Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And More Pictures

Here's the Petro Gang! On the left is Yannik and his mom Jocelyne, then of course all of us (except me as I am in my favorite place behind the camera), then our coordinator Irina and her boyfriend, and then Sven. We were all out for a walk tonight taking in the sights on Constitution Avenue, where a lighted Christmas display was set up and there were some kiddie rides. It was beautiful and a great way to take our mind of our current situation and just enjoy time together.
Joshie looking cuter than I ever remember him looking! He is in front of the large Christmas tree that was sort of like an igloo and the kids could go inside it. It was set up on a display made of ice blocks which was pretty cool to see.

A memorial featuring symbols of Kazakhstan.

Hard to explain that seeing this flag is as meaningful for me as seeing the US flag. It is the flag of the homeland of my children, of a place where the people and the culture are so familiar...a place that seems not so far away anymore.

A mom and her child out for the evening. We have seen these cute little sleds in use all over the place, even by the elderly to haul groceries home over months-long snow packed sidewalks. EVERYONE here wears fur...real or fake we don't know. And notice the high heeled boots. At first I thought it was the most ridiculous thing in the world to see virtually every woman here wearing spiked heels in this environment, then I came to the conclusion that it wasn't just for fashion's sake, they worked like crampons for mountain climbers! HAHA!

More street walkers (not meaing that the way it sonds) in beautiful coats and hats.

A beautiful mosque lit at night.

Love these lights above the streets you see everywhere. The roads are snowpacked and remain that way all winter. There are always lots of people walking everywhere, regardless of how cold it is.

Happy Boy! He looks so Kazakh in his own land! Glad to see smiles after yesterdays tears.

The menu at the Pizza House.

Hanging out, debriefing and destressing over Fanta and a Marguerita Pizza...again...and of course Kenny ate more than anyone else :-) The pizza is not your idea of a pizza, but is actually good. It is served on some sort of tortilla like crust. It ain't Chicago Style, but it'll do in a pinch. Besides, we aren't really there for the pizza anyway...we are there for the fellowship.


Anonymous said...

Love the photos -- they bring back memories of Aqtobe in February, especially the snow packed streets and the little sleds for small children and groceries --I still have the super warm long coat I bought for that trip, but don't use it much here in Virginia! Can't wait to show your pictures to our guys when they come home from school --


Peggy in Virginia

Betsy said...

Great pictures! Thanks for the glimpse into what Kazakhstan is like in the winter. We were only in Almaty in early October so it was not quite winter yet. I'm thankful you have wonderful friends there with you to walk this journey - and trust that it is no coincidence that the Lord placed them there with you!

Lenore said...

Thank you so much for posting all of these pictures. It's so nice to be able to picture in my mind where you are and how you all are living!! It's so nice to see the boys' smiling faces! Winter in Siberia.....makes the western slope look and seem so mild, which I guess it really is!!! Take care of yourselves and please give each other a big group hug from me!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the photos! Just FYI it is real fur, but they were probably Communist squirrels, foxes, etc. so it is OK. At least that is how I justify the Soviet-bought furs in my closet! Love, Vegas

Anonymous said...

Those photos are great. It gives me a lift to see the boys smiling after the ordeal that you've been through.

Maureen said...

Very nice pictures around the city. Thank you for sharing!

Maria said...

Taking the light road tonight with you. Thank you SO SO much for posting the pictures. While you are in Kaz and we were in Kyrg, there are so many similarities and I was just taken aback by the awesome feelings of familiarity and "home" that I experienced seeing a) the girls walking in heels, b) the girls walking holding arms, c) Coke Light (YUM!!) and d) THE PIZZA menu. We LIVED on pizza while we were there. I actually grew to like the crust a lot. Oh, and the juice!! I'm here to tell you I haven't found juice as good as I had in Kyrg since I've been home. I LOVED their juice there. Thanks for sharing some of the "regular" stuff there too. It's nice to have a litle "light" in the midst of the "dark" you are experiencing. Continuing to pray for and with you all.

Oh, and one last thing -- the blessing of friends being there. Elizabeth and Bill were with us on Trip 1 when we had our "drama", and we could not have asked for more supportive friends. God blesses us so much by preparing a great environment when He knows we'll be in the midst of trials. I'm glad you have your friends.