjoyed thoroughly! Technical days are nice because - A. they are in English - B. both language groups are together - and C. they seem way more useful (surprisingly) than language lessons. I am becoming better and better at the charade/dictionary game with my host family, but teaching still seems intimidating. Technical days are when current PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers) come and talk to us about how to teach. Methods, games, lesson plans, grades, working with a counterpart, things like this. It's so helpful to hear it from someone who is going through it right now. We have Emiko and Robert helping us. They were Kaz-19s, I am a Kaz-21, so they are on their last couple months in Kazakhstan. It's nice to hear them speak from experience and tell stories. Then after lunch is the culture part. This is when Leah kind of let's us vent a little, and we discuss the community project part of our service.
So we have this "Morale Chart" that we keep up which I thought was kind of hilarious at the beginning, but has basically just been the icebreaker to talk about how we're adjusting here. So that's that, really... Then the community projects are something that we have to over the two year span. Things like... start a sports team, or try to help educate people on rabid dogs lol. seriously. Dogs here are a whole nother issue! (I miss Howie!!) Anyway, the project has to be something that the community wants, needs, is sustainable, specific, measurable - o geez I sound like Leah lol. So for training we're sort of practicing with after school projects and English Clubs. Anna and I are doing a drama club. It should be fun - she brought some play scripts and I want to do sort of improv games (Who's Line-style). Then in our service we are also required to keep an English club going for the 2 years too. I'm not sure what I'll want to do for my community project... I've thought about dance, gymnastics, jewelry making, singing, art... I guess it really depends on what the students/people want. I've heard so many stories about projects failing because volunteers don't listen to what locals think they need or want.
After class, I got on the internet for a little bit! (Like 15 min... and I wasn't expecting it so I didn't bring my pictures or anything to post) They confirmed today that Wednesdays we will have one hour of internet on 6 computers to split between the 12 of us! Definitely good news :) So I sent an email, then, Leah was able to get a room for us to do yoga in on Mon, Wed, and Fri's! So I did some yoga. Leah is very passionate about ancient Chinese practices... medicines, traditions all of it. For her secondary project she started a yoga club at a women's center. Pretty cool! It was a little strange though. She was telling us what all of these different moves we supposed to help you with - longevity, youth, gray hair (Ehem, mom... sit with your legs straight out in front of you and touch your chest to your thighs) lol! It was almost like the move was like some sort of healing magic potion... I don't know. Lot's of interesting, colorful people here. So, that was super nice and relaxing. My body hasn't really moved much the past month!
Then, I came home, had some soup and bread, took a bucket bath, and am just about to hit the sack. We are going to Almaty tomorrow for "Hub Day". I'm still not really sure what that means besides getting 9,293,485 shots! Yuck - I think my count is up to 9 since being here (not to mention all the shots I had before coming). Hopefully there won't be anymore! We leave at 7 30.... :(... But, there is a chance I will be able to get to a computer and post some pictures and start this blog of mine I have without having lol. We'll see... I'll keep my expectations low, and my hopes high. Flexibility, patience, and creativity are virtuous in PC Kaz!


  1. Noelle - I love your blog! I can hear your voice as I read. I think I'm going to join Yoga at the Y again and maybe I'll just surprise you when I can see you again. I may not have ANY gray hair if I could only get my nose to my knees. HAHA

  2. Hey there! Nice to hear a little from you. I know your life has changed drastically but it would have changed here for you to. Lord knows I never thought I would have experienced so many things in my life to this point. It's all good. It's about the journey. Be happy where ever you are in your life. Be grateful and you will have peace. We all miss you and love you very much and look forward to seeing you when you come home. Time will fly. The older you get, the faster it goes. I can't even believe that I have a 24 year old son who has graduated from college and is an engineer! And Pat..... he's going to be getting married soon. Jenna, his fiance, was offered a full time teaching position at a charter school in Columbus, working with slightly disabled students. Pat and Jenna both have a very strong Christian belief and will not live together unless they are married; therefore, they are going to get married by a Justice of the Peace and then plan a small wedding in June with family and friends. Jenna has already ordered her wedding gown. They certainly are not going about it the traditional way but I am proud of the both of them for standing with their beliefs. It makes me proud as a mother. I finally feel like I did something right in lieu of failing in my marriage.

    I'm moving Kate into her apartment in Columbus on Sunday at the Ohio State University campus. She is so excited to be living on her own but a little scared. Pat said he would give her his baseball bat so she can keep it near her bed and Andrew said he would purchase her a couple cans of pepper spray. LOL Love those boys looking out for sis.

    My thyroid surgery has been pushed back a week but I am so busy trying to get things caught up at work before I'm off. I'll have two weeks and I'm using all of it. I didn't get a vacation this summer. I actually sold vacation back for extra cash, so I'm going to use this time to get rested up.

    Grandma and Grandpa bought a cat. He is a beautiful thing! They call him Patches and he's 6 months old. Just beautiful and it's good for both of them. Dad needed to have something to occupy his time at home with his Parkinson's disease.

    All is well though. Football season has started. Pat invited me to an OSU game on September 26th. Now that I have kids in Columbus, I'll be able to spend the night.

    I'll write more later. I have some errands to run this evening.

    Take care of yourself, be careful and enjoy your journey. Remember, this is temporary.

    Love ya!
    Aunt Mary Ann

  3. Hi Noelle - Great to hear from you! I'm glad things seem to be going better for you in Kaz. I can't imagine trying to learn another language as strange as Kaz. I studied both french and spanish in high school,for two years each, and didn't learn a thing!

    Things are going well back here. Busy as usual. I watched the Rockets beat Colorado in their home opener. It was televised on ESPN. Remember those days when you were cheerleading there? That was fun!

    We took Howie to the vet today, He was behind on his shots. Now he's caught up and just needs a bath!

    Sounds like Alex is having a great experience in Germany. He's helping coach tennis in his spare time and doing some sight seeing on weekends. I think he really likes Germany.

    Paul is keeping busy at college. His baseball team practices about three hours a day six days a week. Sounds like his classes are going well too.

    Elana is having a good senior year. She is doing well in tennis and would like to be able to continue playing in college. Teddy is having a good start of the school year as well.

    How is the food over there? Probably very strange. I hope you can at least find some foods you like to eat.

    I have a meeting in Columbus next week to find out more about my trip to China. I guess we will be there sometime in April, I am going to see if it is possible to take a detour over to Kaz for a short visit, but don't know if it will be possible. Hopefully, it will work out.

    Your mom and I are very proud of you for doing what you're doing. It's quite an adventure. You remind me of Rose in the movie Titanic. Someday you will be able to look back on your life and have all of these experiences to remember.

    We are going to see Brian play tomorrow at Findlay. Should be fun.

    I'm going to sign off for now. It's getting late and I need to get to bed. We will all be posting some more comments now that you have set up this blog. Great idea!

    Take care and know that we all love you very much.