Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 2 of 14 day bonding period

Shymkent Time: 2 a.m. Cincinnati Time: 4 p.m.

Well once again I’m awake in the middle of the night, but I just took a little something to help me sleep. While I’m waiting for it to kick in I’ll tell you about our day.

This warm and sunny day started with a trip to the Baby House. We got there at 11:30 a.m. and spent about 45 minutes with the baby. He was in good spirits but seems to have a cold. He’s very interested in the toys we bring. Today his favorite thing was a Count to 10 Touch and Feel book. We’ve only spent a total of 3 supervised hours with him so we’re still working to figure out his physical abilities. He does not walk or crawl. His personality is starting to come through a little bit. He cried when I sat him down on the floor to play, he stopped the minute I picked him up and held him! When the caregiver came in to get him at end of visit he did not immediately go to her. Instead, he laid his head on Jesse’s chest as if to say, “I’m fine here, come back later”. Ahh… pulls at the heart strings already.

On a side note: We have not decided on his new name yet. Kazakh names don’t really translate well to English so we’re struggling with our decision.

After the visit we took his blood sample to a medical center for some additional testing we requested. They did not accept our insurance card (joke) so we paid cash/Tenge for the test. The results will be available next week.

We had the rest of the day to explore so we went to Istanbul Restaurant. This is a restaurant the Clarks told us about, we walked past it twice before I noticed the small free wireless sign in window. It’s very rare to find free wireless internet access. Anyway, the food is great. I ordered a gyro of sorts. I don’t know what the meat was, maybe it was horse and I just don’t know it. I’m kidding--I assume it was lamb. Jesse ordered the “pizza” and it was our favorite meal thus far. Restaurants are challenging because most do not have an English menu. We have no idea what the Russian menu says and therefore have no idea what we’re going to get. Today the menu had pictures – yippee. Jesse did learn to say “do you have an English menu?” in Russian which is very helpful. What would be more helpful is if they said DA (yes).

Another side note: The Russian alphabet is in Cyrillic letters. There are 33 letters in the alphabet, 5 of which look and sound like ours. A,K,M,O,T. There are 7 letters that look like English letters but have different sounds. For example, H sounds like N and C sounds like R. I’m not sure about the other 21 letters, thus the reason for my advanced state of cluelessness. (Oh did I mention some people speak Kazakh).

After sitting in Istanbul for almost 2 hours abusing the free internet access we went to find Madlen, a restaurant that has an outdoor coffee and pastry shop. They serve one tasty Latte! We wondered back to the hotel for Jesse’s late afternoon crash nap. Dinner tonight was again an adventure. We went to the grocery store located inside hotel mall area. We went to the deli counter and stared at a bunch of “meats”, none of which looked familiar. No turkey, ham or roast beef to be found. The lady behind the counter grabs a lunch meat and says one English word, 'GOOD'. (She lied !). We bought bread, cheese, tomato and mustard to go along with the mystery meat and made sandwiches in the room. We ended the day by watching a DVD movie on the laptop and waiting for the time to call Connor and Lana.

I could ramble on about more topics, but I should try to sleep. Maybe I’ll watch some TV, there are no English speaking channels other than BBC, I can’t think of anything more boring than watching M-TV in Russian.

Talk with you later… Amy