Posts tagged Kazakhstan

Series of Sunrise photos

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday morning I could see that there was going to be a beautiful sunrise.  If this were a time lapse sequence it would have taken about 10-15 minutes from the start of when I got my first picture to the last.  After that, it was a gloomy day while it rained almost two inches. We do NOT need the rain because it makes our gravel roads very sloppy.

I stayed home all day and got some things accomplished on my articles that I need to write, I’m actually getting paid for this.  I find many other things to distract me so that is why I am glad I didn’t go into town.  I need to get things organized before I go overseas for ten days starting next week.  Maybe during down time, in airports or on the planes while traveling, I can write what has been on my “to-do” list since last September. The deadline is this upcoming September but I want these six articles that are 700 words each to be done by May.

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So, kind of like a sunrise that takes time to happen, my writing is taking the same kind of time to evolve.  Mine isn’t like clockwork and it isn’t pretty like these shots are.  Also, I need to add something from the Expat Arrivals website…I hope this turns out after my last photo. Check out what I wrote about my time spent in Kazakhstan.  I’m far removed from that country now as of five years ago but I keep up with my Kazakh friends on Facebook.

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Well, would you look at that!

…end of the year already!  Indeed, we have already turned the 2016 calendar to the last month of December and that will go into overdrive with all the activities that have to happen before the end of the year. I just started having my comp students do their powerpoint presentations today, four of them.  They were all good, however, two read from their note cards, one had good eye contact using a Prezi presentation and the last one did the best. However, I didn’t agree with his topic or the position he took. Just the same, he did an outstanding job, he is my top student in that class.

Then afterwards I met with a student who is failing and it would seem that she does NOT quite understand some of the important APA formatting rules that I had already gone over with her in Paper 3. I’m flummoxed by how some of these students seem like normal, nice kids but they do NOT seem to connect with key concepts.  I found out that I am not the only one experiencing this as a teacher to these freshmen students. Other teachers have commented on the same thing.  Okay, that means these students that were born just before the turn of the century have something else going on in their upbringing? Or is it their education?

We have students from all over the country and I have another class with mainly Korean and Chinese students.  My three Korean students are getting top grades and they understand the concepts I have given them.  Getting back to my one student who is failing, she may just give this class a drop and do it over again next fall.  In any case, she told me she is not doing well in her other classes either.  I think she needs to just focus on those classes so she doesn’t fail on all of them as well.

I have ONE more week of teaching and then I need to start working on my historical grant that I was awarded and write on things relevant to my region of the state. Not much is known about our farmers working the rich agricultural soil. Unfortunately, we are so out of the way for people 4-5 hours from us to the south. I kind of understand and can relate to what the people in Kazakhstan must feel like with the rest of the world. I know they are hyper sensitive to either being ignored or not given the respect they should have with their long traditions and rich history. In a small way, that is what it feels like to be from this area of the “fly-over” country where our voice is not heard or at least disregarded by those elites in a crowded city setting who are the “big shots” and seemingly call all the shots.

Okay, enough of my grousing, I should really turn in for the evening. I have Christmas cards that I am writing out. Today I mailed out about 35-40 and I have about 25 more to write.  My husband has about 60 of his own to write but he is on a different schedule than me.  I have packing and Christmas presents to put together.  At the end of the month we will drive with my folks to see my brother and his family in Wisconsin and celebrate his birthday on Dec. 31st.

More about my Christmas vacation plans later.   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Interesting Historical Discovery

Evidence of ancient Christianity discovered in Kazakhstan

By Tom Davis on Sep 22, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report is by the Tandy Institute for Archaeology’s Tom Davis, professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds at Southwestern Seminary as well as chair of its archaeology department.

The ancient city of Ilyn Balik, known from pilgrims’ travels and historical texts, has been discovered in Kazakhstan. Historians of Christianity along the Silk Road have known of travelers’ accounts of Christian communities in the region and in the ancient city of Ilyn Balik, but now, recent excavations at the village of Usharal, 60 kilometers from the Chinese border, have uncovered the ancient city as well as the site’s cemetery, where eight gravestones have been found.

This discovery is the first archaeological evidence for a Christian community in the borders of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This discovery supports the understanding of ancient Kazakhstan as a multi-cultural center between the East and West, with Muslims, Buddhists and Christians living among the local herdsmen and nomadic tribes.

A local resident of Usharal reported the discovery of an inscribed stone marked with a cross two years ago. The stone was recovered, but the original location of that stone is not known. The Kazakhstan government, cognizant of their multi-cultural history, has created the Center for Cultural Rapprochement under Karl Baipakov, Kazakhstan’s leading archaeologist and a world-renowned specialist on the Silk Road. Under Baipakov’s leadership, the Center has encouraged archaeological work focused on illuminating the varied cultural strains in Kazakhstan’s history and actively supports the joint teams’ efforts.

