Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rainy Day

James had been on the bus before but this was Daniels first day (and the 1st day for many of the other kids, it turned out) and he was really excited. Daniel wanted to know what I was going to do while he was at school and I told him I would probably look for pine cones and Dandelions and he approved that it was time well spent. The bus pulled up 20 minutes late, lights flashing and I got on with them to help them get buckled into their seats. So the driver asked if I wanted to follow her and I sort of stared at the ground for a moment trying desperately to figure out why I needed to do that, was it parent teacher day? I attended orientation and read the schedule and rules book cover to cover so I was fairly confident that there was not a meeting. If she didn’t know the way she would ask to follow me. It seemed like it may have been her first day because she had a map and schedule book out so maybe she would feel better if some of the parents followed her in to school. So finally I asked if she needed me to follow her and she said “no”, so I knew there was no meeting at the school that day. The driver introduced the other kids to Daniel and James and they seemed comfortable So I said goodbye to them and as I emerged from the bus I looked up the street and saw 2 other cars stopped in the middle of the street (we live in a cul-de-sac so it wasn’t traffic) and they appeared to be following the bus. All I could think of is the driver asked them the same question and they were as confused as I was and just decided to do what she said, so they are following the bus. If it continues maybe I'll follow the bus and see what happens, maybe all the parents go to Dunkin Donuts after the bus drops the kids off.

The mail came and I received my passport and Visa back today (wow 2 day fedex turn around) and my tickets are booked so all I need to do is book my hotel rooms and figure out how long I will be in Astana and Alamty. Probably pick up Rebecca on Monday, get settled into some sort of routine, purchase food and anything else I will need for my trip home and then return to Almaty on Wednesday where my agency will schedule the embassy visit and physical. So that will give me a whole day (Saturday) to be a tourist.
I didn’t figure that out on my own, my agency told me that’s what would be best. They have been right so far. Yes, I will be traveling alone this trip, so it may be a challenge.

The bus returned in the afternoon and it was pouring rain and we all got soaked, the boys had fun. They knew I was real busy talking to the driver about tomorrow and trying to keep their back packs and paper projects (they brought home) dry so they took the opportunity to roll down the lawn and into a puddle. I waved and said I was all set and she just stared at me for a moment and then finally opened the door and said she cant move the bus until my kids are 10 yards away and within viewing distance. So I quickly realized I was holding things up so I retrieved Daniel from the mud puddle and James was sitting on the wet ground. I waved and the people in the cars behind the bus started waving at me too as they passed, so I waved back. They had a great time on the bus their first day, we had sung so many songs and read books about school buses that I think they really enjoyed their first experience.


Carolyn & Igor said...

Dan -

I loved the pinecones & dandelions answer - Igor and I got such a chuckle from this log entry. I'll never see a school bus the same way again...

Stay well -

pearly1979 said...


I would really love it if you could help me with instructions to obtain your visas on your own. I really don't want to spend the extra money using a service but I don't want to mess it up either. It sounds like you did it on your own and got it back super quick. I want to know how to do this! :) If you have a minute I would really appreciate your help. Even if there is a website you can point me too that would be great!