Link to 12/8 Photos
12-8-2004 Journal
Link to 12/9 Journal
Link to 12/7 Journal
Today was the day we had to travel from Uralsk to Almaty...what an adventure.  The only day you can catch a direct
flight is on Fridays so we were faced with a 5 hour layover in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.  The first leg of our
flight was about 3.5 hours on a propeller driven was a little cramped but a surprisingly smooth and quite
ride.  You two were perfect the whole flight (even during the take-off and landing).  In Astana we were met by an
interpreter who kept us company and helped us make our connection.  The worst part of the adventure was that we
had to pay an official luggage weight overage charge on both legs which had to be paid in cash, Kazakh
tenge...luckily we were prepared for it.  The flight into Almaty was uneventful but when we got there, there was a mix
up with our shuttle to the hotel Chagala, call the seen that ensued chaotic would be an understatement.  
There we were, with our 300 pounds of luggage (literally) and you two little babies and no shuttle.

Luckily the adoption agency had an interpreter there to greet us.  She called the hotel on her cell phone and
established that there was a mix up and that we should take a taxi which the hotel would pay for.  Unfortunately we
needed two taxis for all of our luggage.  Even more unfortunately there was a tremendous amount of confusion over
which taxi we should take.  There were about 7 men like jackals yelling and screaming at us and our poor
interpreter over who deserved the fair...the seen was totally chaotic.  We finally chose our drivers, piled ourselves
and our luggage into their cars and made the 30 minute trip to the hotel.

We got to the hotel at about 10:30 P.M.  Even though the kitchen was closed, the night clerk rustled us up some
bread, cheese, tomatoes, hot dogs, yogurt and salad...we were very gratefully.  After feeding ourselves and some
formula to the two of you we all enjoyed a good nights sleep together in a King Sized bed.