Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Day!

It's our first snow day of the season and I couldn't be happier. I wasn't really even expecting snow this morning other than a few comments made by friends that they were hoping for some last night. It's Ohio... we rarely get the weather that is actually predicted around here.

I woke up at 5:40 this morning to a phone call from my superintendent saying our school was on a 2-hour delay. As soon as I hung up the phone I rushed to the window as if I were expecting Santa to go flying by. Sure enough... there's white stuff on the ground and a lot of it! Yeehaw!

I didn't want to get my hopes up that school might actually be canceled so I kept getting myself ready for the day. I rode my exercise bike, read my book, threw in some laundry, did the whole bathroom morning ritual, had breakfast and then sat down to watch a little TV. I had essentially given up on possibility of school being called off so I ventured upstairs to get dressed before heading out to warm up the car and scrape off the ice. Lo and behold, as soon as I made it back downstairs to find my coat THE phone call came. SNOW DAY! School is called off.

Now, I just have to say I LOVE snow. I love the way it changes the entire landscape. I love the way the trees and bushes looks when they're covered in the white powdery stuff. I love the way it seems to add another degree of prettiness to buildings. I love playing in it and sadly, I even love shoveling my walks when I'm not in a hurry to get somewhere.

So I'm sitting here at my computer responding to emails and working on work stuff from the house and can't help but keep glancing out the window to make sure it's still snowing. Then, as I do so, I reflect back on a time not quite a year ago when we were in another magical land covered in snow (well, it was actually slush). I think snow will always bring back those Kazakh memories for me.

When our plane landed in Uralsk we were ushered down the steps and across the tarmack to the small airport of our daughter's hometown. It was almost time for the sun to come up and we were walking across the ice covered ground where our plane had landed. We were met inside the airport by a smiling face that belonged to a sweet lady named Olga. After traveling so far and being exhausted by the trip it was so nice to be greeted with such kindness and in English(!) nonetheless. The adoption agency had sent 2 cars because all Americans pack way too much stuff and even though the kind drivers could barely understand a word we said their genuine smiles reassured us that they were there to help us in any way they could.

We were driven from the airport to the Chagala Hotel where we were to spend the first night and were given a brief description of the things we were seeing by Olga, who was very proud of her city. There at the Chagala we met Mary and Gene and the daughter they had just adopted. They, along with our new translator, Aliya, were our welcoming committee into what would be our home for roughly the next 3 1/2 weeks.

The kids with the sleds above were toddlers from Babyhouse #2 that were playing outside while we were visiting Emily. I'm so glad we had a window from our improvised visitation room out onto the playground.

The picture above is of a young woman hauling a jug of water on a sled from the local pump back to her house. Many of the homes have no running water and they get it daily from the local tap.

Emaliya Nadezhda Hypes on 1/29/07. Her first day out of the babyhouse!

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We landed in Uralsk in the snow and we left Uralsk in the snow. (Well, slush really. Heheh.) I celebrate this snow day and many more to come in memory of those incredible days we spent in Kazakhstan!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahh, with the snow and this time of year, I too reflect a lot on our days in KZ. It is hard to believe it is almost 2 years since holding our daughter for the first time. We have gotten lots of ice and this weekend (12/15) finally got the snow!


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