Thursday, September 21, 2006

Flying out tomorrow

Happy Birthday Ian!!

We received some upsetting news which resulted in some new requirements that will lengthen our second trip a little. Some of the blood supply in Kazakhstan was inadvertently contaminated with the HIV virus which resulted in 55 children (4 have died) and 2 adults (so far, as of today) contracting the HIV virus and the firing of the Kazakh Health minister this week. So far only 50% of the 9,800 children (who are at risk) under the age of 2 have been tested. So the US embassy has added a requirement that all children who have been or who are considered for adoption be tested for the virus before receiving their US visa to travel. So Rebecca can’t leave the country without an HIV clearance from our embassy. I will pick up Rebecca in Astana on Monday and fly directly back to Almaty and have her blood drawn and tested at the International Clinic there. I am not sure at this point how much longer I will need to stay, but I will be pushing to have the results back as soon as possible. I just hope she is okay and that this also doesn’t turn into a big paperwork glitch.
I spent the last 2 days packing and running around for last minute stuff and I think I am ready to go. The hotel KazZhol, which I was hoping to stay at, is full so my coordinator in Almaty is booking another hotel, which I don’t have the name of yet. I just hope it is as nice. I am trying to avoid the Hyatt, which costs about $280/night (for a basic room), but might have to consider if the alternative turns out to be not so nice.
The President of Kazakhstan is flying out the same time I am only he is coming to the US to visit President Bush for the week and I arrive in Kazakhstan on the first day of Ramadan. I am not sure what that means, exactly. But hopefully most of the stores and government agencies are open and working that week.

I am taking my computer but am not sure if I will be able to get a connection in the hotels I am staying at. I probably will not want to go to an internet café with Rebecca, but will check in when I can.

Wish Rebecca and I luck!!


The 5 McGills said...

Good luck Dan! Hopefully the latest glitch doesn't extend your stay too long. Can't wait to see some new pictures of Rebecca!


Anjanette said...

Dan -

I will be praying for you. Try to avoid the Hotel Kazakhstan as well. We hated it. The Grand Hotel (across from the Embassy) is supposed to be nice as well.

Hugs and kisses to that precious girl!


Carolyn & Igor said...

Hi Dan - we're thinking of you and send you and Rebecca our love and wishes that all will go smoothly. Stay well and travel safely.

Igor, Carolyn, Justin