Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bonne fete mon oncle Marc!!!

Happy Birthday Big Brother ;0))) I have been so lost in my dates since having to switch gears with the delay... I thought it was Jan. 31 today - but it is now Feb. 1 Kaz time! However, technically, I am still on time as it has yet to ring in midnight in New Brunswick. We will have to celebrate the four Jan. birthdays when we get home...hmmmm...perhaps St. Hubert? I would love to introduce Annabelle to it...she would probably love the coleslaw as well.

Our evening

Busy day today... We ended up at the Assorti Restaurant which we can't get enough we will miss that place! Our waitress was so sweet...she spoke English and commented on how she thought our kids were beautiful. We explained a bit of our situation and she fell in love with Annabelle's name....she said it was so fitting. Have to agree...she is quite a "une belle petite poupee".

It was a rather mild I managed to take a picture of the Baiterek in the evening. Yannik was quite impressed that it changes colours;0)

Our afternoon

From the airport, we decided to revisit the shopping centre where Lynne and Philippe and had taken us to this past summer. Yannik remembered very well the play park....and we remembered too welll the good cup of coffee that we had enjoyed there. So, with fond memories of the Theriault family, we honoured them by doing exactly the same as we had done together ;0))) (Gabriel - Babylone was not the same without you!)

Our morning

We had a delightful morning today since we finally met our dear friends from Paris, Yael and Jean-Christophe. Their flight to Petro was delayed, so we had the chance to go meet them at the airport for 2-3 hours. It felt just like meeting old friends...and it is since Yael and I have been communicating for more than a year now. Now I feel like our journey is complete.....we so wanted to be there for least we had the chance to meet in person. They should now be in Petro and we wish them the best for tomorrow's meeting with their child!!! We can't wait to hear all about him or her!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Astana's most prestigious mosque

A public servant's dream workplace

The second picture houses the various state departments where thousants of public servants works. It stretches out to approx. 1 km, with even more expansion anticipated. Public servants live in their free accomodations close to the structure.

The first picture is of the White palace - Kazakhstan's parliament.

Astana - building by building!

Had an amazing afternoon sightseeying with Zhanara. What a great guide. We saw the entire city as she explained the various buildings and their neat nicknames. One point of interest: doctors and teachers get free apts here. I asked about lawyers....perhaps a change of venue would be interesting if it meant free housing ;0))) freebies for apt for various public servants!

Also noteworthy: Astana is in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most new constructions in a Capital city.

New itinerary

Well, good news is that we were able to get tickets for Feb. 5th. Bad news is that by going through Toronto and having to take the last flight, we are adding more hours to an already exhausting journey. We will be arriving in Fredericton at 11:59 pm on the 5th.

We should know more beginning of next week. Hopefully everthing now falls into place and we can head home.

Zhanara is taking us for a tour of the city this afternoon, so expect pictures of ultra modern buildings in the next day or two.

PS- some progress on the Anna front. She is learning to be gentle and kissing us and patting us lovingly....however, she has now taken to biting and scratching Sven. I told him that she must really love him now that she is taking out stuff on him ;0)) always a silver lining to things.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Making friends at Mega

This little cutie was quite intrigued by Annabelle and came right up to her to initiate some good old baby conversation. They were both pretty precious. The mom commented on how pretty Anna is...had to return the compliment....How gorgeous are the people here!

Cute faces

At least the kids are happy!

Our new home away from home ;0)

Zhanara has graciously set us up in a relative's apt for our stay in Astana...Cindy, Dominic...these pictures are for you... hope it provides some idea of space. It's def. bigger than our apt in Petro, but probably smaller than your current one.

PS - did w fail to mention that we have one English!!!!!!!!! BBC world...we have been glued!!! Check out channel 50 (in case we forget to tell you). Have never been so happy to be watching the news ;0))

some more pictures from yesterday

The "Flying saucer" actually houses the circus when there is a troop in town - unfortunately for us, the circus is not in town.

The rest of the pictures are from the Dumon Entertainment Complex.


Our documentations at the Consulate in Astana could not be done today. We are therefore delayed by 2 days. Thankfully, our tickets had been reserved, but not officially booked so we will not have to pay an additional fee. We should be departing on Friday (Feb 5th) instead of Wed. (Feb. 3rd). We contacted our travel agent so hopefully there are tickets available...cross your fingers. We were pretty bummed to say the least, but at least we are now in Astana and there are new things to discover.

