Saturday, July 16, 2005

July 16th

Nothing on the schedule this morning so we sleep in. We get out of bed at 9:30am, shower and head to the park to write in our journals. The weather has broken and it is beautifully sunny. We find a spot in the sun. There is a small crowd in front of the university. They are dressed in short and t-shirts and are wearing race numbers. We're only there for a few minutes when the race starts. Our bench in on the course and we have front row seats. We notice one man running in sandles. The racers pass us by three times (the winner laps the field) and the event is quickly over. We guess they ran 1 1/2 to 2 miles. We move to a bench in the shade. The sun is strong even at 10:30am. An older man in running shorts approaches us. He begins a conversation and I tell him that we don't speak Russian. This does not discourage him and he continues to chat with us for a few minutes. He seems to be curious about our journals. Are we writing about the race he wonders. We think he tells us he's going to see if he can find someone that speaks English and come back. He must not have had any luck because we don't see him again. Bob and Beth stroll by. Bob is feeling better and wanted to stretch his legs before our walk to the baby home. We go back to the hotel and have a quick breakfast before it's time to go.

We see our friends on the way to the baby home. We give Papa the picture of himself, Beth and me. He is quite pleased and after showing it to Mama and the others assembled there he whisks it away into the house. The conversation is lively dispite the difference in language. Bob and I each take a picture of Mama and Papa. We tell them we'll bring them the picture tomorrow. Mama extends what appears to be an invitation to come tomorrow for something to eat. We thought this might be a possibility (being invited to eat) and as much as we would like to take them up on their kind offer we cannot. We are concerned that they would offer us something we should not eat or drink and would not want to insult them by refusing. We do our best to change the subject and say our goodbyes. We decide that we will ask Dana to accompany us to the baby home and help us talk to our friends. A few houses down Pat snap a photo of a little boy we often see. The boy has his new puppy with him. Both are adorable. We'll bring you a picture tomorrow we tell him and get a big grin.

The kids are inside today. I find Molly on her belly in the group playpen. I enter the room and hers is one of the many little heads I see through the rails. We make eye contact and her face brightens. I pick her up and take her to the changing table. Mama Bibigoul consults me about Molly's outfit. Just socks with her onsie or the turquoise stretch pants? I point to the socks. I am surprised and pleased to have been asked. Mama Bibigoul picks a floral print bucket hat to complete the ensemble. Molly and I head out picking up the weeble doll along the way. We are the last to arrive in the marble room. Pat reports that he found Aidan in a walker when he arrived in the boys room. He was scooting around pretty well and followed Pat to the changing table when he dropped off the diapers. Bob and Beth take Nicholas outside for a walk. It's just the Donohoes in the marble room. The kids are in excellent spirits. Molly plays happily with her toys. We see her on her knees a few times. I waltz around the room with Aidan and brush the curtains across his face. This makes him laugh. We notice that now when he laughs he puts his hands behind his head. Bob and Beth get back with Nicholas and we take Molly and Aidan for a walk. As usual, the kids enjoy being outside. We see Cate and Daniel and stop to say hello. We walk a few feet outside of the gate to get closer to the road. We find a shady spot and hang out for a bit. We want the children to get used to sounds outside the baby home. They follow the cars and buses as they go by. We walk for about 20 minutes and head back inside. It's time to go. We kiss our babies and take them back to their rooms. We can hardly wait to see them again tomorrow. We walk back to the hotel.

To the Internet cafe. We each post an entry but that's it for today. Something has gone wrong with the connection to the Internet and we cannot access our email. We pack up and go back to the hotel.

Dana arrives at 5:30pm as does Cate. Bob is feeling much better so he will join us for dinner. We opt for an old standard - the Dom - and we're in luck tonight. They have shishkabobs. Cate, Beth and I order the pork. We drink Baltika tonight - 7 not 9! We take advantage of the pleasant evening and walk Dana 1/2 way home. We hug, say goodnight and are back at the hotel by 9:30pm. Pat watches TV and I read. We both nod off at some point. To bed at 11:30pm.

1 comment:

Uncle Ron & Aunt 'Leen said...

Hi guys,

It sounds as though the kids are becoming more accustomed to you and more animated every day. I was glad to read that Aidan is scooting around, he'll need to be able to get away from the Princess. I was also glad to hear that Molly got onto her knees, even if she hasn't any interest in crawling right now it is important for her development.

I so enjoy reading about your various encounters with the Kazakh people. It seems as though they are very welcoming and curious about you.

The Sunday Inquirer had an article about Almaty. It was a first person account of a visit to the city and gave it a high recommendation. I hope you find your time there as pleasurable as Kostanai has been.

Lots of love,
Eileen & Ron