Friday, March 28, 2008

The Country

Kazakhstan (kuh-zahk-STAHN)

Kazakhstan location:
Central Asia, south of Russia and northwest of China.

Kazakhstan size:
Ninth largest country in the world, Four times the size of Texas

Kazakhstan population:
about 15 million

Kazakhstan languages:
Kazakh, spoken by over 52% of the population, is the state language.
Russian, spoken by two-thirds of the population, is used in everyday business and enjoys on offical status under the Constitution.

Kazakhstan monetary unit:
Tenge: 1 US dollar = 128.35 Tenge
pronouced TEN-GAY

Kazakhstan government system:
Kazakhstan has a hybrid system of Government that combines aspects of both parliamentary and presidential systems. Kazakhstan President is Nursultan Abish-uly Nazarbayev.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The List

We spent today working "the list", the list of all the things to do before leaving. Jesse took charge of the finances and buying the airline tickets. Booking flights can take hours when trying to use Skymiles for international flights. Then again he was begging the travel agent for an evening layover in Amsterdam versus a daytime layover, apparently it's the evening activities in Amsterdam that are worth witnessing.
It didn't work, we have a 7 hour layover in the daytime. I spent my time creating contact lists and calendars for the kids and their activities, doing the paperwork updates and making numerous phone calls.

Tomorrow it's on to the "what to pack" part of the list. Much to our surprise the weather forecast in Shymkent is very nice. It's been in the mid 70's and even up to 80 degrees. Considering it's been snowy and rainy and cold for the past month in Cincinnati I'm excited about sunshine and warmth. Rumor has it wearing shorts is a major fashion faux pas, only prostitutes wear shorts. I doubt there is truth in that rumor, but Jesse is packing only shorts in hope of recovering some adoption expenses.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Call

We created this blog months ago but didn't have anything exciting to post. Today that changed - we got "the call" this morning. We're going to Shymkent Kazakhstan in less than two weeks.

We'll keep you posted...