Posts tagged USA

Dreams Realized by my Kazakh Students

The following are quotes from my Listening and Notetaking students answering the question: “Have you ever had a dream that was almost unattainable, almost impossible to master? If not, do you know someone in your family or friends who realized their dream?”

 Dreams Realized by Kazakh students

Abylaikhan – I had a dream which was almost unbelievable to make since I was 5.  I wanted to go to NYC and live in the U.S.  But the problem was that I didn’t know nothing in English except for a word “Please.” When I moved to Kryzlorda, I went to a special English language school.  Till ninth grade I was studying hard, and I won a FLEX program.  I got hosted by a wonderful family from ….New York!!! I can’t even express that moment when the organization called me to inform me that! I was so happy and still remember the day! August 16, 2007. (;-)

Nurlan A. One of my friends has always dreamed about studying in the UK.  Particularly he wanted to study economics at one of the top schools in England.  It took him two years to master his English to the level needed and practice subject tests which he needed to pass in order to get admitted.  But good effort and chasing down a dream gave positive results.

Daniya – My cousin wanted to study in London School of Economics.  But it is difficult to enter this university and also her parents didn’t let her go there.  They wanted her to stay in Kazakhstan.  She is studying in KBTU at the International School of Economics.  After she graduates she will have 2 diplomas: diploma of KBTU and diploma of LSE.  This summer she went to London for 3 weeks, for studying at LSE.  She was sent there from her university at the best student.  And she says that her dreams came true.  She studied at LSE even if it was a small time.

 Galimzhan – When I was 18 years old I was dreaming about studying abroad, but had financial problems.  So I started saving money, a year later I won a lottery and spent all that money to go to the U.S.  I passed a few courses of self-esteem and managing money.

 Gaukhar N. – one of my friends is living and studying in Canada now, actually it was his dream many years and finally this dream came true.

 Raushan – I had a dream but I’m not sure that it was so unattainable. I wanted to graduate from school with Altin Belgi” but everybody, beginning with a headmaster ending with other people, except my class master and friends, didn’t believe that I could do that and they did everything that could help me NOT get “Altin Belgi.”  I think it was like a Rudy’s case.  In spite of these obstacles, I achieved my goal and everybody should go to their dream chasing it.

Aigerim M.  I love dreaming and thinking about my future.  I have many dreams.  In Kazakhstan, after graduating at school, we have a National Test to enter a university.  In school, all my lessons were very good.  I was “5” student, so I had a chance to get “Gold Medal” I don’t know exactly how to say in English.  So, my first dream was to prove my skills in this test and get “Gold Medal” then with our university with a grant.  So, my dream came true.  I’ve realized them.  My National Test score was perfect.  Now I’m studying at our university with Nazarbayev’s scholarship.  My teachers and parents were proud of me.  I was happy, too.  My second dream is to enter Cambridge University for a master.  Third one is to make my parents happy and proud of me. So, I hope that my dreams will be realized.  Of course, it is difficult.  The person should be tolerable for everything despite failures in our difficult life.

Amina – Yes, I had such dream, which I was crazy about.  Actually I had lots of them in my life.  Fortunately I’ve made them reality.  It was VERY HARD, BUT WORTH IT.  The last one was to prepare one totally, not-prepared student for union test.  He got 100/100 in math and 100/100 in physics.  He wanted to have full [ride scholarship?], but his knowledges wasn’t quite enough.

Anar K. Two years ago, I listened about our university and I really wanted to enter in this university.  And I realized my dream, I am so happy!

Aigerim K. – When I studied at school (15 or 16 years old) I really dreamed about returning to my relative’s town of Almaty.  But we lived in Astana.  I thought that it would never happen again that I would live again in Almaty.  But when I passed all exams and entered our university in Almaty, I realized that my parents allowed me to return to Almaty and to live here.

Madiyar – My father had a dream. First of all, I want to tell pre-history.  Ten years ago, my father worked in the theater and his payment was low.  We lived in a small flat. And his dream was to build a big house with a big garden, open his own shop.  Before, he always wanted to be boss.  And his dream was realized maybe because he really wanted it.

Indira – I have never had a dream that was almost unattainable or impossible because I am a realist and I don’t like to dream.  But of course, I know that my sister likes to dream very much and she always realizes her dreams.  She is very clever and self-confident person.  For example, when she was a school girl, she dreamt about studying abroad, and in future work as a translator, she was really interested in Italy.  And now, she really works in Italy as a translator and five years she studied abroad in Russia.

Julia – I don’t think there is anything unattainable.  My aunt finished her school in a small town in Russia (Batagay) then she went to Moscow and started studying in MSU for free.  Those times it was almost impossible (as well as now).  Now she’s an editor in one of Russian magazines.  Her hard working character helped her achieve success.

