This morning I went back to the old part of Astana to talk to a class of 11th graders. I had fun doing Carolyn Graham Jazz Chants with them. They were very good at keeping to the beat and speaking out the words in unison while repeating after me. The students took turns from each side of the room and they seemed to have fun with doing “Banker’s Wife’s Blues” and “This is Mine” and a few others.
I asked these young students to give to their Kazakh teacher written essays telling me about their grandparents. I had given them a chance to tell me orally anything about what they knew about their grandma or grandpa after I told them about my Norwegian great grandpa who had settled in North Dakota. Silence. My friend who is only about 4-5 years older than her students was a bit miffed that they were so quiet for me. I told my young friend, “No problem, just get them to write about their grandparents.” She responded, “They dont’ like to write either.” I said, that if they were planning on passing the IELTS test, that they would need to write. Period…Full stop!!!
We shall see if I get any essays next week. I then went to the Open Clinic after that short 45 minutes with the class of about 25 students. That was an agonizing wait to find out what is wrong with my left arm. I saw many children with their mothers. I took photos after reading magazines and trying not to be too bored. After an hour and half wait, we finally got to into Door #4 after about 3-4 people had been ahead of us. So interesting to see corridor protocol at work in Kazakhstan’s medical facilities. People pop their head in and interrupt the doctors at work as if they can multi-task. No nurses or receptionists are there to protect the doctor/patient relationship. We had to pay on the spot for this consultation of 2,000 tenge which is over $10. However, I think we value our time much more in the U.S. and hate to wait that long. Unfortunately, I need to go back early tomorrow a.m. to do a blood test at this same Open Clinic. I hope drawing my blood doesn’t take as long. I only have a dull ache in my left arm, why am I going through all this trauma of waiting and waiting?