Baipakov encouraged the formation of a joint international team from Archaeological Expertise LLC based in Almaty, Kazakhstan (under Dimitri Voyakin), and the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (under the joint direction of Steve Ortiz and Tom Davis), to investigate the discovery. The joint team began investigations of the site of Ilyn Balik, a medieval city never before excavated, within the boundaries of Usharal late this summer.

The team discovered seven inscribed gravestones clustered on the surface outside of the main area of settlement of the site. The suspected grave markers all have inscribed Nestorian-style crosses, and two of them have fragmentary inscriptions.

The new discoveries provide context for the previously discovered inscribed stone and most likely indicate an extra-mural cemetery and possibly an associated Christian community. One of the inscriptions in Old Syriac has been partially deciphered by the Tandy Institute’s epigrapher, Ryan Stokes, associate professor of Old Testament at Southwestern, and indicates a date of 1162 A.D.

The local Christian community has reacted with joy to the news of the new discoveries. One believer responded, “So nobody can tell me that I don’t have Christian roots.”

The Nestorian gravestones show that Christianity was present in Kazakhstan long before Western imperialism. It is, in fact, an element of historic Kazakh identity.

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Something to think about when dating in Kazakhstan

I got the following off of Facebook, so take it for what it is worth.  I don’t agree with all that is here but for the most part, I think it is true.

firstladiesclub.co's photo.

How to date a girl from KAZAKHSTAN?

1. AVOID THE BORAT JOKES

Yes , we are all certain than you’ve seen that movie. And yes , it may be funny. But not for her. The real Kazakhstan has nothing to do with Borat. Mentioning him will only make you look silly and mediocre in her eyes. If she still laughs at those jokes or smiles, remember it’s only due to the way she has been raised – to be polite. However, deep inside she is totally dissapointed and compassionate for your stupidity.

2. GET HER NAME RIGHT

It is 90% likely that her name might be exotic and difficult to pronounce. Make sure you learn how to say it the proper way, and ask her what is the name’s meaning. Usually, Kazakh names have direct translations. For instance, there are names as Beautiful Moon, Diamond, Happiness, Desire, or even Pomegranate.
In fact, if you are struggling with pronounciation , «if you don’t know my name, you can call me baby» can apply here, too. A universal word to address your beloved ones in Kazakh is jánim, which literally means «my soul».

3 . TAKE THE FIRST STEP

She may be madly in love with you, but she would never show it. Pride and dignity are extremely common for a Kazakh girl. She knows her worth, and would expect you to approach her first. Be a man! The longer you hesitate, the less manly you seem. Take decisions. Actions before words. Oh and yes, FLOWERS are a big thing in Kazakhstan, on any occasion, don’t forget about that!

4. WATCH YOUR MANNERS

A girl from Kazakhstan is going to observe your manners. Be respectful and go private with your disguisting habits. Nobody is telling you to stop swearing and burping – you may do it at home (she will never know)! It is true that women from anywhere in the world wouldn’t fancy it, but Kazakh girls are especially sensitive with that matter. It is expected that you hold the door for her, help with the chair, arrive on time and follow the basic table manners.

5. 15 MINUTES = 60 MINUTES

Kazakh people even have a joke: “if you are invited for a party, it doesn’t matter how late you arrive – what matters is that you arrive the exact same day”. When it comes to going on a date or catching a train, be prepared to wait longer than the acceptable 15 minutes. A girl from Kazakhstan often takes her time to prepare and doesn’t rush much. As simple as that.

6. THE HORSE ISN’T YOUR PET ANYMORE

Ancient Kazakhs were the first people in history to domesticate and ride horses. Kazakhs are in the TOP 3 list for horsemeat consumption in the world. Be prepared to try the horsemeat beshparmak, kazy, and… oh yes – the horse milk, which is a natural alcoholic beverage called kumys.
Bon appetite!

7. BEHIND THE CURTAIN

At first sight, a girl from Kazakhstan seems very prude, reserved and will likely distance herself from others. If this «good girl» does have any bad habits, like smoking or drinking, she will rarely expose it in public. However, be aware that the whole essence of a Kazakhstani girl becomes revealed behind the curtain. Once you become special to her, she will be the funniest party animal and the wildest lover you have ever met.

