Would you have your little finger cut off to save the life of your dog? How about your forearm? Would you boil a hotdog in water, save the water with hotdog juices in the refrigerator until it gelled a little and then drink it for $200? Would you live in Semey, Kazakhstan for a year for $1,000,000? Would you kill your dog for $50,000? (Derick gets credit for that sick question ... actually, I think Derick came up with all of them!) Yes, these are just a few of the questions that went around the breakfast table this morning! Can you tell it's time for us to come home? Ha!
It was a GREAT day today! Joanie and Hayden, Rebecca, and Noah and I left the hotel today to explore! We were gone for a total of SIX HOURS on foot.
We went back to the colorful Svyato-Voznesensky Cathedral … the Russian Orthodox Church. It was designed by A.P. Zenkov in 1904 and even while built entirely of wood … NO NAILS were used in its construction. It survived the infamous 1911 earthquake and so is one of the few pre-Soviet buildings in the city.
Nearby we visited the giant war memorial which has an eternal flame. There was a “memorial lane” with engraved stone pedestals commemorating the soldiers. The HUGE statues and stone pedestals were beyond description as far as I’m concerned and I was absolutely blown away by this memorial. I’m only including pictures of the eternal flame.
Next, we walked to the “AMERICAN BAR AND GRILL.” Here is a picture of the sign and a picture of Noah’s first ever french fry! There are certain foods I have been craving and one was a hamburger … so I actually had my first one in 5 weeks and it was so good!! Between every chew, I was moaning mmm … mmmmmm …mmmmmm!
We then found the amazing Tsum Mall. We were told that on the 3rd floor there were great Kazakhstan souvenirs. Well, they were right … almost the entire floor was dedicated to Kazkahstan memorabilia. I spent ALL my tenge and at the end of our spree, the stores began accepting my American money! My prize purchase was a commemorative coin for Noah. It cost a pretty penny but I think it will be something nice for him to cherish one day.
After this loooong hike back to the hotel, the “crew” all gathered in my hotel room. We are all on the same hall and Joanie and Rebecca are right across the hall … which is why we all laughed agreeing that we feel like we are back in college and hanging out in our dorm rooms … except with babies now! We laugh alot and it's this laughter that has helped us get through some difficult days. While hanging out ... we showed Derick and Shannon our purchases, let the kids play together, talked about plans for the next day …and of course we discussed our all important embassy appointment tomorrow!
After a full day of adventure, Noah was one exhausted little boy!
Tomorrow will be our last day in Kazakhstan. It’s really hard to believe.