It's Tuesday, December 12, about 12:20 PM and I'm still in Kazakhstan! I should have been in Moscow by now, but Alison's visa didn't come through in time.
We had our exit interview at the U.S. Embassy here in Almaty yesterday afternoon, and our coordinator, Galiya, misunderstood when she was told that Alison's passport was ready, she thought that meant that her exit visa was ready too, which it wasn't.
So, we went to the Air Kazakhstan office to change our tickets from the Wed. 2:00 AM flight to the Tues. 2:00 AM flight to give us an extra day in Moscow to avoid any potential problems.
We got back to the apartment at about 7:30 and I finished packing. At 9:00 PM I got the call saying that Alison's visa had NOT come in, and we would NOT be leaving! Needless to say, I was not very happy.
This morning, it was back to the airline office to change the tickets back (more $$$)... and luckily our seats were still available. (At the time of the writing, I don't know that one of the other families was as lucky! There are four of them!) All three families that were supposed to leave last night were held up due to the lack of the children's visas.
So, now I'm ready to go tonight... I spoke with Michael, the coordinator in Moscow, who told me not to worry, that he'd be able to get us in and out in one day. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that my plane leaves here on time tonight (and that we get Alison's visa).
So, here we are at the Stalker Internet Cafe, Alison happily throwing cheerios on the floor, and me typing away, waiting for the food I just ordered.
I hope to not be back in touch until I'm back on U.S. soil. Now I understand why people kiss the ground when they land .... I'm ready for some dirty lips.
Nicole & Alison
who desperately want to come home already!