Almaty, Kazakhstan to Astana Kazakhstan
May 25, 2005 Morning
Landed in Astana about 1:30 pm where we met our second "babysitter" "Vicka". We were under the impression we were to pay the balance of the adoption fees in Arkalyk. She said she was told by our agency we should pay today... We gave her the balance and she said she would take us shopping for food for the train and then to a traditional Kazakh cafe for lunch. She said she had to leave us for one hour but the menus had some English on them and we would be okay. We sat, they did have English on them but the waitress could not speak a word of English! Marie wound up with three different teas. We sat there with no substantial cash, no tickets, no luggage or other personal items, started wondering, why we said okay to let a girl we met 30 minutes ago pull off in a van with all our stuff? I joked with Marie that we should have given her our passports too. Luckily she did come back just an hour later and she now had our third "Babysitter" in the car. Zhanna is Habiba's (our main coordinator in Arkalyk).She said she didn't speak much English but we seemed to understand each other quite well.
The main "drag" of Astana is about 3-5 years old we are told. The buildings are quite exotic almost storybook like. This was built as the "New" capital to replace the much older Altamy. There is quite the controversy between the two cities as to which is really the capital. The president does live in Astana, so go figure...
Copyright Our Kazakh Angel 2005