Great Affluence in Almaty – Behind the Scenes

Sunday was quite an eventful day with the birthday celebration for Almaty, there were many high points to all the different musical numbers.  Our university was represented in one of the acts by singing a very beautiful Kazakh folk song. (Five of us were brave enough to venture into this unknown field of singing on stage to a live audience) Monday I had people come up to me and say they saw me on t.v.   I got an e-mail from a professor who saw the program and asked if I was about to sign a contract with Broadway.  Apparently, according to him I cut up a mean figure dancing the waltz with a fellow professor from our university. 

When I sing the song to my Kazakh work colleagues or students they all know this love song.  See earlier post to find out the English translation for it, it means something to me because I actually met my true love here in Almaty.  Here are the words that we sang, “Leaves rustling of Kok Tobe, will heat my missing heart”  [I think they really meant “will warm my longing heart.”]  “I reminisce every day spent with you my Almaty.  My heart is pressing [?] to you.” [I think that applies to dancing the waltz really closely] “My song is full of delight, Here I met my true, real friends, beautiful, my Almaty.” 

So, I will always remember this song and attach it to fond memories of Almaty from 15 years ago when I met my husband here while I was training Peace Corps volunteers.  I know how much this city has progressed and also see that Sunday they were showing off their affluence with the many different talents exhibited, not least of which was ours.  See the photo below where I’m kicking up a storm in the red.  My biggest fear was tripping on the stairs from the top scaffold to the main stage or falling on the plastic flooring on the stage.  Didn’t happen.

What DID happen as a low point for me was when I was walking in the downpour of rain.  I was a block away from my flat, I fell in a big puddle and wrenched my right ankle this time.  Not as bad as the sprain on my left foot while at aerobics this past January but just the same, I was completely soaked through when I finally reached the top fifth floor to be greeted by my husband who had already gotten the hot bath prepared for me.  Thanks dear.  My backpack was soaked through.  I had walked through much water that had no where to go and since I was wearing a poncho and had my umbrella I went out to one of the worst downpours I’ve seen in Almaty.  Of course, half hour later it stopped.  I believe that it had held off so as not to ruin the b.d. party for Almaty.  For that I am thankful.  I’m not so sure I will ever venture out in rain again on impassable sidewalks and road crossings.  Cars were having difficulty sloshing through the streets.

The following is from a “singing friend” of mine who sent me the following photo.  Believe me, when I fell down in the puddle in the rain, I didn’t feel elegant at all!  “We arrived in perfect time to see you disporting yourself elegantly on stage.”  Thanks Mary!

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