Sunday, January 10, 2010

Peanut Butter = America...Fried Bread = Kazakhstan



Best day ever today! I taught this morning, only one class - but it is my favorite, the 5th graders. It's my favorite for a few reasons: it's a small class, their lessons are very easy and fun to plan for, they are smart and excited, and Gulbak (or Flower Garden :) let's me do whatever I want because she just wants to retire, already. The director observed our class today and told me I did a good job - but then I heard from other teachers a more enthusiastic response! That it was excellent and he was impressed!

After class, I talked/planned with Saltanat for a while. Then we went konaka-ing to another teacher's house for lunch. This was the first time I met the host. Since she's pregnant, she probably won't teach until next year lol. Apparently, having kids is one of those things the government hooks you up for here. Interesting. So that was nice, we ate bishbarmak - and people gave me a hard time for not eating the fat or drinking the cup of broth. Then my host mom "stuck up" for me by saying, "In America, they don't eat natural food - it's all poly-fabricated." Whatever poly-fabricated means... I think I'm going to start telling people that we eat plastic in America.

Once home from having tea, Saule handed me a letter! I've been stalking the post office for the past couple of days - by stalking I mean by phone... calling and harassing them in my poor but insistent Kazakh. Saule said the post office dropped the letter off at the house. Cool! Then she said I had more... bigger things but they didn't bring them because they were too heavy? Hooray!! Even though I only had 15 minutes until English Club was supposed to begin, I went straight to the post office. Surprise!... it was closed. I spoke with a nice man about what the procedure was for me to receive my box(es). He said come back at nine tomorrow morning. :( O.K. On my way home, I happened to pass my host mom, who told me that I should go back at 4 - it will be open. Yes!

I went to English club - we played Simon Says, sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and did another listening activity. Sounds familiar right? Then I went to the post office again. My same new nice guy friend was still there, and a little disappointed I didn't listen to him. He said something about a house - and I tried to explain that, yes, they dropped off the small mail at my house, but I was supposed to pick up the packages by myself. I left again sad. My host mom, when I returned home, was not happy that I didn't have any packages... She called someone and then told me let's go get your mail :) So we walked to a lady's house and sure enough 3 packages and 2 more letters were inside next to her door! Whoo hoo :) ...Did a little paper work and were happily on our way!

I must say it didn't feel how I expected it to feel, eating peanut butter in Kazakhstan. I'm not sure I like it lol... I mean I definitely liked it, it's just surreal feeling. Like it shouldn't go together. I eat peanut butter in America, and fried bread in Kazakhstan... But I was beyond happy all day today - even just having one letter in the beginning! I felt like I wasn't dead to the world - in no man's land. What a good feeling. I spent the rest of the night re-reading previous letters (Jane, you're on #9 now!), writing letters, and looking at my new supplies. The only thing is, I did not spend the evening preparing for lessons tomorrow... I figure I can plan something in the morning tomorrow... I don't teach until 10:35. O geez, now I feel like I'm in college again ha.

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