Archive for March 3, 2011

Taxi drivers, ppt presentations and more Borovoye

Yesterday my two taxi drivers (Yerik and Yaheya) were waiting for me as usual in the parking area of our building complex. This time I went with Yaheya and he was his usual chatty self.  He talked in German, Russian and English (with lots of hand motions) about ALZHIR.Then he started talking about Guantanamo and I was clearly out of my depth in understanding what he was saying.  Thankfully we got to the university before we got into REALLY heavy politics.  I paid him the usual 500 tenge fare, because that is what both drivers expect even though you can get gypsy cabs to go this same distance for only 300 tenge (@ $2).  That is why they are happy to take me to the university, I pay them better than a Kazakh passenger would.

The other day Yerik explained (all in Russian) why he had asked 700 tenge for our car ride to the university.  I thought he was mad at me about something and really what he said was that over ice and snow when driving conditions are dangerous and there are traffic snarl ups, he expects 700 tenge.  Okay, I thought he was trying to get rid of me for a richer, more gainfully employed passenger.  We are back on smiling terms again because that is what Yerik does well. He smiles while Yaheya talks and smiles and drives all at the same time.  One of these days I’ll get a photo of both these characters.  I might add, Yaheya has the most ridiculous looking fur hat but it keeps him warm. I’ll try to get a shot of him in that!

Well, I fully expect one or the other to be out waiting for me to take me to my second big day of entertaining expat guests at the university with a business lunch in the cafeteria, a quick tour and finally  buckling down to watching my last five students do their ppt presentations.  I’m amazed at what they can put together using graphics with pie charts, bar graphs and other incredible things.  Hopefully my expat guests will be impressed this afternoon when they hear and see presentations about motivating weak students, how reading “rocks,”  listening skills, integrating content with English and finally instructional technology.

That is why I really enjoyed my trip to Borovoye last weekend, I knew I was in for a tough week of logistics, timing and schedules and peoples’ feelings. Seems that if I browbeat my students about how pathetic their citations are or their reference page isn’t up to hoyle, they bounce back just fine.  I was feeling guilty about being too rough with one of my students…no worries. So now for some photos to show off amazing Borovoye once more.

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