It’s funny how the weeks you feel like you’re making a difference are the weeks you learn the most. I just had a phenomenal week. My students surprised me with how much they’d learned, I donated books, celebrated International Women’s Day with the teacher’s of my school and, with volunteers Kaysie and Gisela, put on another successful Women’s Club.
We’ve come to call the new Women’s Club our “feel good” club. The local pedagogical college hosts our meetings and the girls who have attended are extraordinary. In lieu of Women’s Day we had asked the girls to pick a woman they admired and prepare some sentences about why they admired her. We explained the word “admire,” but we weren’t quite sure what the girls would come back with.
The following is the response of one our club members, Kuralai, who chose her great grandmother as the woman she admires. It is an incredible story that I hope you find as captivating as I did.
Who is a woman of my admire? I want to talk about my father’s admire – his grandmother. Her name was Akdene, surname was Umbetbekkyzy. She was born in 1904 and died in 1997. When she became 16 years old she was married to a man of 55 years old. She was his third wife. It was a very difficult time of the life of human. Her husband gave her parents about 50 rams, horses, sheep and so on to marry her. I can’t say that they married, but he took her as a wife.
Do not surprise that time they had such type of life. She had eleven babies, five of them died. One of them is my grandfather, Kydyrbeck. Akdene was a brave, courageous, clever and wise woman.
In 1932 there was a great famine, that people couldn’t live. That’s why Akdene needed to run away to China with her two children and old husband from country. During the famine years it was impossible to leave country and some families had to run away. In 1962 she returned to Kazakhstan with her children, so they began a new life here.
Akdene was deeply respected among the people. She was good at dress-making. She made clothes for the village people. Also, she had an extraordinary curative qualities. She always rendered help to sick people to women to born a baby.
Dreams in our life play a big role, they may advice us something or tell us our future. And this woman could understand the dreams so clear, to propose something before. What baby somebody will have, what kind of person will be a new born baby in the future or that somebody has bright future and etc.
For me she’s remarkable person. I’ve seen her when I was four or five years old, but then never. I know her only from my father’s stories.