Wednesday, February 3, 2010

#51 - Language Week



First week back to school is over. I'm working on being as honestly enthusiastic about my lessons and visuals and things as I was when I first arrived. I just watched 5 episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in a row. lol. Great use of time. There has been a lot of talk the past week about going to the mountains for some kind of Winter Sport Competition between schools. Lately, Kazakhstan has given me a bad case of "boy who cried wolf" syndrome for pretty much anything that makes me excited at the initial announcement. I just don't believe what local people tell me. And even with this terrible disease, I still always somehow cancel other plans to make room for the one that seems to always fall through. Genius Kazakhstan. You win.

I wanted to wait until the sweet Winter Sport Competition in the mountains to write an exciting blog. However, it was cancelled/postponed the past 4 days, and again today. The weather is being quite strange. It warms up at night, melting everything and making a mess, then freezes and snows during the afternoon. Backwards, if you ask me. So we were supposed to leave this morning but the rain and slush made it impossible. :( Now, word is that it will be the 23th, Saturday.

On saturday, I met a new friend on a play date set up by one of the teachers at my school. You never know what to expect with these propositions, "Noelle, I want you to meet my husband's brother's son's cousin's friend's.... he/she (Kazakh doesn't have gender specific pronouns) knows English and wants to practice with you. Come over on Saturday." ...You just never know. The girl's name is Aika, she's 22 and from Taldykorgan and was very sweet, we got along well. She spoke English much better than I was expecting, and I liked that she kept calling the village the, "countryside". Even though it wasn't intentional to give the place a better connotation. It was cute. Made it seem like a prettier place than it might be. Boy could she talk though... and she is a lot more passionate about grammar issues than I am, which made most conversations very long. I'm really glad that I met her though. She wants to take me to her house in Taldy on Saturday, the 23th.

This approaching week is also Language week. I'm not entirely sure what this means, but I understand it's some sort of competition between the language classes, Kazakh, Russian, and English. Zhamilya is excited to show off our posters and visuals, which is good. Confirmation that I've made some positive progress among the teachers - which is rarely expressed openly, and equally nice to hear. I'm having my english club kids do a Kazakh version of Romeo and Juliet, (Rauan and Jildez). It's hilarious. They really get into it. My biggest problem is getting them to slow down their lines and take their time. They are too excited and then the play lasts like 3 minutes. Lol. Not much of a show... but we have all week to work on it and then perform either on Friday or Saturday. I wrote the script intending to print off a copy for each student. No ink anywhere at the school. Awesome, so it's been difficult to organize. Had I known that today the WSC thing was going to be cancelled, I could have gone to the city to buy my own ink today. We need to make a few things too like a balcony, some horses, swords, and signs - it should be a fun, busy week. Then, of course, the Traditional American Dance has once again been reincarnated. The students love love love it lol, though they want me to make it longer. The performance is planned to happen on Friday or Saturday, the 22th or 23th. The way things have been going it will probably be the 23th - so my Saturday will likely be triple booked lol with WSC, R&J, and new friend visit. It will be interesting to see what happens.

I've been able to read a lot since being here and just finished a book called The Red Tent, I really liked it and suggest it for all women interested in the culture or the Old Testament times. Although it's fictional, it's very interesting. I am almost finished with the Where There Is No Doctor handbook that Dr. Victor gave all of us. It's interesting and maybe I'll have the unfortunate chance to use some of the new knowledge I gain while out here in the village :) That would be cool. Help deliver a baby, or suck the venom out of a snake bite (even though the book says that that doesn't work) I don't know, something more exciting than shooing goats and sheep out of my way on the way to the outhouse...

1 comment:

  1. My name is Ingrid and I work at Hesperian, publishers of Where There Is No Doctor and many other books on global health. We hope you don't run into too many health emergencies, and if you do, please don't try to suck out the venom! ; ) It's definitely great to have these books when you need them the most. Did you know that you can also get Where There Is No Doctor (as well as our A Community Guide to Environmental Health) in Russian?