Monday, December 10, 2012

New Normal

This week we've realized that we've somewhat adapted to our "new normal".  Just in time for our "normal" routine to change.  We've learned that we can handle the weather from 0 degrees C (32 degrees F)  to 0 degrees F fairly well.  In the forecast for the next few days, the expected high is -8 F.  So .... it's going to be interesting!  We were out and about and realized that there will be times when we will not want to pull our hands out of our gloves and pull out the camera to take some photos, so we thought we'd take a few while we could.

This is the walking bridge over the river.  In the summer, vendors are selling corn on the cob and soda and ice cream.  It was pretty quiet on this day.


This grandpa was taking this little girl for a stroll.  He would push the sled and then catch up to her.

She went past me too fast, I almost missed her!
The children are all bundled up.  The elders call them starfish because they can't move.  Usually when we see them they are asleep and being carried or pushed in a sled or stroller.

Here's some of the activity going on down on the river.  Ice fishing, taking a stroll for fun, whatever!

In a few weeks, they'll bring down a tractor to scrape the snow off the ice for skating.
This is the vehicle bridge we walk under to get to our apartment building.  It is just behind the tall building to the right.  There is quite a bit of traffic on this road.  (Sari-Arka)

Underneath the bridge, some workers are cutting blocks of ice from the river.
 They drag or push them over to the side and the crane lifts them onto a truck.

So this is where they're getting the ice for the ice sculptures we're beginning to see.  I expect we'll see more of them now that it's almost "winter".

We also visited an organization that employs deaf workers.  They do repairs and other sewing projects.

One of their workers was a recepient of a hearing aid with our project in the summer.  They make souveniers that we see in all the malls and airports.  They do a very nice job
 A sample of the things they make.

They gave us one of the yurts and a camel.
They even have Kazakh Barbie!
Finally, here is the list from our Christmas program at the branch.  We had a lovely program including a piano solo by a little 6 year old girl "Away in a Manger", a viola solo by her mother, a children's song "When Joseph went to Bethlehem", a few songs in Russian and some English with flute accompaniment, some combined!  It was narrated by two of our recent converts.  We even had a guest speaker, a former missionary who served in Ukraine.  One of the best Christmas programs I can remember for some time!  We did our program early before some of our members leave for the holidays.

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