Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa's Helpers

This week "Santa's helpers" the ELFs (English Language Fellows) of Tajikistan have been busy. A Fellow ELF organized a training for English teachers who work in a special program called English Access Microscholarship. Access provides just that, access to English language instruction for disadvantaged youth around the world who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in quality English-language classes. The program serves youth ages 14-16 in 55 countries and is not only English language classes but students also learn about American culture and democracy. Anyway, we did a two-day training, and many of the Access teachers from 9 partner programs in the country were able to attend! In the photo, me and my Fellow ELF, Sharon, are doing a session on holiday songs for the teachers. We donned my Santa and Elf hats and gave a couple of the teachers jingle bells to ring as we sang.

The training was really well received by the teachers and included ideas for teaching US geography, American holidays, group learning, and more. One of the participants wrote in their comments: "You really are Santa's friends--and [friends of] the Tajik people too." They were a great group of teachers to work with, but we were very tired by the end of the 2 days!

On Christmas Eve, I went to someone's house for a Thai-themed party. The food was delicious, and the host had this great nativity scene that was made in Tajikistan! That's me and Sharon in front of her Christmas tree in our Santa and Elf hats. Tonight (Christmas Day) I went to another couple's house for a lovely dinner, complete with Butterball turkey from the US!

Merry Christmas!

The opinions on this blog are not the opinions of the ELF program or the US Dept of State.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!! My family and I are now heading out in the snow!! --just to play - we were going to go ice skating but it's 36 degrees!! Merry Christmas Bethany.

  2. It was so great sharing Christmas together via Skype webcam! We are so blessed to be in close touch though halfway around the world. Grandpa N would just love it!
    ~ Mom