Rita's mother called, but for some reason she could not hear us. We called back to both our mothers. Carla is good. She told me that missed me and that when I got home I would be punished and have to go upstairs. I really cannot wait to see her again. My mom is good, but still in some pain. She spoke with Carla the last two days and Carla told her that she was calling too much. Due to her pain she asked that Carla not visit until later this week.
We went to the history museum today. Very nice. We wish there is a catalog of the museum collection as there is lots of neat stuff. My favorite is the Golden Man mock ups and the Yurt. I wanted to take pictures, but they are forbidden. It seems the dourest women are museum guides as they seem to scowl at everyone. I took a picture of the museum which is not a very nice looking building, but it is trying to model a mosque that was destroyed either by the Mongols or an earthquake. There is a nice model in the museum. Across the street is the hideous presidential palace.
Dima took us to Central Park which has a beautiful orthodox church. Equally nice on the inside, but no pictures allowed. I took a nice picture of Dima who has been great. He took one of us, but Rita has her eyes closed. The war memorial in the park is impressive. It is under renovation as this year is the 60th anniversary of Victory Day in May which remains a big holiday in the ex-Soviet Union. The part under the blue tarp looks like the walls of the Kremlin and a sign says "Russia is large, but Moscow is at our back." and commemorates some heroic Almatans who died defending Moscow. There is an eternal flame, monuments to the hero cities, sculptures commemorating the Great Patriotic War (WWII) and the Revolution, and a couple of graves for special heros. Dima told us his grandfather was from the Ukraine and commanded 15 tanks in the Battle for Berlin. His grandmother was from Astana and was a sniper. He seemed impressed that my father and three of his brothers fought in WWII, my father was wounded in the Pacific, one uncle was an intelligence officer, and my mother worked in a bomber factory. Also in the park is pretty wood church which is a musical instrument museum.
On the way home we stopped at Thomis Pastry shop and had a good desert to go with our dinner. Back to the Baby House tomorrow morning.
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