Archive for November 23, 2009

AIWC Charity Bazaar and Photo Contest – a SUCCESS!!!

Yesterday was a beautiful day for the AIWC Charity Bazaar at Miras School.  Because of our talented, experienced help from last year, we were able to pull in $1,444 from donated books, magazines and DVDs.  We must have seen 500 people come through our classroom door, mostly locals looking for good deals.  I also had set up my university students photo contest with 22 entries as finalists, we had room enough to display them.  The judges made their decisions on the top three by Roza Sviridenko, Daniyar Belkhojayev and Yuliya An.  Many other entries made it difficult for the two judges to arrive at the final decision.  I was proud of everyone, the workers and my students alike. 

We had set up the tables and pulled out all the books the day before only to discover that we didn’t have as many books to sell as we had last year.  That gave more room to show off the 22 photo entries.  These two gals (Alma and Kim) did a lion’s share of the brain work with making change and bagging up the purchases.  We had some real characters who came through later in the day.  One guy bought 40 DVDs at 500 tenge each but he had to make sure they were all licensed, which must have taken him a half hour.  Another older fellow bought 20 VHS tapes for 50 tenge each but had to ask my advice on which ones to buy.  Turns out that he must have a whole house full of VHS tapes because he goes to every foreigners’ sale and buys them out. 

Thanks to a mother-daughter team, the 16 year old goes to Miras school and thanks also to Olga (who has done this sale for the past six years) and her friend and many other volunteers made this a memorable experience.  Thanks to the Charity Bazaar Coordinator Anna E. who insisted we jack UP our asking price, the buying public didn’t seem to flinch with the amounts we asked.  Eventually we slashed the prices of everything and by 3:00 p.m. we were cleared out of the classroom.

A success when I thought that with lack of books we would be a dismal failure.  I was happy to see my university students show up also to see their photos on display.  I think a good time was had by all, at least, I had a good time selling books and making people happy with their purchases.

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