Astana

View from Bayterek
View from Bayterek

Today we went to the Bayterek, sort of like the KZ space needle. It was really neat because you would see the whole city. I took loads of pictures. I an still sick but there is not too much I can do about that. Yesterday we went to this aquarium place, it was like a ‘fun place’ for kids. I’m not really sure exactly but it was nice. Alty hated it. The day before we walked to a fairgrounds. There were many people all around just walking. The fairgrounds is there all year so I wonder why people don’t get bored of it yet. Yesterday we also went to this place that was a walk through mini map of Kazakhstan. It was really cool to see everything miniaturized but there were lots of mosquitos. Astana is much newer than Almaty. It is also much less dirty. Altyn and I went to the Bazaar here and it was a lot smaller. Jeans, shoes, shirts, etc. were pretty cheap but everything else was REALLY REALLY cheap.

I also went to Dana’s dance class in the morning. She cried because she had to dance with a partner she did not like. Then we went to a restaurant where I had chicken (not horse). They made a big deal about giving me ice because that is not normal here. I also watched Harry Potter with Jana (or Garry Potter as they call it here). We also went to a mall, but here the mall is very small and all the sores are like little glass cubicles so nobody has to go into them to see anything. June 10th is Astana’s birthday so everyone is getting ready for a parade.

Astana is drastically divided. The rich people live in nice apartments with all the luxuries we have in America but the poor people live in tiny huts. We went to visit Alty’s friend and I got to see one of these huts. One room is a bedroom, except there isn’t a bed. Instead there is a couch that folds out. I have no clue how four people sleep there at night. The next room consists of a broken oven that was poorly repaired, a fridge, and a table. The floor looks like it is supposed to be a quilt due to the many different layers of linoleum flooring (in odd shapes – it was probably extra that was thrown away). The other room had a closet with all of the clothes and belongings of the whole family. They did have a small tv and radio. their little hut did not have running water and they had to padlock their door shut. It made me really sad because it reminded me of those documentaries, you know the ones.

Click here for all of our pictures.

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