Archive for March, 2018

Canadian geese are back with spring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other day I was walking our gravel road and I could see in the distance some geese that had landed in a field puddle of water. I knew that they would fly away when I got closer so I zoomed in with my camera on them.   Indeed, they took flight against the cold north wind to some other place where there was icy water.

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This afternoon when I took my walk along the same gravel road, I could see the big fox or small coyote 1/4 of a mile away.  He bolted off over this same field and ran for all he was worth for about a half of a mile or more.  I was amazed at how fast it ran on the ice and snow.  I had seen him earlier in our woods the other morning, he has taken care of the rabbit population.  He doesn’t need to be afraid of me, I am happy we have less rabbits to eat our vegetable garden once that is planted and growing.

I saw my first robin the other day, so you KNOW it is spring but the temps have been only in the teens so not a good time for birds to be back yet.  The Canadian geese can handle it as they continue their travels to colder Canada…the woodpeckers and finches are waiting for more warmth. As are we…it doesn’t ever seem like we will EVER have summer. The forecast is for blizzard conditions on Easter Day.  My Mom refuses to believe it will happen. We will see what comes what may…perhaps it WILL be May when we have spring!

Happy Easter whether the SON shines or not!

 

 

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Update after this week

Ken at Koktobe

Not much going on that is unusual…I found a photo of my husband showing off an American hat from our US locality in Almaty, Kazakhstan. We were on Koktobe for a nice outing by using the cable car.  When I had first lived in Almaty, the cable car was not working in 1994 but by the time we went back to live and teach in 2007, it was working and bringing many people up to see the city of Almaty below.

Me in Almaty

During our time at KIMEP, as I wrote earlier, my husband and I went to an American football game where our students were playing against another team that had far better jerseys and equipment. I can’t remember what the score was or who won but it was inspiring to see that the Kazakh students who had lived in the US for a year or two under the FLEX program had been encouraged enough to replicate what they saw back in their own home country once back.  Even the girls got in the act with cheerleading.

NU Astana, Kazakhstan

After our 2-3 years of teaching at KIMEP, we ended up at NU in Astana when it first was getting started. That would almost be eight years ago now. You can see a model of what the whole campus is supposed to look like once all is finished.  The building itself where I taught is in the background.  What a HUGE undertaking this was to create this kind of “westernized” university in the capital city of Kazakhstan. I wish the students and teachers all well.

 

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I wonder if KIMEP still plays Am. football

I came across some photos I took back ten years ago in Almaty, Kazakhstan and these were of KIMEP football players versus another team from nearby. Not sure who they were representing. I wonder if they are still playing American football or if the equipment and jerseys are stored away with lack of interest or funding.

Ken w KZ flag

Peter is the player who lived in the U.S. and came back with the drive and energy to put a team together with like minded players. Granted some of them were probably soccer players who just put on the jerseys and pads but it was a game to witness.  Peter is holding the trophy representing KIMEP after their win.

KIMEP football

I had a notebook along with me to take notes or do something but it ended up being used by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  I do remember the game went longer than what you’d expect because I’m not sure a stop watch was being used.  One of the refs, an American who has passed on, was probably in charge of calling out penalties.

Bruce Taylor and showing downs

Cheerleaders even showed up with their cute outfits and they had adopted cheers they had learned from what they remembered in the U.S. Many of the girls had been on the FLEX program and somehow had clothes and pompoms to make it more believable.

football cheerleaders

When the game was all done, finally, then the two teams got together for a group picture. You would never see that in the U.S. but in Kazakhstan where the teams are so rare with knowing how to play American football, there was a camaraderie with the players.  Even those who had been injured and taken off the field were in the picture afterwards.

both teams together

I was supporting the blue and white team, but the maroon and white team probably had better equipment and jerseys. I remember that some of the defense and offence had to switch off their jersey every time they went on and off the field.

other football team

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Quiet winter morning sunrise

While U.K. is getting slammed with two feet of snow and the eastern part of the U.S. is getting pelted with rains and storms…we have a tranquil morning to enjoy. Not for long though because by Sunday and Monday we will be deluged with more snow and blizzard conditions. Such is life here on the open prairie.

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I realize that most all of us are sick of winter but if you make a sport of it like x-country skiing, then it isn’t so bad.  The temps have been melting the snow so icicles are forming and the snow is not quite the right quality to ski on in the warm afternoons.  This morning might be a good time but I have other errands to run, it will have to wait.

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I need to share what the skiing trails look like from our second floor window looking north. It really is wonderful to be out while the trees are all flocked with what the fog leaves behind from the night air.

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For now I’ll leave my faithful readers of my blog with this sunup photo from this morning. Sometimes I have to wait for about 5-10 minutes to get it just right…but it is worth it!

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