Matluba participates in many clubs like Project Love and Key Club, and is an active member of the girls track team. She also is often seen giving the morning video announcements viewed every day by all students and staff. Matluba is trying to take full advantage of all the extracurricular activities here, since in Kazakhstan the schools do not do not offer sports, band or other activities.
Like Kate and Vlad, Matluba’s school at home is very different from GHS. Students do not have lockers or lunch periods, and must attend school on Saturdays. There are very few male teachers, and all students must wear uniforms. She said that nearly no one in Kazakhstan wears tennis shoes.
“Here everyone owns more than one pair!” Matluba said.
In Kazakhstan American music is very popular, especially tunes by Taylor Swift. However, they also have a very popular artist of their own, rapper Erolat, who happens to be from Matluba’s home town. While she was very familiar with our music, American foods have surprised her.
“People put ice in their coffee here!” Matluba said. She loves Reese’s Cups. “I really have to take some home with me!”
Her American friends were surprised to learn that neither peanut butter not marshmallows can be found in Kazakhstan.
Kate, Vlad and Matluba are learning what it is like to be an American high school student, and all of us at Geneva High School are learning to appreciate their cultures as well. We are noticing that we share more similarities than differences with them. Long lasting friendships and impressions have been made over this school year, and when these friends say good-bye at the end of the school year, they will be missed and more importantly, remembered.