Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentines Day

Valentines Day is taken more seriously here than I expected with lots of cards and little gifts. I covered my back by making a whole series of cards and buying some sweets with red wrappers which I handed out to everyone at work – all the others who work in my department in the Akimat are female. I kept on my toes all day and managed to avoid all marriage proposals and declarations of love. I nearly got caught out at lunch when two English teachers from the school where the orphanage is based turned up in the canteen to eat lunch there (a complete break from routine and as the only male there of not school age I guess an action directed towards me on the day of love!!!).

In the afternoon I judged the orphans love competition. It was a bit like a swingers party whereby couples were split up and then partners assigned at random although that is where the parallel ends. A number of rounds from love poems reading, drawing through to dancing took place. One minor problem was that on the jury panel there were no Kazakh speakers and some of the pairs spoke in Kazakh so we had to guess how good their love messages to each other were. Judging was fun but deciding on the ‘sweetest pair’, the ‘most loving pair’ and ‘Mr and Mrs Valentine’ was a lot more difficult that expected. A really fun afternoon and the place was full with all the kids, friends and a few extended family members.

Off to Kostani tomorrow morning to prepare for a training course being given by a guy from VSO London. Should be a busy week but looking forward to it. A new volunteer also arrives and it will be fun to show her around.


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