8. DINNERS ARE ON YOU

Kazakh society has traditionally been pretty patriarchic: the men are the breadwinners and the women are the perfect housewifes. Traditionally parents raise the girls with the idea that family is the most precious value in the world. The Kazakh girl will iron your shirts without you asking, prepare your favorite dishes, give you love, support and care; surprise you with fantastic gifts on any occasion, she can pay for taxi or anything like that, she is proud and independent, but when it comes to dinners and dates – the European «let’s split the bill» is not an option – you invite.

9. INTELLIGENCE IS SEXY

It is hard to meet a Kazakh girl that is not educated. She certainly holds a Bachelor Degree or more, or on the way getting it. In fact, she probably speaks more than 3 languages by default. Since Kazakhstan is home to over 130 nationalities, she is also aware of different cultures and customs. She reads books, she knows about art, literature and history; she is resourceful, resilient and mindful – she understands compromise. Hence, the women from Kazakhstan are attracted to men that are smart – no exception.

10. LEARN HOW TO FIGHT

Ever heard of GGG fighter? Yes, Gennady Golovkin, the undefeated world’s number one middleweight boxer is from Kazakhstan. Majority of Kazakh men have at some point in their life attended fighting classes – be it boxing, judo or jiu jitsu. In general, girls from Kazakhstan are attracted to strong men with a strong character. If she is having a late night walk with you in a park, make sure you know how to defend her, not only physically, but also, for instance, to have the guts to step out for her in any conflicting conversation.

11. GOOGLE ABOUT KAZAKHSTAN

Did you know that Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world? That it is home to the world’s first and largest space launch facility? How about the fact that apples originated from Kazakhstan? There is a lot more to explore. You can easily woo her with even the tiniest knowledge about her country.

12. EXPERIMENT

Stan is a Persian word for land or nation. Kazakh means wanderer, adventurer. Therefore, the name Kazakhstan translates as «Land of the Wanderers». It is in her blood to travel, to explore new things, to meet new people, to taste new dishes…

By Meruyert Arman / firstladiesclub.co

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Another sunrise shot with Jack Frost at the window

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Sunrise with Jack Frost peering in

We survived the caucuses the other night and now we are on for eight more months of political talk and (lies).  I think the American public is fed up with this and so that is why looking at sunrises, skyscapes and sunsets seem to be a nice break from it all.  I think too there is someone from Canada who really liked looking at my blog yesterday, there were almost 300 hits and I’m used to have just 75 to 100 hits per day even though I don’t write much any more about Kazakhstan.  All very interesting.

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Shelter belt shot

A GOP debate tonight will be missed again by us, purposefully.  We did watch the 20 minute spiel by Mitt Romney this morning when he was looking very statesman like and talked about the con man who is running a charade.  We had a governor in Minnesota who was obviously not a politician but rather a show man, he knew how to con the votes out of Republicans and Democrats and ran as an independent.  Well, the state of Minnesota had enough of Jesse V. and so we will not stomach another with Donny T.  We voted on Super Tuesday for Rubio instead. He was not my choice but then the guy who won Texas and Oklahoma was.  We shall see on March 15th what happens with the remaining delegates…all very interesting.  We are at a crossroads.

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Looking into the prairie horizon

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What I remember of Astana, Kazakhstan, THEE coldest capital in the world…almost

Yes, we just experienced Astana cityscape

40 mph winds this past weekend and I was reminded what it was like living in Astana. It has the recognition of being the SECOND coldest capital in the world…after Ulan Bataar, Mongolia.  I thought it was THEE coldest some days I was out in it.  Wearing fur helped, having cuddle duds on under pants also provided the necessary warmth. Owning a good pair of boots that only Canadians know how to put together and wearing mittens instead of gloves was the key to staying warm in the onslaught of merciless winds.  In any case, as I listened to the wind howl around our house, I thought of those who live and work in Astana and what they have to put up with for almost 5-6 months.  I understand coming from Minnesota.

What most of us do is look at seed catalogs and think about our spring planting. We look at summer pictures with blue skies and green trees and grass. We tell ourselves that “soon and very soon, we will  have warmer temps again.”  The people on the East Coast from New York passed Washington D.C. just had about 2-3 feet of snow dumped on them.  They don’t know how to handle that sort of thing.  Best to just hunker down and do what I suggested above…or read a good book.

Anyway, green grass will be back soon and then there is the mowing of the lawns that happen all too frequently.  Enjoy each day no matter what the temperature or weather…it is a gift!

downtown

 

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Taking credit for someone else’s work

Those who know me well, or even if they are only acquainted with me, know that I work hard.  I go after causes and find other people of like minds to join me.  That is true of battling the human trafficking issue as well as anything having to do with preserving history. I have pursued Ukraine’s sad stories of the Holodomor (forced famine of 1932-33 where millions died of starvation) or North Dakota history, my grandparents’ history, my students’ grandparents history, etc. Of course, I am also very interested in Kazakhstan’s history but I can only skim the surface of that now that I am far away from living there as I did for 3 1/2 years.  I did collect plenty of my composition students’ stories that are waiting to be put in book form.

