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An informal meeting with His Excellency Mr Ilija Psaltirov

On February of 8th, all members of Astana Toastmasters Club were invited by the ambassador of Macedonia to Kazakhstan, Mr. Ilija Psaltirov, for an informal meeting.

“Welcome to my home!” – that’s how  the ambassador greeted us at his residency. Next to him was his assistant, a representative from Kazakhstan, and his wife, Slavitza. We were among the first comers and were pleased to chit-and-chat while other guests were on the way.

“We heard that Macedonians and Kazakhs share at least one similarity: hospitality. However, Kazakhs are also known for being late to dinners or any other events. Do Macedonians share this characteristics with us as well?” – I asked Mrs. Slavitza Psaltirov. 

To that she replied: “No, we are very punctual, but I already get used to late dinners, because diplomats all over the world are always late to the dinner.” Little by little I got to know more about Macedonia and its culture.  

Mr. and Mrs. Psaltirov have been living in Kazakhstan no more than two years. The embassy of Macedonia has opened in the end of 2014 and Mr. Ilija was its first ambassador. When he started the  night, he was honest when said that he applied to three other locations and Kazakhstan wasn’t his first choice. He then added that when he needed to make that decision (to accept the invitation) he agreed without really knowing much about Kazakhstan because he knew for sure that he was eager to represent Macedonia no matter where he was. As for me, I am very glad he became the ambassador, because I haven’t met anybody who was so passionate about his country and strived to share his passion with everyone around him. Mr. Ilija is also very contemporary. When you meet any diplomat, you expect him to be all serious and conservative, but Mr. Ilija is the opposite: he likes to make jokes a lot, he is honest and generous.

After a brief introduction the ambassador continued by saying thanks to all volunteers who helped to facilitate events hosted by the embassy. Although our club has not yet got a chance to assist in those events, we also got a certificate of appreciation.
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You might recall that we hosted a Country Day meeting at the end of January where Mr. Ilija made a presentation about Macedonia, its people and culture and similarities to our culture.

When the official part was over, Mr. Ilija came up with the idea to hold a karaoke competition. He started the competition by singing first with his own song “Ti si vulkan” – a beautiful song of his singer repertoire. The guests were grateful for the joyful event and spent the night singing and dancing to their favorite songs.

Indeed, it was a fun night that we will not forget. To feel the joy of the evening, you can find photos on Facebook (click here).

Yours,

Damira Kulakhmetova

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Behind the Curtain: ATC Bowling Tournament 6th February

Have you ever wanted to be surrounded by active and interesting people around? As someone said, surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. Astana Toastmasters Club is a great way to enhance your communication and leadership skills as well as to develop by interacting with different people.

Astana Toastmasters is the club not only oriented at public speaking and leadership skills, but also does socializing. One of the socializing events was bowling, held on the 6th of February. Members and non-members of ATC attended this event. It was a great chance to meet people outside of formal meetings and get to know each other better. Joining ATC will open up your possibilities and make your life a vivid adventure with interesting people around.

Yerlan Meirbek, our active member, organized the event. Let’s have a look how organization of such event can be great and fun. Yerlan was happy to share his insight and lessons learned from his first organization of a social event.

  1. Did you enjoy organizing this event?

Yes, of course. I really enjoyed the whole process. I faced with different questions: how to do it in a right way? Who can advise? What potential difficulties can I face?

The main point was to ask myself different questions and try to answer them honestly. Every situation is unique, so you will get different answers.

  1. What difficulties did you face while organizing this event?

The first one was regarding making key points (“checkpoints”), I tried not to forget anything because you don’t have a second chance to impress people (smiles) 😉

  1. How many people did you expect to attend the tournament? How many did actually turn up?

I expected that there would be 20-30 people. It was really difficult to predict the actual number of people, because some of them click “Yes, I go” on the Facebook event, but don’t show up.

Altogether we had 16 people who actively participated at the tournament and 3-4 guests who came to support the players.

  1. What strategy did you use?

First of all, I asked experienced members – ATC current officers. I asked their expert opinion and their answers really helped me with a strategy. As a club we organize many social events. For this particular event I used a “cost minimize” strategy, in order not to strain members’ monthly budget. We used 2 bowling lanes and participated “in the special offer” from the bowling administration. As a result, all these actions helped us to minimize costs.

  1. Overall, the event went great, but in your opinion for the next time will you organize things differently?

In future, I want a better use of delegation in organizing this kind of event. However, I really enjoyed the whole process.

That was Yerlan’s first experience and I’m glad it went well, because I very much enjoyed it. As for the winners, my biggest congratulations to the best male player – Assylan Akimbayev and the best female player – Assel Mussina! The best team award went to a team “Chocolate”. You can feel the essence of fun on photos on Facebook and also a video made by our lovely Dzhamilya Serikbayeva.

Thanks!

Aigerim Akiltayeva

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Educational report – January 2016

Here is a monthly report from our Club Secretary, Indira Kyilybayeva. Take a look and feel free to add your comments!
1) 5 regular meetings, one speech marathon;
2) One guest speaker: Ambassador of Macedonia Ilija Psaltirov;
3) Best prepared speakers of January: Asset Abuov, Korlan Bektassova, Yerlan Meirbek, Elmira Tulbassiyeva, Anuar Zhumabayev, Kamila Dagilova;
4) Best evaluators: Asset Omirzhanov, Kanat Bazaraly, Assel Stambekova, Damira Kulakhmetova, Korlan Bektassova, Yenlik Nurasheva;
5) Best table topic speakers: Anuar Zhumabayev, Nagima (guest), Ambassador Ilija Psaltirov, Yerzhan (guest);
6) Attendance: 30 – 26 – 40 – 28 – 18 – 35, thus average attendance is 29.5 people (33.25 on Saturdays and 22 on Thursdays); range 22;
7) Ice-breakers had 6 slots in January. 4 ice-breaking speech were delivered;
8) Words of the day in January: stranger, fashionable, incessant, picturesque, hyperpolyglot, formidable.
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Future Events of February

Hello members and guests!

February has started and here ATC prepared a calendar of events: regular and special meetings, fun events and holidays! Follow us on social networks for all updates!

  • Instagram: @astanatoastmasters
  • Facebook Group: /groups/AstanaToastmastersClub
  • Facebook Page: /AstanaToastmastersClub
  • Periscope: /AstanaToastmast
  • Website: http://astanatoastmasters.kz/

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