Sunday, March 10, 2013

Silent World / ARDI / Kazakh Society of the Blind

These have to be the biggest tulips ever!  We saw this truck the other day.  They have been setting up displays all over town.  Friday March 8 was International Women's Day.  They take their holidays very seriously around here.  I was given flowers and candy by several kind people!  I don't know why the US doesn't celebrate this day.  Seems like a pretty good idea to me!
I promised a photo of our parking lot.  This is actually a pretty good day.  In fact, the colder days are often better than the warmer ones.  It gets too slushy and wet as it melts.

We went to visit Maria at Silent World.  This is our friend Alibek helping us communicate.  This organization hires the hearing impaired to make souveniers and do sewing contracts.  We came to tell her that her project has recently been approved.  The church is going to provide an embroidery machine so they can make traditional Kazakh costumes.
We had a laugh about her Kazakh Barbie collection.  She said she buys the dolls but then she has to paint the eyes brown instead of blue and try to make the eyes look slanted like Oriental girls!

This is a photo of the China Palace where we had dinner a few weeks ago.
This is a hotel in Almaty that we stayed at this week.  It is closer to the branch building so we thought we'd try it.  It does have a scary elevator, the bed was nice, but overall I think it's overpriced.
Anyway, when we landed in Almaty the sun was shining and there was hardly any snow around.  At mid-day, the sky clouded over and it started raining.  And raining.  And then it started snowing.  And snowing.  But it was nice while it lasted!  We ended up happy we brought the big old boots after all.

I thought this was an interesting design of a Kazakh falconer.
This is a dry ball pool that the church has provided to an organization in Almaty.  When we visited them last time, their director was not there so we were glad to get to visit with her this time.  The boys are enjoying their pool.  They said we should get in with them because it's fun!

This is the new treadmill they received.  This young man was happy to demonstrate for us.

This girl was happy to see us because we interrupted her physical therapy!

They are very happy to have a new stove as well.

We enjoyed seeing our friends at ARDI.

The girl in the wheelchair is Danara.  I remembered meeting her the last time we came here.  She has the most beautiful smile.  I asked if she was happy and she said yes, I am happy.  (And she speaks English!)

Next we went to see the sewing shop run by the Kazakh Society for the Blind in Almaty.  These sewing machines are VERY old!!  They have a man that helps keep them running.  They do amazing work.  It is very neat.  This organization had sent a request for assistance and we wanted to see their location since we were in town.  We hope to be able to help them get some new equipment.  They employ about 70 people with low vision.

This is the hallway from the sewing room towards the office.  This is definitely an old Soviet-era building.

This is the lobby of the building.  Not a great facility, but very nice people!  We enjoyed our visit with them.

Later we walked to the food court.  The rain was turning to snow.  Alan's still smiling!

What!!!  We found Doritos at the grocery store there!  Only Taco and Nacho flavors, but wow!
I just realized we didn't take any photos at our Zone Conference.  But we did have a wonderful time and enjoyed meeting together with President and Sister Gibbons.  They now have multiple entry visas so it will make it much easier for them to visit Kazakhstan in the future.

On Friday we came back to Astana.  We had a Talent Night Activity for our English group and the branch.  This is a view out of the window at the branch.  The security guy is moving some of the snow.
Nurgissa is playing a traditional Kazakh instrument the dombra.  There are only two strings on it and he knows how to make it sing!

The elders performed too along with some of our little girls in the branch.  One of our English students played Chopin on the piano.  She is very talented!

This morning there was a little bobcat out in the courtyard trying to clean up some snow.  I'm not sure why it's the thing to do now, but he was working away on it all the same.


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