Many others who currently live in Kazakhstan, especially those of you who are expats, hopefully will pay attention to the stories you hear from your neighbors, colleagues, students and anyone else who offers up what they know.  Kazakhstan has an oral tradition that is foreign to us westerners because if we were to compliment someone, we would say, “He is an excellent writer” or “She knows how to express herself beautifully.”  They would mean in the latter case in writing and not in speaking.  Strange to our American ears to hear someone being praised with, “She was a beautiful story teller.”  They meant that that person knew how to knit a tale together that kept the listener spellbound until the end. I heard this comment from a Ukrainian woman who was remembering her grandmother’s talent of storytelling.  We might say that someone knows how to tell a good joke and I truly believe that is a gift that no one in my family possesses.  My husband used to tell many jokes, more than he does now. He would give credit to the person he heard the joke from…as if re-living the moment he heard it and giving them due respect.

That gets me back to getting credit for the hard work that I do.  I have scanned 1,000s of photos in the last ten years.  I scanned many photos from Ukraine when I had my students tell their stories from their grandparents’ past.  We had two presentations where the expats were invited along with the old babushka women to our university’s auditorium. The second presentation we gave in the spring of 2007, the American ambassador and his wife came to listen to my students reveal their history.

I have scanned 1,000s of photos from our local museum and gathered up other photos from old postcards so that I could get two books published with Arcadia press out of South Carolina.  I enjoy sharing these pictures on Facebook with people from my hometown.  However, our museum needs money and now we have launched into using Internet with imagekind website out of Oregon to show off those photos of our town.  What I am dealing with is letting someone else get the credit for putting up the photos that took time to scan.  He put all the photos I scanned up on the website but it would seem to anyone else that he also did all the scanning.

At the same time, I and another volunteer have gone through about 700-800 pieces of vintage clothes that our museum was storing.  We took photos of every item and also wrote the tag number on each and described the item.  We have about 20 pages of the listings and I have the 700 photos of the clothes that we could potentially sell to vintage clothes people.  It is BIG out in the East and West coasts, not so much in our locale.  So, the other night at our board meeting, one of the members who wanted to take over to sell these items on her own terms said something incredible.  After my friend and I had spent many Saturday mornings over the course of about four months doing this mammoth job, she had a potential buyer in a town about 150 miles away.  This board member, who has done NOTHING of the work, said in front of everyone, “Have her come to me to ask about selling to this vintage clothes dealer.”  I was shocked that she had the audacity to claim something that she had not worked on yet and take it out of my friend’s hands who knows a LOT about clothes.  That is taking credit for something she didn’t work on.

What are my feelings when others want to take the glory for all the work that I do?  I have another example that recently happened.  One person at my university has wanted me to talk about our town’s illustrious past.  I have done many presentations on this topic and I have 100s of photos that I have scanned to show with stories to tell.  It didn’t work out last semester because she dropped the ball and didn’t have the advertising set to go.  I bowed out and said I would do it the following semester.  That semester is HERE!  She had been e-mailing me about doing this history presentation in March.  I thought, that is fine, I will do it but then she started sending three insistent google scheduled messages where I had to accept, maybe or deny her scheduling requests.  Even though she had said that we could meet when it was convenient for me, she pushed three times with setting a day and time.  I finally wrote to say I was not interested in doing a presentation for her AT ALL!  Why?  Because she has a reputation of having other people do all the work but she would get the credit.

After what I had just gone through with scanning 1,000s of pictures and going through 700 pieces of vintage clothes, I have HAD it with people stealing the show.  Others want to get the glory for things they haven’t done. I am not a volunteer who wants to be walked all over.  I am a volunteer who wants to help others and promote causes.  So, what do people in Kazakhstan do about those who “steal” stories and tell them as if they are their own?  What would be considered “plagiarism” from an oral tradition point of view?  Just wondering?  The concept of taking from others, even ideas should have a penalty of shame attached to it, right?

Well, I will have to figure out how to work with the person on the photos, he is my friend.  The other person who wants to do all the clothes selling with the data that we collected, she will probably fail because noone will be wanting to work with her.  It will probably end up back in our laps.  In any case, I am venting right now about how I feel.  Has this ever happened to you where others claim the glory for things that YOU have done?

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