Sunday, July 03, 2005

July 3rd

Happy Birthday Pat (and Mom in OC)! We get up at 8:30am and get ready for Mass. We lose power as I'm drying my hair. Pat looks out in the hallway and sees that the lights are still on. Beth peeks her head out her room. Their lights are out too. She was also drying her hair. Hmmmm. Andre is outside the hotel waiting for us. He drops us in front of the church. Dana is waiting for us. We go in and the church is crowded. Dana and I squeeze into a pew in the back and Pat, Bob and Beth find seats a few rows in front of us. The woman Olesya knows from the Ministry of Education is sitting at the end of our pew. The woman next to me hands me a song book. Mass begins and there is a different priest celebrating this week. We had hoped to talk to the priest that we've had for the last three weeks - Father Stanislov we think. I warn Dana about the blessing with holy water. The priest comes around with a medium size broom and dips it in holy water at every pew. We get drenched. When its time for communion the woman from the Ministry signals for me to go with her. She also signals to Pat, Bob and Beth as we pass their pew. We are able to receive communion again this week. We wait around for a few minutes after Mass but the priest does not come out. Pat asks one of the nuns (through Dana) where Father Stanislov is. He is in Astana and will return tomorrow. He will be at Mass next week. She gives Pat his cell phone number in case we would like to call. We'll wait until next week to speak with him. We say hello to the woman from the Ministry. We ask Dana to properly introduce us which she does. "I recognize you from the photos in your files" the Ministry woman tells us. We say goodbye to Dana. We'll see her later today. Bob has an appointment to get his hair cut at 5:00pm. Dana will go with him to explain to the stylist how he would like to have his hair cut. We are going to the Knights Castle from dinner to celebrate Pat's birthday. Andre takes us back to the hotel. We hope that the power is back on. It is not so we inform the girl on our floor. We call her down to our room and show her that the lights don't work. OK she says. They will have someone come take a look.

After a quick bite for breakfast we walk to the baby home. The children are inside. My turn to get Molly. I get to her room and she is laying on her belly in the group playpen. She sees me from across the room. Her face lights up and she begins to wiggle. She recognizes me. I ask if she has eaten and she has not. I get to do the honors. Lunch looks to be a mixture of apple sauce, pureed beets and ground meat. Molly eats every bite and drinks all of her juice. I wash her face and dress her in a pink onsie. I grab a pair of socks and hat and we go. We find the others in the marble room. Pat tells me that he found Aidan standing in the playpen when he went into his room. This is a first. He also tells me that Aidan sneezed when he picked him up and drenched his shirt. Molly is very pleasant today. She plays happily with us and her toys. Aidan alternates between happy and grouchy. Not much in between. Pat sits with him in his lap. Aidan begins to grunt loudly and is making a funny face. Something is going on. Happy Birthday Daddy. A special present for you!! I change him and he fusses as I do so. We load him in his Snugli and Pat takes him for a walk. This seems to make him happy. Molly and I hang out and play. Pat and Aidan return and we pack up. I take Molly back to her room and put her in her crib. I pat her back and tell her that we love her. She turns to look at me as I go. I meet the others out front. Pat put Aidan in his crib but he didn't appear ready for a nap. We start to walk home from the baby home and it begins to pour. Luckily we are near a bus stop and we hop on a bus.

We go to the Internet cafe after our visit. Pat updates the Blog and I check email. I head back to the hotel and leave Pat to finish his posting. I meet Dana and Beth at the hotel. Dana is taking me to buy birthday cards for Pat. Beth is going to buy a cake for Pat. We finish our errands and meet Pat and Bob back at the hotel.

We walk to the Knights Castle. The sun is shining again. We have an excellent meal. Dana and I have beef, Pat and Beth have pork and Bob has ribs. Dancers perform several numbers and two young men sing popular music. In between a DJ plays music and we dance. Dana makes a charming toast to Pat. Beth and I also make toasts. We all head back to the hotel for cake. Dana has a gift for Pat. Olesya made a special trip into town earlier to give Pat a gift. A memorable birthday I would say. The festivities end and 9:30pm. Dana will walk home since she had a big meal and had a piece of cake. Watching her form of course. We head back to our room. I read and Pat watches soccer. Another great day in Kostanai. We turn in around midnight.


MOM said...


Aunt 'leen & Uncle Ron said...

Dear Pat,

Happy Birthday!! I am certain this will be one of the most memorable in your life! We're all thinking of you and praying for you.

We had a nice time at the shore and a reasonable celebration, but it just wasn't the same without you and Alli. We're really looking forward to your return.