Trip Start Aug 20, 2006
49Trip End Ongoing
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Yesterday I ended up frustrated with another of the volunteers. There is a discussion club at the library in the city on Saturdays and the volunteer who was to do it decided she didn't want to. She wasn't at her village- she was visiting the city. She wanted to go to a movie instead. Discussion club only meets once a month, and as the hapless volunteer at the library around the time the club should start when the library realized the other volunteer wasn't coming, um, Mary got to come up with questions for discussion in 5 minutes. It actually went okay and was fun. There is a huge difference between the language skills of the students in the city and those in the village (though I did find out something good today with that- they almost have an affirmative action here for the universities. If you're a student from the village, it's slanted so that you're more likely to get into a university over someone from the city if you are both equally qualified so that the kids from the village don't end up completely high and dry). We discussed education since it's all I could come up with questions for on the fly. Almost went south though- I asked if everyone needs to learn Kazakh in school and if that should be the main language of instructions. Most of the Russians were against except for one girl who said both should be taught, and then the one Kazakh guy presented his point that Kazakh should be the language of instruction. One of the more outspoken girls made a snippy remark, and then there was a fight. So much for discussion. But they both cooled down pretty quickly and all was well. Oie.
On Friday it was Men's day. I went to school to teach English club and my 5th graders were in the hallway having a dance party for their science class (the teacher was dancing with them. Nothing like a stern Russian teacher breaking it down..._. I got awesome pictures of them, and then they went and had conversations for home economics sort of thing. The pictures of my boys swaddling a baby are just precious...(muwahahaha) They really make my day here. Even when I'm upset and not in a good mood, I always start smiling when I begin to play with them. They are definitly what makes my job satisfaction go up.
Overall I'm happy and content here. There are some days that are incredibly hard and rough, and I miss my family and friends. But at the same time, I can't imagine myself doing anything else right now (not that as a history major I would be doing all that much, but still). This is where I should be (until the next meltdown with my counterpart, but for today let me have happy moments).