We just got back from Kazakhstan.
Up at 4am, picked up at 5 am, hour and a half drive to the Bishkek border crossing and then an hour and a half to get across. The key in Kyrgyz is to be prepared to pay a fine whenever necessary. Without paying our fine it would have taken hours more to cross. Pay the right person and you get to move along. Once in Kaz it was another two hour drive to Laura's orphanage. As we got out of the car one of the caregivers was there and recognized her right away. She was so excited to see Laura. We were taken into the director's office and both the director and head doctor were there and both recognized her right away. We were surprised to find that there are only 45 kids there now and the oldest is only 3. Laura seemed not to be so sure about that and wanted to check her old floor to make sure. The building is under renovations but is still nicer than when we were there.
After visiting there for 45 minutes we headed out to see if Laura could recognize anything in the area. She could not. I think she was disappointed but the growth in Kazakhstan has been quite significant. They still have a goal of being one of the top countries in the world by 2030 and you can tell they are trying. The contrast between the two countries is quite significant