Our internet has not been working in the last 2 days. We are therefore having to go to an internet cafe at the Mega Centre. Sorry for delaying in responding to e-mails.

Here is a sampling of the neat architecture that we can see from the Mega Centre ;0)) Tomorrow, we plan on taking a tour of the city with Zhanara. I doubt we will go into many building since we have Anna to consider, but just looking at the skyline is enough to appreciate Astana's creative spirit.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

For the Lajoys - something to look forward to!

Do not despair....look what awaits for you in Astana! It's now supper time...can't wait for once ;0))) We think of you and miss you guys!!! Your crew is really going to enjoy Dumon...Yannik said "way cool";0)

A morning at the Dumon Entertainment Complex

We were all excited today to go to the aquarium to see the sharks....and we were not disappointed! Even Annabelle really got into in and squealed with excitement seeying all the pretty fish swim by. I have to admit to being slightly uncomfortable in front of the piranna tank with the netting up top...thinking, can these guys jump;0) We all got amazed (and me again, a bit uncomfortable) entering the tunnel and seeying sharks swimming all around us. They seem to come right at you. Of course, I had one little boy just so excited and running from shark to shark! It was def. worth the price of admission. Yannik has been amazing throughout our stay in Kaz and he deserves to have a fun time...I'm just happy that we can make that happen for him. Dumon is an interesting place. We also ventured around to look at the different exhibitions of places in the world...from Las Vegas to was fun.

We eventually found ourselves back at Mega for lunch at Assorti. We once again had the pizza since we can't get over the fresh produce on it - beats the peas and corn served to us at Doner in Petro! We are so happy to have Ramstop...we picked up REAL tomato sauce (not paste!!!), donuts, fresh, yes, fresh veggies, ice cream...We must have looked so goofie in there with huge grins pasted on our faces seeying all the food!!!

I ended up slipping out to the Eurasian market across from our apt to see what it was like. Wowee...about 10 times as big as Ice berg and so much more room to stroll about in there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One Happy Kid!

Zhanara's husband dropped by with a crib, a bath and....a zebra for Annabelle to play with... As you can tell by her reaction, it was quite the hit!!! So much laughter out of a tiny little person. This is a very typical toy from Kaz... how I wish we could fit one in our suitcase!

ok....back to my movie... The "girls" are watching "The Prince and Me" - quite a nice surprise for me as well... my favorite F1 driver from way back, Eddie Irvine, has a cameo as a playboy driver of course ;0)))

Pictures from our afternoon at the Mega

Amongts the highlights of the day, seeying Anna discovering sliding at the play park...and her first taste ever of ice cream....yum yum Annabelle!!! As for Yannik, we discovered this cool toy store that was very inviting for our little "knight"! Best of all...we look so happy in all of these pictures....What a great family day...the first of many ;0)

A day at Mega

We spent most of our day at the Mega Centre. What more could a north american family pining for home want: Wanta to be KFC, Starbucks and Toys r Us, play parks everywhere, Baskin Robbins ice cream...felt like home, but different. Yannik and Anna had fun at the parks as we indulged in a few favorite treats.

We are not settling into our new home for the next week..It's a bigger one bedroom least here Annabelle and Yannik can actually run around a bit.

Tomorrow, we hope to visit the Duman Entertainement Complex and aquarium....Yannik, especially, is looking forward to it. Haven't told Sven yet...but we may be able to take in a hockey game while in town... I think that would make his stay here complete until he gets to Canada for some Olympic hockey.

Celebrating my birthday in Astana!

Annabelle had her first experience in a plane and honestly, didn't go too bad at all (perhaps because it was just a little over an hour hop!). We were quite impressed. Feed her food as she is just a happy camper.

Sven and I went directly to the MEGA shopping Centre for a delicious supper at our favorite pizzaria and then my birthday treat to myself: the move and pic icecream in more flavours that I wish to disclose ;0)))

Cindy,'ll laugh...yes, more lentil soup as well... but creamy and just sooooo good! You'll also be happy to know that our blog works perfectly here - again, no comment ;0))

We had a really good evening out . Yannik was really happy to be back at the Babylon play park. The restaurant also had a small area for kids to play which Anna just loved.

Sven and I were commenting that we know we feel like Anna is ours....we had to get out of Petro to feel like we could finally begin our lives...perhaps just to change our mental state... We are no longer in the midst of adopting..that chapter is let's begin enjoying it... hence, our little "vacation" in Astana. We are here to have some fun as a family!!!