Sunday, August 20, 2006

No visit with Rebecca today

We slept in until 9:00 this morning, missed church. I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight and James awoke at 3:30 wanting to talk and we didn’t get back to sleep until after 5:00. I really needed to catch up on sleep so I decided to stay in this morning (Daniel slept for 12 hours).
Bouzhon,Elana and Jenna picked us up at noon and we decided to head into the “new city”, which is being built from scratch. All the Ambassadors homes, all new government offices, housing, stores, parks, court houses, brand new presidential palace/home. They have hundreds of cranes moving stone,brick and mortar 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I can see the welding torches from my apartment flashing at night. Its an amazing project. One company won the contract to build the entire city which also happens to be owned by the president’s daughter. We started walking down the center or main avenue which is filled with fountains and gardens, various sculptors and monuments. It was a little eerie seeing all these new buildings and store fronts but very few people. The country is preparing for a huge influx of population over the next several years. Mostly oil,gas and mining people I was told.

We walked for about an hour and then decided we should get something to drink. Since there are no stores in the new city yet we headed back to the car and bouzhon drove us to a local market. Security is really tight here in some areas and we had to check our backpacks and bags prior to entering the store. We picked up some juice and soda and Bouzhon asked us if we wanted to visit the Astana Mosque.

I have never been in a mosque before so we headed over and some services were just ending. The structure was very large and aside from the huge gold dome is was not as ornate as I would have expected on the outside. As we entered we passed thru this inner court yard which lead to the main building.

As we entered the main building we removed our shoes and entered this very large carpeted area. Bouzhon described and explained the different areas of the mosque and their function, meaning and some of the rules.

It was very interesting. Daniel and James ran around on the carpet for awhile as we explored the inside. We walked around for a little bit on the outside as a wedding party was approaching and then headed home for the day. We spent the rest of the day relaxing. I found an ”Animal Planet” station on the television and they had a special on sharks so we watched that, had dinner and now off to bed.

Pictures today:
Visual plan of the “New City”.
Presidents home.
Daniel in front of sculptor of a giraffe.
Outside of Mosque
Interior of Mosque
Myself and James

1 comment:

The 5 McGills said...


Thanks for sharing the pictures of the Mosque. We went by it a few times, but were never sure if we could go in, so we didn't. Hope you're all doing well.