School is back in session and the students are settled into the routine, so it was about time for me to get started on an English club. Aigul, Damira, and I had been planning to organize one for some time, but it took a while to get everything together. This week I had my first few sessions.
Tuesday was introductions and figuring out what everyone already knows. I was actually not prepared for how enthusiastic the group was. During a game I put together to come up with as many English words as possible I caught myself thinking, “are they really this into this or are they just messing with me?”
If they were just participating to make me happy they sure did a good job. Everyone seemed to have fun and Aigul only had to speak up once or twice to clarify what I couldn’t get across in Kyrgyz or the students couldn’t understand in English.
Then today – Thursday – was the first of the weekly movie days. I borrowed a projector from Chrissi in Talas City, taped together some poster board to make a screen, and pre-watched “The Land Before Time” to prepare a poster with the most common words. And just as an aside, I never realized how brilliant “The Land Before Time” is. All the characters speak perfectly clear, the animals are all named after their physical features (long neck, three horn, big mouth, sharp tooth, etc.), and there has got to be less than 500 words used in the whole 60 minute movie. It was made for non-native English speakers.
After all that prep, about half way through the movie the power went out.
“Dammit, last time the power went out in town was like three weeks ago for 15 minutes. Of course it would go out right now.”
Oh well, “be flexible” is the Peace Corps’ mantra, so I told them we would finish the movie next week and played some games instead.