This photo shows the expats who came to listen to my second group of presenters yesterday. Some read this blog and will recognize themselves. Did Yaheya read my blog from yesterday about his fur hat? As I took a taxi home from work loaded down with glasses and unopened Coke, there was one of my favorite taxi drivers in the parking area. I asked Yaheya in my “flawless” hand gestures and Russian if I could take a picture of him with his car. His fur hat was propped behind him in his seat. I didn’t even have to ask him to put it on for this photo op, he promptly donned his hat and wore a big smile. That was my last laugh of the day and I’ll show you photos of Yaheya with his hat (it has a special Kazakh name “malakhay”) in tomorrow’s blog. Wow, would the animal rights people back in the U.S. and elsewhere have fits over Yaheya’s hat. I like the saying that is something like “objections to fur drop with the degrees of temperature” or something like that. A week ago the Astana temps had bottomed out so we all should have been wearing our furs. Indeed, some of the women’s coats in this north country are beautiful!!!
Back to yesterday’s event, we also had many laughs during the two hours of presenting but before that I had the table set for ten ladies who showed up for lunch and a tour of our university campus. Thank you to whomever paid for my meal, I didn’t really get it until we had counted over and over again why there was enough money to pay for 12 when there was 11 of us. I think I know who slipped in the extra money, thanks, you had YOUR last laugh over our bewilderment. Sorry Liz, I cut you out of this photo but you DID have a very funny story to share with all of us. Another big laugh before we got down to business of evaluating the students’ presentations.
My five students who talked yesterday have different strengths and I learned a Kazakh proverb that is: Five fingers are not equal. Which means that the hand has different length fingers but all are important. These five individuals talked on what was a passion to them: motivating reading, inspiring weak students, improving listening skills, instructional technology and finally integrating subject courses with English proficiency. The photos of each individual follows, I think my expat guests were impressed by them. I certainly appreciated their input, questions and feedback. I was busy with other details like flash drives, remote clicker, keys to rooms, preparing the snack table, the usual facilitator things.