November 25, 2008
The sun is slowing setting on our last day in Kazakhstan. I can see the white tops of the mountains in the afternoon light. Across Kabanbai batyr Street, the Opera House has put up its holiday signage and 2009 banners. It seems to be reminding everyone that a new year is coming, and new beginnings are around the corner. That’s certainly true for Emilia and me.
Today we met a lovely couple from Astana. As usual, our conversation was limited, but we wound up taking pictures of one another and exchanging contact information. It amazes me how many people Emilia and I have met on this trip. We seem to be magnets for conversation. How delightful!
This morning we headed back to the Silk Walk, where we visited a large department store that had everything from chandeliers to cell phones. We had a little trouble finding the Silk City Mall again – I think I walked a few miles out of my way – but with directions from a nice lady in a hair salon, we made it just fine.
This afternoon Sonya took us to the American Embassy, where we completed all of Emilia’s paperwork. On the way out, I met up with my friend, Shannon, and her mother, who I met in Uralsk when I went to the Ministry of Education before meeting Em. I did not have a chance to see her after she took custody of her son, Milo, and I was so happy to see the three of them before our departure home. They, too, will make it back to the States in time for Thanksgiving.
I need to pack a few more things before Emilia awakens from her nap. I should actually be napping, too, but I’m just too excited to sleep. In less than 12 hours, Em and I will be heading to Frankfurt and then home to New York. Our long journey is almost over, but our lifetime together is just beginning. The future holds so much for both of us.
I promise to write one more post when Emilia and I are home safe, sound and settled. In the meantime, dear family, friends and colleagues, dasveedahnya.