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Final Toast
Zhania Aubakirova's College
Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2004

At the end of my trip on the final day of teaching we had a teacher luncheon. At this time we all shared our reflections and thoughts about the work and our time together. There was wine, tea, fruit, nuts, and an assortment of Kazak speciaty foods. One teacher sang a short song, a lament that a son sings to his mother when he is threatened with death. This is just an indication of the extent to which people were opening up, and where the conversation was going, everyone sharing their feelings and life experiences. The exchanges were emotional, heart-felt and very sincere. A teacher gave me a toast (which was communicated through an interpreter of course) that was very touching so I transcribed it from the video. It says a lot about their sensibilities, character, and wonderful humanity. It left me with a wonderful feeling and a more complete sense of how I was able to impact their school.

Hello my dear Mr. Beall
You came to our college in Kazakhstan, you are our guest and we are very happy about that
Our children are very happy about that
If the children enjoyed once, they will enjoy many times
If they experience joy once they can experience it a thousand times
All our childrens, the elder ones and the younger ones are enjoying your visit very much
You see that Kazakhstan is very hospitable
Whatever guest, whatever person is coming, we will welcome them
We see that a person can travel for 40 days
So you are like a traveler, so it is a huge respect of ours
So you bring the new ideas about the particularities of the discipline and the teaching
That's why through all the special particularities
We see that this planet, this world is one
So right now the doors and the windows of Kazakhstan opened
We feel that there is a new air, a clean air is coming
Before it was closed and right now it is opened
So right now our window to the United States is very wide
We also feel this happiness
We feel this happiness
So we see this joy and this will grow because of this intercommunications
They (the students) feel this freedom Your kind of qualifications, they see your professionalism and they want to be like that
So they think it is possible to be like that
So you see our very big mountians, beautiful views and (___?_)
So I wish that this mountains in our land and your land,everything will be at peace
And first of all, the main key is mutual understanding
We understand you, we are welcoming you,
Maybe you have got something new from our culture,
So all these good things, they have to continue
So let's be happy, and come back, come back to us
So I am wishing you good health, to your wife, my best regards to your wife <> you know in Kazakhstan, it's several wives, or a mistress . . . it used to be . . .. (ha ha . . . )
So please, reach your dreams, Lets drink for that . . .. Nasdarovi <

The Kazak continues . . .
I am listening to your toast (scott's) and your wishes to us
That's why I want to say something else, I have some thoughts to share
We have some kind of divinity (_____?____)
So you came over here because of all your knowledge, your vision, you have, your thoughts, so anyway, you came over here because someone wanted you to share these ideas over here, so we are sitting over here at this table right now, so everything we give to you its very sincere, so thank you very much for everything you gave to us, you do a very good job, we are very very grateful to you, in job as in life Spayciba