Posts tagged American football

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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Sunrise and Harvest


Today’s sunrise, the usual amazing view from our front yard

This morning was beautiful to behold, the beet trucks weren’t hauling or running yet and the sun was just quietly rising. No wind made for a peaceful start of the day. I am also very happy that I bought a used bench that I put in the front of the house. Beside that on the front step are pumpkins from our garden. Also, we have decorative gourds that are called Gremlins.


Gremlin decorative gourds

My husband and I went to our university’s football game today, they lost yet again but they are not in the right division. They are playing schools with LARGE enrollments and large budgets. We have guys from TX, AZ, CA, HI and FL. These are young men who LOVE playing football and want to get a degree by the end of four years. We are there to support these players because they are far from their usual support group from home.

So, we had a nice meal when we got home just out of the crock pot and then we had different things to do before sun down. There are tomatoes to pick and I am still getting sweet peas. I’ll keep picking those until the first hard frost shuts them down.

For now, I will enjoy sitting on my front step bench and watching the sunrises.


Taking a selfie with my new bench to watch sunrises


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American Football in Central Asia (Part III)

PA250028PA250021These photos of Sunday afternoon’s game are the last I’ll show, it is still slow Internet so I will see how long this takes to put these up.  I’m starting at 5:20 p.m. my Wednesday evening after we had a GREAT lecture done by Julia Connelly about Kazakh carpets.  I will share what she talked about in tomorrow’s blog.  PA250013PA250022

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More Photos of Am. Football in Central Asia (part II)

PA250027Our Internet at work is running really slow and yesterday I had put up five photos for my reading audience but only two survived and were saved in a draft form.  Unfortunately, I had to start all over again. Such is life in Kazakhstan. 

Hopefully I will do better this morning before my first class starts at 11:30 a.m.  It is now 10:30, I hope to accomplish this minor undertaking that becomes major here with slow Internet.  I’m showing photos of the 3-4 American coaches.  Two years ago when these same football players from our university were playing against Bishkek, they prevailed upon my husband to be their coach.  They had none.  However, he was too busy teaching economics but consented to be the ref for the big game instead. 

An analogy perhaps with slow Interent is same as how these football players must feel where  noone understands their love for the game which is completely foreign to most people in Central Asia, or the rest of the world for that matter.  That is why these athletes only play another team from Russia and their other opponents from Kyrgyzstan whom they played against on Sunday.  Our team in blue has another game in Bishkek in a month and that will be the extent of football season. American football may catch on yet as I hope faster Internet might!!!PA250016PA250024

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American Football in Central Asia (Part I)

PA250036What fun to be on a soccer field about an hour west of the center of the city of Almaty with the Tien Shan mountains ringing the southern horizon.  It was breathtaking to look to the south despite the haze.  Also to see our university boys play American football, I had four students dress in the blue and white uniforms.  The other team, the Snowcats, had travelled from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for this important game.  Our team won 33-12 but the other side put up a noble fight.  See the photos I took of the fall day, tomorrow I’ll show more of the team players and people I talked to.  For me it was a real social event meeting new people and connecting with old friends.PA250011

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Two More Enthusiastic, Rave Reviews on “Rudy”

Fahriddin’s perspective of “Rudy”

    [American] Football is one of the roughest sports in the World. It is also a very competitive one. Rudy also loved the game of football just like me but what was more important is that he had heart. This movie relates to me in many ways, two of which are, he played football for his college team like me and he had love for the game of football which is unexplainable. 

    Rudy Ruttiger played for the university of Notre Dame. I also play for my university just like him but fortunately I do not ride the bench like him. Although he did not play every game he was still part of the team and he was the spirit of the team which helped them win games. This is what every team needs a player who inspires every single man or woman on the team to do their best and never give up. 

    Rudy loved the game of football he could not live without it. His inspiration to make the team and play at least one game were his friends and everyone else who told him that he should never give up. What pushed him most were the people who said that he would never play a game for the team. I love the game of football it is my personal favorite sport. I cannot explain why it is so but I cannot live without it. When I came back to Kazakhstan from the US there was no one who I knew that could play this sport. I thought I would die. When I was enrolled at our “western” university, I found out that there was a football team, I thought I was the happiest person on the planet at that moment. 

    In conclusion this movie relates to me in many ways two of them are that he played for his college team like me and he loved the game of football just like me. You should never stop chasing dreams even if in everyone else’s eyes they are unreal.

Karashash’s thoughts about “Rudy”

This weekend I watched the film called “Rudy”. It was very hard to find this movie but when I eventually found it and watched I asked myself why I did not heard about it earlier because this movie really a masterpiece! I am still excited about it; I can not describe emotions and feelings inside me! It is very touching, moving, encouraging and inspiring! The main idea of the story is that dreams make people believe in the better future, make them to become brave. The main character’s friend, Pete, repeated his father’s words: “Having dreams is what makes our life tolerable”. This is the statement that could describe this entire movie! When I was watching I suddenly thought that everyone should have dream, should have hope and belief and I realized that actually I do not have strong desire, dream about something! I just have goals and aims to achieve but not dreams. After this movie I started thinking of this and I do not understand why I do not have it! All my life I considered that my goals are my dreams but now I am confused. In my opinion people with dreams even with impossible ones are the happiest! After I achieve one goal I think about next one and that is how my life goes; I do not think about one thing that I want! So after this movie something inside me told me that I should believe in something that would be encouraging me but what?! The answer is still unknown…

However, the persons that have dreams I think in our country have a possibility to make them become true if it not the dream to fly to the Moon, but who knows what will happen after few years! I consider that most of the Kazakhstan people do not feel lack of freedom to realize their dreams even the craziest one! I think that this movie should be broadcasted everywhere, in every country and to everyone because it could encourage, really inspire someone not to give up but to try again and again unless your dream is true! This is how Rudy does; this is to what he devoted his life! I hope that one day I will be having dream that will be making me to wake up with the hope to realize my dream!

