Monday 8th June
The day of debrief. I did get rather annoyed with people both the day before, as they complained about the day being long, and during the sessions when people weren’t listening and/or talking over me. It got better once I had a bit of a go at everyone and reminded them of all the work the debrief committee had put in. I felt that the day could have gone better. It seemed too negative at times. Especially during a discussion of team aims, where yet again the topic of CADs came up, the team seemed to be focusing on what we hadn’t done rather than on ways to improve. Nina raised a good point though saying that many things we did such as drumming at the church hall opening, presentations at volunteer placements and when a few of the team went to help Rory and Nina finish their garden at the children’s centre could easily have been called CADs. However we got a lot of positive feedback and people said that they felt it had been more positive than Friday. The day ended on a nice note with Olga and Nina presenting volunteer awards as nominated by Ali and Malika. I won ‘miss intelligence’. Not bad.
Debrief community mapping task. Took me ages to draw those maps.
Tuesday 9th June
Today I went into my placement despite officially finishing on Thursday. It was a pretty average day. We read and discussed the news, took a spelling test for basic skills in which I got 18 out of 20 and was reminded of our year 8 spelling tests where I had to admit to getting two, and the learners had a presentation on drugs awareness by a worker from ‘Essex Young People’s Drugs and Alcohol Service’. Also someone destroyed the swear box and stole all the silver coins from it.
Wednesday 10th June
Last day at Catch 22. Lessons today were on health and safety and life skills, specifically personal hygiene. At the end of the day all the learners and people from the office gathered to present me and Olga with cards made by Amy and signed by all the learners, a thank you card from Di, a photo album with pictures of the learners and some of the work we did with them compiled by Amy, a ‘hug monster’ mug and some Catch 22 stationary. It was a shame that not too many of the learners were in today but I hope the ones that were pass on my message to the others. That I really enjoyed working there, had seen something positive in all of them and that I was sure that if they put there minds to it they could all achieve something good with their lives. I got kinda flustered talking with everyone looking at me. I don’t what has happened to my public speaking skills. I was awful at the community farewell too. Just the packing to face now.
Thursday 11th June
Sitting at the kitchen table waiting for the taxi to arrive to take us from Ilmas to the train station was very strange. You can’t live in someone’s home for three months without feeling a little strange leaving. The coach journey took longer than expected due to the extreme amount of traffic in
Friday 12th June
Who decided training could start at 11am when we didn’t arrive until 4am? We were exhausted all day. I managed to stay awake for the first session, a presentation on HIV and AIDS by a man from the John Snow Foundation. It was very interesting. We were shown a video showing HIV replication inside the white blood cells, resulting in their destruction, and the ways in which anti-retroviral drugs work to block replication at several stages. It jogged a few memories from A-Level Biology. He talked specifically about the problem in
Saturday 13th June
The whole of today’s training was on communication and was delivered by an external agency. It was interesting but I had covered a lot of it before in various trainings at university. After dinner we went out in Almaty, getting a Kazakh bus for the first time, seeing the former parliament, a shopping district, a theatre with some very attractive fountains which proved irresistible to a few who went dashing through them, the Presidents former residence and the Republic Obelisk. To get back we took a “taxi”. Basically Misha just stuck his arm out and within about 30 seconds a car pulled up. This happened a few times until ab agreement was reached and we hitched a ride back for the cost of 400 Tenge, less than
Sunday 14th June
Today the British Council organized a treasure hunt around Almaty for us. It was more a sightseeing tour than a competition though it took some time for a few people to realize that. The hunt took us to