First of all I would like to tell all of you that I am sorry it has taken me so long to post. I moved sites this summer and have been kind of busy. I now live in a much bigger town with two other volunteers. My internet connection is much more reliable here so I should be able to post much more frequently.
September 1st is a holiday here in Kazakhstan. All the students, their parents, and the teachers get dressed up to attend the first bell ceremony. There is dancing, singing, and speeches. It is important to understand how formal this holiday is to fully grasp my story. Here I am at a new school where I want to make a good impression and befriend the other teachers. I happen to live about a 45min walk from my school, Akin Sara. If you have ever been to K-stan you know that you can get really dirty walking down the roads here and that the women all wear fancy heeled shoes that are not comfortable to walk in. I decided to be smart and packed my nice shoes and a pretty blue dress into my messenger bag so that I could change at school and be spotless. The walk to school was uneventful until I get to the road right in front of Akin Sara. The dirt road was being worked on and the pipe system for the school was being fixed so the road was practically a river. I had to jump across...which I did and would have been fine if it weren't for the really loose dirt on the other side. I sank into the mud of the road and got stuck. Seriously I could not pull myself out...the mud was worse than what is by the boat house of our cabin for those of you who have been there. I had to call for help in Russian and wait for someone to help pull me out. I was rescued by a parent and then I dashed off to the nearest water pump to try and clean up my mud caked legs and feet. By the time I was done cleaning up, everyone had gathered in front of the school for the start of the ceremony. I could not walk into school in my jeans and had to go around the back to find a place to change. The only place I found was the outhouse. I took off my muddy jeans, put my dress on and changed my shoes..all without letting anything touch the outhouse floor. I thought that things were back on track and was looking forward to the ceremony, meeting my coworkers, and talking to some parents. I was asked by our school director to stand in front of everyone with the other new teachers so we could be introduced to the whole school. I was standing up there in front of everyone...which if you know me I was enjoying all that much since I tend to shy away from attention. I watched the dancing, listened to the speeches, and impatiently waited to be introduced so I could go stand near the back. It was a pretty hot day and I noticed that the other new teachers weren't doing well in the heat. It finally came time for our introduction...I was given flowers by a cute first grader and they were just about to call my name and have me say a few things about myself when I started to notice that my vision was bleary and I couldn't hear well. The next thing I know I am sitting on a couch in the school. That's right everyone, on my first day of school in front of the whole school and tons of parents I fainted! It seems to me that I started my school year of right. I already stick out as the only american now I can be known as the weak american too.