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Aigerim’s Summary of the “Rudy” Movie

This past weekend I had almost 30 of my Kazakh students descend upon our two room flat on two different evenings.  Tight quarters didn’t seem a deterrent for these eager first year students.  What fun to have them watch and laugh together at the funny parts of this very good movie titled “Rudy.”  Even though it was all about Notre Dame football, you didn’t have to know any of the rules about American football to understand the main theme of the movie.  Hard work, passion and motivation was what Rudy was all about.  Read what Aigerim M wrote, who wasn’t able to attend this event with her classmates, but she did enough questioning to write a good summary about it.

I did not see the film “Rudy,” so I asked my classmates to tell me about it. I had learned many things. They were so impressed about this film, the motivation of Rudy. So, I regret somehow that I could not watch the “Rudy”. If I had watched this film, I would like it very much. It is enjoyable, when you watch films which are teaching, motivated and can give you some advices. Nowadays, there are so many films that destroy the children’s mind as horrible as possible. That’s why, I like the “Rudy” even though I had not watched it.

      With the help of my friends, I would like to tell my opinion. They told me that it was a true story about one boy whose name was Rudy Ruettiger. He had dreamed that he would play football for Notre Dame college. However his grades were low in high school and he missed out – ending up at his dad’s steel mill. When his closest friend was killed on the job, Rudy set out to follow his dream and enlisted at Holy Cross college to get his grades and took on jobs within Notre Dame to make his dream come true.

This movie proved that good things happen to people who work hard and don’t except the circumstances they are dealt. The movie showed that dreams really can come true. If you put your mind (and body) to it, and if you have a big enough heart, you too can accomplish anything! This is truly an inspirational film. You don’t have to be a Notre Dame fan to cheer for Rudy. This is a wonderful true-life example of a person stopping at nothing to achieve their dream. It is highly emotional and marvelously acted by all. I’m not sure how many of the details of this film really happened, but Rudy was a real person. He did overcome great odds. He should be motivation for us all.

      This is a great film about going for your dreams and never giving up. No matter who tells you that you can’t do it, no matter how unlikely the chances are, no matter what, make sure you go for your dreams and do everything that you can make them come true. The film gave us an inspiration to live, to continue and to dream. So, we should dream about what we want in future and then try, hope, believe and work fot it hard. Without dreams we can not imagine our life. 

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Dreams Realized (and Unrealized) Part II

See yesterday’s blog post to know how I was able to get these GREAT anecdotes from my Kazakh students…

Yessengeldy – I’m a person who loves sport till death. I used to do Judo, it is wrestling and I took part in these championships 3 times in my city and area.  To tell the truth, I didn’t succeed in them, but once I had a victory, I made a through on a main jppon.  It was a clear victory, people approved me, my friends were inciting: “Now it’s cool.”  This throw is called urivadzhe, one of my favorite ones.  So now I’m playing American football, soon we are going to have a game against Krygyzstan.  Yes, I’m glad about these sports events, but I should choose my position, whether linebacker or whether lineman.  I still can’t find my position maybe after watching the movie “Rudy,” I will choose.

Gaukhar D. – I have a dream that is unattainable for me now.  Maybe one day in the future I can make my dream come true, but I can’t do it right now even if I want it very much.  My dream is to be able to fly a plane, or in short, to be a pilot.  I want to have my own small and lovely plane where I can fly anywhere I want.  I like this feeling of freedom, when you are flying.  It makes you just feel like a bird.  I’m not afraid of heights and I want to fly.

Down side of dreams, unrealized dreams

Almas – My brother tried to enter an America’s MIT for three times, on the fourth year he graduated from another university, which is also very good.

Aizhan – I have never dreamed about that would be unattainable, I try to be realistic.  But I had a friend, who is 10 years older than me, who has been dreaming all his life to win something in a lottery, which I think is impossible.  And once he won a washing machine, which made him very happy.  But he never stops playing that, I think it’s crazy!

Diana – Every person has a dream, for someone it is good, for someone else it is not. I had a dream to become a cosmonaut, to go to the moon, but it was in my childhood.  Now I know that it was just a dream, not a good idea and not so real.

Ruslan – I had, no, I HAVE a dream to be a racer of Formula 1.  But, unfortunately, it is impossible to realize, because I have lost time, I should have been doing this sport from a very little age, but in future, I think I can have my own Formula 1 team, who knows…

Olzhas – My friend had a dream, he wanted to make his own time machine.  He saw it from a film and he really wanted to build it.  He very like this film with such machine.

Valerie – When I was small, I wanted to shoot from a gun, and this was an unattainable dream, because I couldn’t find these kind of sports by myself.  Parents didn’t allow me to do this because I am girl.  I wanted to be a master.  I didn’t attain this goal.

Aigerim O. – I had a dream to have my own flat at 18 or living in another city.  Now, when I’m living in another city with my aunt and sister, I don’t think that my dream was so clever, I really miss my home in Astana.  Independent life, adult life seems not so perfect as in childhood.

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