Monday, January 25, 2010

A Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood


I just got back from work. I love teaching. Some nights however, it’s a drag. Tonight, was not a drag, but I was hungry the whole time so I kept looking at my watch. Even though I have only taught my students a total of 3 times, I feel like I am already seeing progress and getting to know them individually. I love my level 1 class. I told them today that they were good students and one of the older man said, “No, we just have a good teacher.” Oh! The man melted my heart right then and there. The thing about Kazakhstan is this: I’ve only been here a little over a week, but I already feel deeply rooted into the community here. A week ago I would have told you that I live in a Soviet dump of an apartment in a slum of a neighborhood, but now I tell you that I live in a cozy little Soviet apartment in a great central location. I mean honestly, how many people do you know that can say they have lived in old Soviet housing? (Unless you are from Kazakhstan and reading this, then you yourself are probably sitting in an old Soviet apartment). Anyways, today Steven and I bought a really cheap cell phone so we could give back the one we’ve been borrowing. We found a girl at the market who could speak very broken English to sell it to us. She asked me what I was doing in Kazakhstan and I told her I was teaching English. She asked me how she could improve her English and I smiled and told her to join my class. I got her number and as we walked away she shouted, “Don’t forget me!” It was quite romantic really. So I’m like a walking advertisement.

I was at work and I was thinking about coffee. Then I thought about how I wanted to relax. I thought to myself, “Maybe I’ll swing by Barnes and Noble on the way home.” Oh wait. No I won’t. I’m in Kazakhstan. So tonight I’m feeling a dose of home sickness. Between missing my mother’s birthday yesterday and having thoughts about sweet American cafés, I’m wanting the comfort of home. But at the same time I am loving my work here too much to leave. I finally have the Russian alphabet down and can’t give up on that either. So the moral of the story is that God is good. He makes you happy where you are, but keeps reminding you that there are better things waiting.

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