With English class & the Peace Corps

In hope to meet an English teacher, we popped into a highschool in Jizzak. Instead, we got more than we asked for. 3 local English teachers brought us to their English classroom with a bunch of curious & eager students to have an interaction session.
(Uzbekistan … 10.02.05 to 10.03.05)

Our popularity is always on the rise :) When asked what’s our hobby, “to cycle home”…”What’s yours?”, the student answered “to learn English” happily ;)

Our presence stirred the director of the school as well. Ms Sadriddonova was very keen to find out what education system we have, namely in specialized college like art & music. From her we received an Uzbek ceramic plate with their national symbol, the cotton.

We met Mahmad while he was pushing his bike along with his long time friend and neighbor, Bahodirz, on their way home. We had wished to stop in the house for lunch but instead they got us to spend the night.

It’s customary for the host to office his guests “arak” (vodka), but we had to seriously turn them down. After much struggle, they gave in & drank among themselves. This night we slept with Bahodirz & a heating stove in the room was specially burnt for us.

On a long way out of the city, in mist and fog, we came to Zarbdar & meet Ibrahim. He has just returned from prayer & we were his guest from God. After dinner, dried flowers are burnt to give the house a fresh fragrance.

It’s never easy to break the ice, harder without a common language. However, when the neighbors joined in, the atmosphere became livelier. “Look at the camera!”

From the young boys at Ibrahim’s house, they spoke of a American teacher in the village. Untimely for us, Ms Jennifer has gone to Jizzak the day before. Nevertheless, her local counterpart, Mdm Soyyora mentioned that of a Winter English Camp tomorrow. So if we stay for another night, we’ll meet her …hmmm…

Shavkat, the PE teacher offered to host us for the night. His house has been beautifully renovated in preparation for his wedding next week, with new paint, new carpets & even a new toilet.

Julie & her local partner Dilfuzo had came from Jizzak to help out the Camp. They are conducting world geography, and hopefully the children will understand why it’s not possible to take a bus to America.

Ms Jenny, as she’s fondly known to the students & teachers, is teaching Uzbekistan geography. In less than almost 2 yrs time, she can speak the Uzbek language perfectly! “Torus ma?”

The Peace Corp volunteers are sent for a 3-mth intensive language course before their allocation of school. Each volunteer is given a 2-yr contract. Ms Jenny will be leaving soon. I wonder how much she’ll miss of her days here…

Apparently, she’ll be missed by many. It’s the closing of a school term and her students are anxiously asking for her autographs.

When asked about food, “I can’t believe I missed MacDonald!” exclaimed Jennifer. Nothing beats food from home when you’re abroad … we understand that too :) For lunch, we’re having American pizza, with cheese, the dough & the cooks from America!

Gordon is another volunteer who is teaching in Tashkent. It has been an enriching gathering for us, having met not 1 but 3 of them. Thank you guys! May your experience be memorable and rewarding!

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