Monday, September 17, 2007

There's hope yet...for bacon.

Okay, considering most of thes blogs will be written over the course of at least a week, I figured maybe some subtitles are in order so that there is at least a semblance of coherency. Also, if I go to teh North, they eat lots of bacon, so let's keep our fingers crossed.

Language

Russian makes very little sense. Apparently English has somethign like 26 verb tenses (so I'm told), but Russian only has three. They have casses. Sentences can be in any order the speaker/writer wants, you just change the ending of the word based on it's role in the sentence. So I could say "Jeff loves to eat bacon" or "Bacon loves to eat Jeff" (also probably true). Numbered things have different endings for some reason, if they are 1, 2-4, or 5+. Why, nobody seems to know. Therefore my secondary project (other than teaching English) is going to be fixing Russian so it makes sense. First we'll get rid of teh silly cyrillic alphabet and use the good old Latin one, then words will be in a set order. I'd understand so much better if they could do that. For now though, my conversations are limited to fruits and vegetables, my hobbies (what they are, not anything about them), where I am from, and what I am doing here.

Teaching

is awesome. I love the kids, and many of them seem to love learning English. Typically, the younger teh more energetic and eager, but all students participate in class when they can. Every time I walk through the halls I hear a chorus of "hello's" and "good morning teacher" (no matter the time of day). I've taught an entire 45 minute lesson now myself on the Past Continuous (I had to figure out what it was myself first) and I think the kids understood. My class is 10th grade. We are doing English club where the kids can practice their English some more, and jsut hang out with the Americans. They told us they are very eager to learn about American culture, so we're going to work on that for the next one.

The Weather

is getting better. It's starting to cool down a bit, and I don't drip sweat everywhere I walk now. It will be exciting to actually wear a sweater to school some day. I'm very much hoping to get sent up North in two months, where snow is on the ground 4 months out of the year (I think). It has rained twice, once in the middle of the night and once in the evening, but it was still hot and I think the rain evaporated as soon as it touched the ground.

Family

is great. My sister Karolina helps me with homework and seems to love correcting my horribly pronounced Russian. My host father took me and another volunteer to a football game (more later) and my mother is always making sure I'm comfortable and have had enough to eat. My birthday was incredibly exciting because tons of family came over and there was a big bbq with awesome food, and lots of beer all through out. The man sitting next to me (some sort of cousin) kept trying to get me very drunk, and when he had to leave, somebody else took over his job. Cards is a weekly occurence, usually before and after banya, and soemtimes other nights. They definitely make life much easier and fun here, and I don't think I would have survived without them.

The Football Game

Sergei (host father) took Matthew (another PCT) to a football match in Almaty on the 12th. It was the Kazakhstan national team vs Belgium. The crowd was very much into the game and blue and yellow was everywhere. Apparently Belgium is a pretty good team, and at half time they were up 2-0. Kazakhstan was disheartened adn the fans still cheered mightily, and even more so when their team scored a goal, making it 2-1. With only 10 minutes left, Belgium fouled Kazakhstan in the box adn they got a PK. The shot was perfect and it was tied 2-2. The crowd was insane, and I have some video that I will try to get up. Well anyway, apparently a tie was qutie a victory for the Kazakhstanis adn everybody was excited when the game ended soon after.



Wrapping up, it's great to hear from you all and I love your messages. I'm still having fun, no regrets. I will learn where my permanent site is in a few weeks, so that's exciting, but until then I have tons of classes to teach and English clubs to run. Take care all and keep writing

-Jeff

1 comment:

alex said...

Bacon loves to eat Alex too!

That cousin trying to get you to drink... that was Ian... you thought you could avoid us another year across the world... well ha! We got you this time!

It has been raining a lot here in Madison. Apparently I was here for the rainiest month in the history of Madison this August. Grad school is cool - I have way more free time than as an undergraduate, too bad I have way less friends around me ;P

I have made a few friends though and there is alcohol everywhere so I am getting by.