Archive for November 3, 2008

Kazakh Faces at Astana, Alatau Sanatorium and Turgen

Just as I was about to put this in my blog, one of my blog readers asked about the Alatau Sanatorium I stayed at for a CATEC (Central Asia Teachers of English) conference this past June.  I presented at CATEC with a colleague friend of mine and will do something of the same next week in Astana and Karaganda for another conference.  The title for both presentations is “Kazakhstan’s Orality vs. Info Literacy.”  It will be fun to travel with another new friend of mine within our Language Center who will be presenting her own paper.

During our mid-semester break, it was GREAT to travel to Astana to visit some of my husband’s Kazakh friends from his agricultural past working for USDA of 16-17 years ago.  We were served a very Kazakh meal of Beshbarmak (Five Fingers) by our gracious hostess Cholpan.  Her husband and Ken friend, Kanat gave us a tour of the Farming Institute which used to be THEE place for the former Soviet Union. 

Kazakhs are known to be very generous and hospitable but I’m also learning that some can be very spiteful and vengeful too.  I think there are those who would LOVE to go to this upcoming conference but are mired down with committee meetings and trying frantically to keep up with the pace of our university.  Perhaps they would rather be dancing like these Kazakh girls above who were at the Alatau sanatorium or on horseback similar to photo below when we went last spring to Turgen to do some trout fishing.  In any case, for every happy and kind Kazakh face, there are those who are showing a happy face which is trying to cover up a very vengeful and mean spirit inside.  Human nature is basically sinful no matter what country you are living in.

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