Thursday, August 29, 2013

Astana in August

The past few weeks we have been trying to get with some of our partner organizations.  We have checked back with some that we visited last year and have been trying to find some new partners.

We're also trying to get ready for our trip to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan for the Neonatal Projects.  Visa issues are interesting! 

One day while we were in town, a young lady came up to say hi to us.  We had met her on the bus a few months back and she recognized us.  We had invited her to come to English, but she never made it, until last Tuesday when she and her sister came.

Here's a couple of photos from the last few weeks.

One of our members, Anastassia, wanted to learn to make an ice cream cake.  The sisters came over and they made this amazing creation!
At District Meeting, Sis H and I realized we were matchy-matchy!

This is the football (soccer) stadium in Astana.

The players take the field, with some young fans.

The Kazakh National Anthem


Our new family, the Snyder's invited us to dinner.  We enjoyed hearing some of their interesting experiences living in many places around the world.

This Hardee's drive in almost feels like being home in the US.  They even have ice machines!  We only saw one car use the drive thru though.

The Handicapped Children's Organization was doing a back to school clothing fair.  They have been collecting used clothing for several months.  It was fun to see the people choosing some items.

This little girl is in one of the LDS Wheelchairs.  She's a cutie.

Our friend, Talshyn is moving back to Almaty this week.  We'll miss seeing her at English!



Monday, August 12, 2013

Another "How in the World Does That Happen? and Other Random Stuff

So today we were walking to church and someone stopped us and asked if we were Americans?  "Yes"  (We actually get that a lot.)  Then he asked if we were Mormons?  "Yes"  (That was a first!)  Are we that obvious??  Apparently so.  It turns out that this young man is from Italy.  He is in Astana for a couple of weeks and was trying to find the church.  We are not on the church web site because we are not an official branch, just a group.  He "just happened" to be walking by us and we were able to trade phone numbers so he can attend church with us.  How in the world??

These are some little "pillow case" dresses we made at a branch activity last fall.  We took them to our friend, Kamka, who runs an organization for handicapped children.  I'm sure she will find some little girls who will appreciate them.
We have been going to practice English again with the workers at Kamka's office.  When we saw them at the Chess Day, they said they were ready to start up again.  It is always fun to visit with them.

This is a pick-up basketball game we went and watched one evening.  Two of our friends that come to English invited us to come and watch them, but they forgot to show up!  We did, however, see another friend we know.  Hapirat loves to play basketball and came for a lesson at our apartment a few months ago.

He said it looks like I have a good shape!  I'll take that as a compliment.  Round is a shape right?
This is how they fish when the river is not frozen.  The fish are tiny though.  But there is almost always someone trying to catch them.
This bridge near our apartment is undergoing a renovation.  They have taken the horse statues down and have ripped the whole thing apart.  We think they might be trying to widen the bridge to help increase the traffic flow.
Our friends recently returned from a trip to the US.  It was so fun to hear their experiences.  They had a wonderful time.  Zhanara was amazed at how people wait in line instead of just pushing their way to the front!
We had a fun evening together at our friend's apartment.

And they enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to me!

Then the next day, our friends surprised me at English with beautiful flowers and a cake!

The farmer's markets are starting up again.


Friday, August 2, 2013

International Chess Day

Did you know there is an International Chess Day?  Neither did we, but our partner organization celebrated it one recent Saturday.

One of the players uses one of the wheelchairs donated by the church

These kids know what they're doing

It didn't take very long for Elder B to figure out he was getting taken to school.  This little boy made his moves with conviction!

This is what it looks like for the road in front of the church these days.  I guess they're making progress.

At least the sidewalk is looking better

At our last English Club activity, we talked about Family Night.  The Burgeson family taught us a song "Happy Family"

And we enjoyed a little Pictionary too