Trip to Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan — Day 12 – 15

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DAY 12 – 2nd May, 2011

 

This was another highlight day on our trip, as we hit the road, and under a perfectly clear blue sky, covered as much as possible of the area around Samarkand, ending up having lunch under the shady trees in a beautiful open-air restaurant.

 

Mausoleum
Open air rastaurant

Samarkand sights

We took a train back to Tashkent and had a farewell gathering for Mr Luo, who had to return to Shenzhen the same night, and spent our last night in a hotel owned by a retired history professor. He spent time showing us photos of a famous archaeological team he had been part of, which had discovered various buried ruins in Uzbekistan.
 

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DAY 13 – 3rd May, 2011

 

Our last day was spent with our host, Elia, who introduced us to the various voluntary projects he is involved with. One project provides training for handicapped people, training them in woodwork to where they are able to produce various wooden toys and other useful items.

He is also well-known for his volunteer initiative group, "A Child … A Smile" which through its "Angel Program" provides useful and meaningful gifts to needy children each Christmas. In the 2011 year-end event, 130 children from School No. 57 and 52 for children with learning disabilities, Quibray Orphanage, and Umidvorlik society, wrote heart-touching letters to “Santa” expressing their New Year wishes - their requests were passed to donors who donated gifts, which were given out in a Christmas event in the Intercontinental Hotel. For more info please check out Charity event for physically disabled children held by “A Child… A Smile” with the support of OrexCA.com.

We were also fortunate to visit School 52, for children with learning disabilities. Through donations from sponsors the school has been transformed into a beautiful learning environment for the children studying there in a program which focuses on vocational rather than academic skills. Everywhere on our tour of the school we saw the beautiful work of the students displayed, including ceramic work, wood-carving, elaborate hand-sewn garments, artwork, metalwork, and more. There was a playground with items donated by Hotel Intercontinental and the whole school was decorated with well-kept indoor plants and a garden tended by students at the entrance.

 

Students assist with gardening

Students assist with gardening

Indoor plants looked after by individual students

Indoor plants looked after by individual students

Visiting class in progress
Classroom with indoor plants

Classroom visit

Ceramic handicraft by students

Ceramic handicraft by students

Morning tea with the principal

Morning tea with the principal

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Day 13 to 15 – 3rd to 5th May, 2011

 

The remaining days were spent travelling overland back through Kazakhstan to China, and saying a somewhat sad farewell to so many of the new friends we had made, many of whom we have kept in contact with and would love to visit again.

 

New friends we miss – our student tour guides

New friends we miss – our student tour guides

Bus trip from Tashkent to Almaty

Bus trip from Tashkent to Almaty

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DAY 9 – 29th April, 2011

 

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