We sleep in on Saturday morning. We don't get out of bed until nearly 11:00am. We shower, have some juice and head to the baby home. The kids are inside today. Pat goes for Molly and Bob, Beth and I go for the boys. Aidan is cruising around the room in a walker. Nicholas is in a jumpy seat which is suspended from the ceiling. Lunch today is the maroon stuff (ground meat and beet puree) and broth. Aidan eats well. He quickly finishes his plate and drinks two shot glasses of broth. I do a really good job of getting everything in his mouth. However, Aidan put his hands in his mouth during the meal and had a good bit of the maroon stuff on his hands. He was touching me and soon my shirt had a good bit of the stuff on it too. I'm still a new mom so I thought it was a good idea to wear a white tee-shirt. WRONG! Mama Natasha saw me and clucked her tongue. She washes Aidan's face and gives me a towel to try and clean my shirt. I didn't mind about the shirt. I was happy that my little boy had a full belly. To the marble room but not directly. We alas wander the halls before I find the room. Aidan was not help whatsoever but he's cute so he can get away with it. Good news. The rug is back. Bob found Mama Natash unfolding it when we arrived. He gestured to her that he would do it. Pat arrives with Molly. He reports that she at about 2\3 of her lunch and drank a cup and a half of broth. We do much of the same things with the kids that we have been doing. They are active and pleasant. We play with them, talk to them, hold them, and kiss and tickle them. Molly holds your fingers and stands wobbily. She likes to play with my hair. If I'm not careful she grabs two fits full and let me tell you that girl has a grip on her. Aidan likes to climb and explore. He sometimes talks to the couch. We put the kids next to one another occasionally but they're not yet interested in each other. They prefer to grab at the toy the other one has. Our play is not directed. We only want to provide them with the type of one-on-one interaction they've seldom had. They are definitely ready for a nap when our visit is over which it is again today. Mama Natash passes by the doorway and points at her watch. Time to get a move on. I take Molly back to her room and put her in her crib. Pat takes Aidan back to his room and we meet out front for the walk back to the hotel.
Dana is in Brian and Mary Ellen's room when we return. We chat for a while. Dana has an obligation this evening so we'll have an early dinner. Tonight is graduation night for the Kostanai Region. A celebration will take place in the large courtyard in the park. All of the schools in the Region will participate. Dana is a school teacher if you remember and has been asked to chaperone at her school for their post-graduation party. It's funny. She is only 21 but refers to her students (ages 16-17) as children. We decide to have dinner at the pizza place. I'm disappointed to learn that they do not have beet salad this evening. Dinner is very good and the conversation interesting. Dana tells us what it was like to live in Kostanai while it was under Soviet control and after it gained independence in 1991. Times were tough but have improved greatly over time. Good jobs are more readily available and so is food. Overall the quality of living has improved. We ask her about relations between Kazakh and Russian people. She says there are no problems and from what we've seem its true. She asks us about race relations in the US and how she will be perceived\treated as a Kazakh. She was asking out of curiosity not concern. We tell her she will not have a problem. We tease her that she will have to watch out for the American boys though. This makes her blush and laugh. Her studies will come first she assures us. There are no opportunities for advancement in Kazakhstan without an education she tells us.
After dinner we go to the park to check out the festivities. The crowds are beggining to gather. This is a big night for the students. The girls dress in gowns and have their hair and nails done. Boys wear suits and ties. The ceremonies will begin at 8:00pm. There will be speeches give by local government officials, music and a dance performance given by younger girls. We enjoy watching people until about 7:30pm and then head back to the hotel. It's a quite evening. We're still recovering from the night before. Many a Baltika 7 were consumed that evening.