Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Kazakhstan – The first diamond jubilee

June 14-17

Hello everyone!

Our school has a favourable connection with the British Embassy. This owes in part to the fact that there aren’t many other Brits around to converse with, but we have made friends with many of them over the past year. They held a party to celebrate an anniversary related to a figure the vast majority of people from the United Kingdom love and cherish. Long live the Queen!

Kazakh fun fact: Kazakhstan – United Kingdom relations were formally established on 19 January 1992, with the UK opening an embassy in Almaty in October that year.

We were invited to the Radisson Hotel to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. This month she marked 60 years on the throne and, even though we were thousands of miles away, we rejoiced in typical British style – with Pimms, curry and fish & chips. Delightful.

It was a busy week socially once again due to football commitments. Even though Euro2012 is in countries which are closer to us than other European nations, the timing of kick-offs is linked to Central European Time. This results in the late matches starting at 12.45am in Astana. Committed, die-hard England fans will watch their team at whatever time they can, and I joined a group of them here to watch a thrilling comeback to defeat Sweden.

This was on a Friday night. Normally we could have had the next day to recover, but Saturday was in fact our final day of school for the year. Finishing school on June 16 – can’t complain. Consequently that lack of sleep after the football was exacerbated in what turned out to be a mildly emotional Speech Day and Prizegiving ceremony in the school. A couple of my children hugged me and refused to let go of me as I won’t be their main teacher next year. Ego boost…

We signed off formally with a Summer Ball. Smart dress, great food, copious amounts of wine and champagne, a wonderful band and a night that ended with my playing DJ on the school stage – a fantastic way to sign off. And a bad head the next day.

It is now time to rest, recover and recharge for the next ten weeks or so before returning for chapter two of the Astana adventure. It’s also a great opportunity to travel, much like the Queen does. Much is happening in the world…particularly in my next destination…

Love you all


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