Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Road to Almaty

The Nelson family as we head out! They were visiting their son.

So the petitioners made their way to the embassy at 4 pm on Thursday to be handed a visa packet which they gave right to our coordinator. Now it makes you wonder why all the fuss & necessity, apparently it has to do with something like they need to see you are a real person. I could go on about how I really feel about it but it is late and I’m cranky after a very long uncomfortable ride. In reality, you have to do it and sweet pea is so worth it so why complain.
Portraits of Kyrgyzstan
The view on the road

It was a 5 hour trip start to finish with a long border crossing in Krygyzstan, a short wait at the Kaz border, and then our driver having to fill out paperwork in the car while Phoebe decided she would wail. She finally fell asleep but waitng for our taxi driver to get his act together with his paperwork made John really cranky. We left at around 5 pm from our hotel and this time we didn’t go through the main border crossing that is just north of Bishkek. We went on this circuitous route which because we were in this old Mercedes station wagon with no shocks, I hit my head on the roof a couple of times and I was almost afraid poor Phoebe would get shaken baby syndrome from the conditions of the road. No carseat, but thank God we could actually use our seatbelts and they worked. It was Phoebe we were worried about. I kept her in my baby sling just in case so she wouldn’t be launched like a missile should anything happen. I certainly wasn’t feeling too well until we got onto the smooth autobahn of Kazakhstan. John counted 14 near misses had God not had a hand in protecting us from different oncoming cars. I didn’t count as many but I was trying not to pay attention to the lights heading straight for us or the passes on curves or up hills. I think John and I have worked too long in the emergency room to know the realities of an mva, let alone in another country with different medical care. We had one potty stop at a place with Turkish toilets, which you must pay to use. As for our route the state department warns you to stay off this road at night as they say it is dangerous, but since when have John and I paid attention to those warnings. We usually don’t put up a fuss about foreign driving yet this time we just felt unsettled, mostly because we are tired from our other hotel stay and want to get home as this is not new to us. All said and done we were very glad and thankful to get to our hotel, close to midnight. Now I had put a request in for a nonsmoking, king bed, with a baby crib. We got 2 of the 3. John went to the front desk and asked for one, then they called back and said would we take an extra bed because they were fresh out of cribs. I said no, our baby would roll out of it and she would, she is such a squirmy worm. It amazes me that this 5 star hotel who had our reservations 3 weeks prior and another call the night before to reconfirm what we needed and that we would be arriving late could not get it straight. So they had to go to another hotel and finally brought us a crib, though it is a crib, it definitely wouldn’t pass safety standards!! At least it didn’t rock and toss Phoebe out when she rolled over like the one in the Silk Road. Then of course our darling baby now got the big D!!! She didn’t soil her clothes, but it did get all over the changing pad to John’s chagrin
Crib Rails
Doctored Crib!
Well, it’s off to bed for me. I’m looking forward to a nice hot breakfast tomorrow morning and it should put me in a better mood! I thought I’d share with you some of the mood swings you feel while on the journey…sorry to sound like complaining but once you have your child staying in country gets hard on you…


Jackie said...

Hey friends :) So sorry for the bumpy road and not-so-fun drive to Almaty. But so glad you arrived safely.

Just a few more days and you'll all be home sweet home.

Hope you got some good sleep and sending hugs. x

Rachel said...

Amen to wanting to get home after you have your child! Wow, no luck with the cribs...that one is crazy! Glad to hear you are safe and sound...soon you'll be back home as a family of four (plus dogs)!

Margaret & Tom said...

So glad you are in Almaty safely! That crib is just antiquated, and it makes it seem silly that my mom and I are debating if a bumper pad is safe to use or not :) when Milana comes home. Looks like you doctored it up nicely though. Hope you are getting better sleep in the Kaz hotel after you long journey to get there. I like the idea of a baby sling to keep Phoebe from getting bounced around too much...I will have to remember that. Hope the diarrhea is already better before you even read this message. margaret

Maria said...

Gen, I think your honesty is very important to those of us coming after you so we can try to be as mentally prepared as possible for the things that can/will go wrong. My BIGGEST fear for the entire trip is the trip from Bishkek to Almaty. I've never heard a good version of it. :-) I'm glad you are getting closer to home!