Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Holiday in Samarkand!

After a very long and stressful week, we finally had a day off to relax and explore this beautiful, historic city! Our facilitator has suggested we take a "holiday" several days this week, but every time we have set foot outside of our hotel, the phone rings and we are called away to take care of problems that have cropped up unexpectedly (well, not necessarily unexpectedly. . .I have learned that, in Samarkand, you should really expect problems to arise since there are really no hard and fast ways of doing things).

After a slow morning, our driver and translator, Sanat, came to pick us up and we drove to Registan Square, one of the most historic sights in Samarkand. It is a magnificent place. The pictures that I was able to take simply do not do it justice! It is absolutely breathtaking and I am in awe of the condition of the buildings after the many long, hard years they have endured.

In the courtyards of each of the buildings people have set up shops where they sell mostly handcrafted items. Again, I am simply amazed at the beauty of their work and the time that goes into each work of art. While we were touring the square we were also able to watch a silk rug maker work on one of his silk rugs. These rugs are hand made using pure silk and they are beautiful. The large rug that the man was working on was estimated to take 9 months to complete. Painstaking, but beautiful work!

Josh did wonderfully during our excursion. He really is such a happy and content baby. He is generally all smiles (and has the greatest belly laugh) and only cries when he is tired or hungry. He loved taking in all of the sights and sounds around us! I can't wait to tell him all about his birth country as he grows older.

I have posted a handful of pictures from the past week on our family website:

Again, the photos really do not to justice to many of the things that we have seen and experienced here, but I wanted to share with you all a small piece of this beautiful country!

Whew! Thank goodness for holidays!


Anonymous said...


I just wanted to pass along Smith family Congratulations on the newest addition to your family, Josh. YAY! His pictures are adorable' and you can tell how happy and blessed you feel from the photo of you with him. It sounds like Dad and Uncle Rob are doing pretty well on the homefront with Maren, Lukas and Jacob and that you will be home soon to introduce the trio to Josh. I'm not sure where the move timing fits in, but hopefully things will continue without further incident. Enjoy every moment with Josh and best wishes and prayers for a safe journey home for both of you!

Karen, Andrew, Nicholas, Julianne & Alex

Shelley said...

Congratulations Valerie! Josh is adorable! I'm so happy for you and your family. Can't wait to see homecoming pictures when your 3 at home meet their new brother!