Thursday, November 1, 2007
After bonding today, Larissa took us out to the country to "Saint Stream." There is a legend that credits the drinking from this spring to not only good health and good luck but it is also a "spiritual" place. There is a place to lay your "icons" (religous cards or statuettes) as a show of faith. There is what looks like a small log cabin ... that during warmer weather, people can get in the spring water in a hole located inside and then do what sounds like spiritual cleansing ... the interpreter equated it to baptism. Further down the spring toward the river there used to be a women's monastery where girl orphans were raised. During the "Red Revolution," the female leader of the monastery saw that the building was destroyed before the revolutionaries banished her to another country where she was probably killed. The Communists from Russia did not believe in God. Those who did had to worship secretly.
It was so interesting to see Kazakh people coming up from the spring with filled jugs of water. Even our driver, Pasha, took two big jugs to the spring to get them filled. Our interpreter, Larissa, even drank from the spring. They take it seriously.
Crystal drank from the spring ONLY because she thought it might get rid of her wrinkles!! Ha!