Khristos vos Kres!”Good Friday was a BEAUTIFUL spring day!!! So different from what transpired 2,000 years ago, a dismal day Christians choose to remember and I decided to fast to be reminded of the cross. (Horrid flashbacks of Mel Gibson’s horribly bloody movie “The Passion” reappear in my mind)After a morning class with my students and being interviewed by a former student in journalism with a big camera taping it, time for a much needed walk down hill to the Green Bazaar.My favorite places to shop (by necessity because of my meager budget) are the Second Hand stores just north of the Green Bazaar and I discovered there is a new one that just sprouted up.I bought several tablecloths, one is a perfect linen one for only $6. I found a dress my color and then as I was checking out the fourth store, my friend Brenda called.She wanted me to join her for pizza at Ramstor.I declined but once I finished shopping I hopped on a bus and told her I’d be there in 15 minutes to meet up with her after all.Once we met, we went shopping for foodstuffs at Ramstor and then parted ways.Good to catch up even if for just 20 minutes.
Walked up my five flights of stairs to dump off my loot from shopping and walk downhill to our university where the KELT play was about to begin at 7:00.“David and Lisa” had been much advertised.With a busy week, I hadn’t figured out who would go with me, so I went solo figuring I’d meet up with someone I’d know.I was pleasantly surprised to see the heavy marketing paid off, the Great Hall was almost full and I seated myself in the fourth row in order to hear the actors’ lines better.A cast of 20, mostly Kazakh university students or other nonnative speakers necessitates being close to stage in order to not miss any words.I’ve learned this from past experience of attending other KELT productions.
Other native speakers of English who are professionals in the city of Almaty and who enjoy community theater were also in the cast of characters for “David and Lisa.”However, the articulation and volume of most all actors was very good.I thought the best job was done by an Australian lady who sounded VERY American in her role as a doting, overbearing mother.Also, Elina who played the lead role of Lisa did a superb job, she was supposed to sound nonsensical in her rhyming sentences and her boundless energy was phenomenal.She had split personalities, one that was hyperactive Lisa, the other was morose Muriel who was gloomy, almost scary.The other lead who played David did a great job too, I think he had the most lines to memorize.
What was funny about the start of the evening was as I was shutting off my cellphone before the performance I noticed I had missed one call.It was my French friend Benedicte who lives near me.She too had decided to go to the play on her own at the last minute but I didn’t know that so when I returned her call I told her where I was.She said, “turn around.” I did and then five rows back she waved.After intermission we sat together and watched the second half of the intense play.The play ended well and so Benedicte and I walked up the hill together talking about the amazingly complicated play we had just witnessed.She had been fasting too, so we both ended our Good Friday on a good note.
Saturday I had invited the opthamologist’s daughter over to find out about her Kazakh family background. (tomorrow I’ll share what I learned from Leila) Before that I had bought an Easter lily for Brenda whom I’d see the next day for our Easter meal at her home.I then prepared Mexican tacos for my students who were coming for my final “make-up” class Saturday evening and we watched “Emperor’s Club” with English subtitles.We had a lot to discuss afterwards because it was about teacher-students relationships and integrity, character and honor codes.This movie deals with cheating and dishonesty which we unfortunately have to deal with all the time at our university.
Sunday morning was a very special Easter service where we sang all the usual Wesley hymns starting with “Up from the Grave He Arose!” An extra treat was having an African American woman, who is a professional jazz singer, do a rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”The worship team had some added brass, a sax and drums along with the guitar.Peyton’s sermon was wonderful and I’ll long remember the story about his wife’s Uncle Billy.At the beginning he told of Uncle Billy’s part of the D-Day operation in WWII where he was the pilot of one of the many American boats that brought Americans to French soil to fight and die for freedom.However, Uncle Billy’s boat was bombed even before they got to shore and recovering all the dead bodies, they were all put in a morgue.By the end of the sermon, Peyton finished the story about Uncle Billy waking up in the midst of all these dead bodies, having only been knocked unconscious.He was spared, he revived to live his life.Jesus whose death we honor and memorialize on Good Friday was dead, dead, dead.What we celebrate on Easter Sunday is that He is alive!It’s not a dog’s life after all but God’s LIFE!
What fun to go with my two university friends to finish off my Easter weekend at Brenda and Thom’s place.I played her piano, ate good food and mingled with new people and “old” friends over a ham, an actual sit down meal with carrot cake made by Julia to top it off.Thanks Molly and Zoey (dog’s names) for having us. It’s a dog’s life.