Elbar – My mother when she was a teenager dreamed to live in a city, (she lived in a village near Almaty), to have a car, own flat, etc.  She didn’t work like all Soviet teenagers, instead of this she studied.  So she went to university, finished, found a good job, by that time she developed in her career and realized her dreams.

Tolegen – To have a dream that I cannot realize, is not me.  I always think realistically, whatever the subject is.  I have a friend who had such a dream; he wanted to leave to Japan and continue his education there, but it was almost impossible, because of lack of money, however, he realized it with an international program for students

Serikzhan – I’ve never had unattainable dreams.  But I have a friend who was eager to be a football player of a professional team. (He ha) It was impossible task.  We all thought that he wouldn’t be able to reach his goals.  But he did!

Karlygash – I had an experience when I really wanted to participate in the science project competition and I really wanted to take a place there.  I dreamt about this and one day my director said that I was chosen to this competition and then I was ready to tell about my project.  At the end, I took third place on Republic competition.

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Family Fun Fotos at Our Christmas Party

pc260109My sister Karen holds the imfamous bottle of water that came with Ken and me from Almaty in December of 1993.  The bottle has been passed around the households from sibling to sibling these past 15 years.  The rule of the game is to make sure that the person being gifted with this bottled water from Kazakhstan doesn’t know they received it.  It has had a long history of laughs with how creative each gifter has become. My favorite is when brother Tim put it in our car amongst all our wrappings of carryout food.  He did it under cloak of darkness.  We thought he and his wife had tossed it since it had been out of circulation for about 2-3 years. Earlier, my sister Katherine used a orange carton to camouflage it in another’s fridge.  One time my sister Tora busted perhaps Katherine from having her toddler son carry it into their car.  My brother Tony gave it as a white elephant gift to my sister Karen at our Christmas party.  Now I’m not sure who has this valuable bottle of water.  Each recipient labels the date when they received it.  Perhaps this glass bottle will have another 15 years of laughs.  I love my sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews and am grateful for a time that we could spend together, be it ever so short.


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“Too Young to Die” Part II by Alexandr

The next period of their life I would say is “the dark time”, from historical point of view, of course. I call it that way, because I and my mom do not know anything from those times, only few things. My great-grandfather became a spy, but had not had told it to his wife for a long time. They have always been moving around. They had been all over the Soviet Union and neighbor countries. My great-grandmother was alone most of times, and once she asked: “Why you never talk about your job?”, on what he answered: “I want you to live!”. They lived in wealth, but they never had neighbors, because they used to live near mountains or in forests, so people would not see them.


Great-grandfather would bring clothes and other stuff, what could not be grown by them from time to time. The food that they had been eating was all home made. By the time, my grandma was born, but unfortunately I do not even know what year it was. She was the only child they had. He was afraid his wife and daughter to be hurt, therefore he would always give instructions on what to do in some situations or if he would not return home. Eventually, it happened.


By the end of World War II he did not return on the week he was supposed to, not the week later, and not even the month later. Three month later his old friend from the military academy came to their house and gave my great-grandmother a box. He said her husband wanted her to have it if he would get caught and killed. It was a shock for her, no matter the fact that she knew what kind of job he had, and that he had been always preparing her for the thing like this. She opened that box and there were all the medals he had achieved, all the certificates, jewelry and keys of the house in Moldova with the last letter, where he wrote how much he loved them and suggested to move to Moldova and get a “real life”.


After a while my great-grandmother went back to normal, and moved with my grandma to Moldova, the country where she was born and where she met her husband. Starting from that time she had never had a single male in her life, not even a friend. She would never let anyone else in her heart. It hurts too much. Elena raised her daughter Sveta and tried to spend all her free time with her. May be it was too much, because my grandma Sveta grew up, put her career on the first place, and had been visiting her mother very rarely. Later she gave birth to my mom Alena and gave my mom to my great-grandmother for rising.


Sveta had big success in her career, eventually, she was chosen to the Senate of Moldova, but she was missing everything else. She would visit her mother and her daughter very rarely yet. Elena had great times with her grand daughter and everything what I know about Vladimir, Elena and Sveta, I know from my mom. Later my mom got married, moved to Germany, where I was born, and then we moved to Kazakhstan. Five years later mom brought Elena from Moldova to Kazakhstan, and we surrounded her with love.


On the January 3-rd of 2007 my great-grandmother died. I was very upset, especially because I was in USA at that time, and I was informed about it only after the funeral.  Mom called and told me that she had bad news and I did not need any other words, I knew what happened. Elena had been coming to me in my dreams 3 days after her death, until the day she was buried and I was informed.

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