SOS Children’s Village – Almaty

 

Werner had coordinated for us to visit another of the benefactor charity locations that we’re financially supporting throughout our expedition:  The SOS Children’s Village in Almaty, KZ.  With thunderstorms predicted, it would have been easy to lounge in our hotel room instead.  We are sure happy we didn’t.

 

The resident children were so excited to see us and our motorcycles.  They even had a program ready for our entertainment.  Six young ladies danced in regional costumes.  A seven-year old with an amazing voice and stage presence to match, sang right to our hearts.

 

 

After the show, the kids enjoyed sitting and dreaming on the motorcycles.  One little girl had the same sparkle in her eye that I think I must have had when I first straddled a motorcycle.

 

 

When we had visited the SOS location in Panama, we gave many rides to eager children.  Here in Almaty, the thunder was booming and the rain had started so we exited while many young arms waved goodbye.

 

 

Larry opted to stay in our room while I enjoyed an afternoon of exploration and retail therapy.  My hair needed cutting.  The first salon I checked wanted $27.  Boy, I wished I had gotten it cut in China, the land of bargains.  The next place charged $16, still more than the $9.99 Early Bird Special at home at Great Clips but in my tolerable zone.  You never know what you’re going to get when you describe your desired cut using sign language. I could feel Carpal Tunnel Syndrome coming on just by watching Anastasia work.  She made at least six scissor strokes for each one I would have received in the states.  She sent me out the door very satisfied with the results.

 

 

Next stop was Silk Way City, a complex with a subterranean grocery store topped by three levels of retail including a pharmacy, banks, electronic shops, shoe and clothing stores.  The grocery store’s Deli   selection rivaled the finest found in Atlanta.  After having virtually no bread in China, I hovered in the freshly baked bread department.  The smell and variety was phenomenal.  A flat bread that resembles Scandanavian lefse, caught my eye.  Each year, Larry & I get to feast on lefse homemade by my Aunt Dolores and her daughters Dianne, Dawn, LaVonne & Mary and also by my Sister-In-Law Kari, and the women in her family. Although the Kazak stuff was good, it didn’t come close to Minnesota lefse. (Please make extra this year, ladies.  We’ll be back!)

 

Very few 3M Scotch brand products were on the grocery store’s shelves.  One that was, a pet hair remover refill, had fifteen languages on the label.  That sure saves on packaging costs.

Seeing Kazakhstan Chocolate bars got me thinking of our dear friend Hazel P.  At 97, the most enjoyed gift we can bring her from a foreign country is chocolate.  With 7,000 miles of summer heat riding separating us from the USA, Hazel, we hope you can enjoy the picture and know that we’re thinking of you today.

 

 

The top level had another beauty salon (no cheap cuts), food court featuring KFC and Baskin Robbins and a movie Cineplex.  The posters I could recognize advertised “Cars 2” and “The Bridesmaids.”  Had there been any movies in English or with English subtitles, Larry & I might have taken in a movie. Turns out they all have been dubbed in Russian.  No movies for us in Almaty.  Instead, we enjoyed a lamb kebob dinner with Martin & Frajo.

 

2 Jul  Almaty, Kazakhstan    rest day 1 of 3

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