We arrived at the Semey airport on the 18th at about 9:30 a.m. for a 10:30 flight. We waited in an enclosed area until about 2:30 p.m. as the plane was late. There was NO heat and we were trying to entertain three 11 month old babies stuffed into snowsuits the entire time! The only heat we found was flowing out of a hole in a wall. We huddled around this hole quite a bit. The most DIFFICULT part of this ordeal was the "not knowing." Since we don't speak the language, we had NO IDEA when the plane was coming in or IF it was coming in. Next ... every Kazakh person in the waiting area STARED US DOWN. It was obvious that they did NOT like seeing Americans with Kazakh babies. We had to deal with this resentment the entire week in Semey when we were with our babies ... but we always had Larissa, our interpreter, with us. Many times, she had to stop to explain to the people why it was a good thing that we had adopted "THEIR" Kazakh children. But on this day, we did not have her and we were VERY UNCOMFORTABLE with the situation. We just kept saying to each other ... "This is a nightmare."
Well, the plane finally arrived and once again we boarded the "LAWN CHAIR FLIGHT" to Almaty ... yes, the plane is THAT small ... but now we had to hold our babies in those tiny seats with us!
Noah did GREEEEEEEEEAT! Wow ... he was amazing. He loved looking out the window and seemed to just take it all in! My heart pounded at times when I thought about what this was meaning for him ... in ways that he doesn't realize.
Once in Almaty, we were picked up and taken to the Almaty Hotel ... OUR JAWS DROPPED at the concrete streets, actual concrete sidewalks, buildings with glass windows that aren't broken, street lights, REAL CIVILIZATION as we know it. We walked into the lobby of the hotel and wanted to kiss the ground ... we all were nearly in tears. The rooms cost $170 a night and can I tell you ... I am in hog heaven! I'm including pictures of the room ... not because any of you reading this will be that impressed ... but because I want to remember it. To me ... IT'S PARADISE!!!!! The best part of this room is I HAVE A SHOWER!!!!!!!!! You must understand I have bathed in a tub with only three inches of lukewarm water for an entire month. In this room was a refrigerator stocked with goodies! I started with a coke and a snicker bar!!!