The other night we had a FUN party at our flat where I don’t remember laughing so hard as I did that night. One of the students said that she was smiling so much that her cheeks hurt. We did two gift exchange games and I knew some of my students wouldn’t remember to bring TWO gifts so I wrapped about six extra gifts just so that everyone could play.
The funniest moment for me was when I had wrapped up a “gag” gift and the Peace Corps volunteer (who will remain unnamed) opened his up and went on and on how he needed this staple puller. They call those things “anti-staplers” here in Russian from the translation of whatever they are called in English. Because I recycle boxes to wrap my gifts in, whatever is on the outside should never be judged by what is REALLY inside. So, I simply said, when he was finished being so ecstatic about his new office supply, “OPEN IT!” When he did, there were many flags of a certain country that spilled out, could have been 100s but probably just 50. He was much chagrined by not getting the gift he needed and didn’t know if he would create an international incident if he started handing out these pins versus the country he should be representing as a PCV, the U.S.
When I was cleaning up after 11 people, I noticed that he had inadvertently left his box of flag pins behind. He knew that the rule was to take whatever gifts with him but he was tired after a long week. I gave it to someone else in the party and we got another good laugh out of the joke that really was on the PCV. Another student showed her humorous side when she played the gift exchange game. She went around person to person and checked each of their gifts out very thoroughly before she landed on the one she really wanted, a U.S. calendar that the PCV had brought with him. That was a highly prized item as were a few other objects. The students had a good time learning that gift exchange game and how to “steal” from each other.
Not sure that is something we want to encourage among our Kazakh students when we keep telling them they are not to cheat or steal answers in the classroom. Well, it was all in good fun and I think everyone had a good time eating my pizza and homemade carrot cake along with sipping my brewed cider.