Posts tagged President’s Palace

Astana’s Cityscape Contrasts with Rural Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a countrygirl, it was good for me to get away from the glitz of the city of Astana and see what a Peace Corps volunteer might experience in the surrounding rural area.  We saw worn out gardens, perky chickens, yappy dogs, laconic geese, a sad funeral procession, gravesites, traintracks, wide expressway, Soviet tractors, pipes ABOVE ground carrying heat and much more.  The overall landscape looked like Kansas or North Dakota.  

Funny thing happened when three little girls met up with us in Akmol, a village just outside of Astana, where the ALZHIR museum is.  They asked if we knew Angie.  Apparently, since we were American, to their grade school minds they were certain we would know the one and only American they knew.  If you are among my reading audience, Angie, your dear grade school pupils miss you in Akmol!!!

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“Tall Holly Hock Syndrome”

sunrisesquirrellandscapegreen yardTurkish saunapoolexercise bikeholly hock and schoolwhite holly hock

Ken and I get up VERY early (note 5:00 a.m. sunrise) to go to our health club down the hill 15 minutes away.  On Monday Ken had commented on a small tree that was growing on the roof of a deserted elementary school, it was about 2 meters high.  When I came back two hours later it had been cut down.  Thus, I will call this phenomenon “The tall holly hock syndrome” because these nice flowers are blooming right in front of where the tree was cut down.  It had tried to flourish in the WRONG place.  May that not happen to us!!!

The following is what I wrote to my sister yesterday with accompanying photos:  “we really do feel blessed and small wonders what a health club membership can do to keep us here in Almaty.  It really is cushy, we get thick robes, all the towels we want, free health drink at the bar (apple or orange juice), the Turkish sauna is my favorite place, the swimming pool is Ken’s favorite.  There is only one exercise bike so that is in high demand and four walking-in-place machines.  I’m getting used to the leg press and other machinery there but the hardest part of my workout is walking uphill home to our apartment which is five stories up.”

The landscapers have done a magnificent job of cleaning out the rubble and planting new grass seed just west of the President’s Palace, it is a nice pathway.  I actually saw my first wildlife which usually belongs in parks, a red squirrel.  Ordinarily I hate these pests that feed off our bird feeders at home, but it was nice to see him flit about in this new environment.  May his tribe increase.

 

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