Letter dated February 14, 1994 – Krygyzstan

This letter was written on PINK paper for obvious reasons:

“It is wonderful to feel LOVED as I write a letter on this commercialized celebration of Valentine’s Day.  I feel loved by so many of you. Thank you for the Christmas cards that eventually made it to me.  I will keep them taped up until Easter, they are so pretty and colorful.  I continue to have parties for any excuse, just to have folks over.  Several weeks ago I had a hymn sing with ten people singing different parts and it brought back a flood of good memories back to my former Lutheran days.

Yes, I will be in the US once again for two weeks (March 8-20) to present at a TESOL conference in Baltimore and then to visit with my friend Ken in Washington, D.C.  He will follow me from Almaty two days after my departure and stay on until the end of March before he returns to Almaty.  His three children from a former marriage will be visiting him in D.C. on their spring breaks.  I want to meet them…I am convinced Ken loves me.

On our semester break, I went up to Almaty and managed to surprise Ken one day ahead of my intended arrival.  It was fun to visit with Ken and with my other friends from this past summer.  It was also fun to go cross-country skiing with Ken and his Kazakh friends in places close to Almaty.  Before all this fun though, I had finished up a busy semester of teaching Phonetics and Business English to my university freshmen.  Before this break, I was also getting four different syllabi prepared for teaching Reading Lab this upcoming semester.  I will continue to be busy reading many different books to find the most appropriate reading assignments for each of the four levels.  All the students seem in earnest to improve their English and thus their TOEFL scores in order to have a better crack at getting to the U.S. to study business and other related subjects.

The good news is that I was granted an extension with my Fulbright grant to stay and teach for ten more months at my university.  I am finding that I really LOVE Bishek and LOVE working with my Kyrgyz students.  That would keep me here until July of 1995.  The bad news is that Ken’s job is 3 1/2 hours away in Almaty and he finds that he is useful there.  Commuting through snowy and icy mountain roads is simply not an option.  I do enjoy Ken’s companionship and love and see him as God’s gift to me.”

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