We slept much better last night. Our room has air conditioning so we were able to keep the windows closed. A knock on the door at 7:45am announces the arrival of breakfast. It is included in the price of our room and will be delivered everyday. Not too shabby. The phone rings. It is Olessya. There has been a change. We are to be at the baby home at 9:30. She and the drivers (Andre and Boom Boom) will pick us up at 9:15. This is fine with us!! We arrive at the baby home on time and are greeted by Dr. Irina. She will be our tour guide (Olessya will translate). Dr. Irina explains the history of the baby home and the children it cares for. She then shows us around. The children are divided into groups based on age. Each group has a large room where they play and are fed and a room where they sleep. The baby home currently cares for 98 children ages 3 and under. Children over 3 are cared for at another home. We are shown all of the different children's rooms. We recognize a few little faces in a couple of them. Molly and Aidan are not in the same room. There are two groups for children their age. Aidan is in the same room as Nicholas. We are also shown the kitchen, milk room (this is where they make formula and prepare and wash bottles), the infirmary, sauna and pool. The tour lasts for 30 minutes and when we are done we go and get the children. The weather is nice and we are told that we will be taking them outside. First to Molly's room. She is handed to me and I am tasked with putting on her diaper and dressing her to go out. Everyone stares as I attempt this and I begin to sweat. Olessya tells us that infants are dressed in 2 layers in summer and 4 layers in winter. We are thankful that it is summer. Molly is bundled adn a babuska is placed on her head. Time to get the boys. Pat is tasked with dressing Aidan as I am holding Molly. He is doing well but the caregiver steps in to assist. Bob and Beth dress Nicholas and we're off. Aidan and Nicholas are wearing similar outfits and the same stylish hat. They look like twins. We stroll around outside and get to know one another. Aidan quietly takes it all in. Pat was able to get a small smile out of him. He is content to be held and blow bubbles. Molly was also pleasant. She laughs out loud when you kiss her cheeks or tickle her belly. Too soon it was time to go back inside. We take the children back to their rooms and say goodbye. The baby home is clean and bright. The children are well cared for and the caregivers show them genuine affection. We feel that Molly and Aidan were loved in our absence.
Lunch with Olessya after the baby home. She departs after lunch and the four of us walk around town to get aquainted. We ran into a man we met at the airport in Astana. He is from Russia but lives and works in Kazakhstan. He helped us find our gate. We say hello, take a picture and exchange email addresses. He is quite a character. His English is halting but his use of off color language is perfect. We're on our own for dinner tonight. We went to the Gros (supermarket) which is across the street from the hotel to pick up a few items. I whipped out the Russian phrase book so I could ask for banannas and lemons (produce is not self-serve). We've been picking up a few words as we go and hope to continue to do so.