Monday, May 18, 2009

Astana - The SOS Childrens Village Visit

We had a lovely lunch on our first day and learned that horse meat is eaten frequently and a cooked sheepshead is a delicacy. mmm...Natasha Franceschi, our Cultural Affairs Officer was a delight to get to know. I admire our State Department employees, they are very brave. Natasha was headed for a new adventure in Pakistan.
We proceeded to the SOS Children's Village, which is an orphanage created by Hermann Gmeiner from Austria. This facility is a good example of what an orphanage could be. The small houses were clean and modern and seven children lived in each house along with a mom who headed the household. We were introduced to the head of this facility and her beautiful Chinese assistant. We were given a tour of the house and wound up in the room with an upright piano. Joel Holmes sat down and started playing "Centerpiece" which I sang and taught to the children. This was great fun and very rewarding to see the family's photo album and listen to what each child wanted to do with their life. I hope to have pictures to post soon of this event.