April 17, 2007

Our first day in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. This is definitely the muddy season as we’ve heard. The streets and sidewalks are just covered in it. The store keepers were out with their little brooms trying to clear the sidewalks. So we started out trying to blend in, we had to put our stern faces on and walk with a “purpose”. We did just fine. We wound up at a very nice hotel, I think we were the only guest’s staying here, it looks newer. The women working here have nothing else to do but follow us around. Vika, (our coordinator in Astana) is supposed to pick us up and take us to the train at 5pm. We are on our own until then.

Over the past two years, having Gianna with us has truly been a great gift. Selfishly, I have been thinking it was all about us and what we’ve gained having her being a part of our family. I had forgotten what her life would have been like here. That little sweetie who loves watching TV, carrying her purse (with makeup in it at all times). That little girl who loves to wear pretty clothes and loves to learn. If she didn’t become a part of our family, her life here may have turned out happy but, very hard. That’s only if she was lucky. We are presently on the train to Arkalyk and I can see all the little villages and how hard life must be for them. There is still a lot of snow and we see some of the people digging thru it to get to their wells to pump water. For the most part they’re in the middle of no where and I don’t know how their children get to a school. We take for granted having schools and even school buses.

Absolutely the one thing that I am most proud of is teaching Gianna Christianity. Anyone that knows her, knows how she has taken to religion. Ask her at any time about the “Good News” or how she loves to sing thru the stores “Go shout it from the mountains”. The fact that she will not eat any meal without saying her prayers first. Sometimes when she would be arguing with Anthony, she’ll tell him to go have a talk with Jesus about the way he’s been acting. We owe a lot of that to her awesome preschool teacher. She has so much to give in life and she most likely would have never realized her potential out here. Our dream for her would be to someday come to Kaz and help other children, I think she will.
Bill's first KGB? friend. He was the only one who spoke some English. I was hoping he would let me try on his hat but no luck!
Finally, Arkalyk!

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