Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 24

Can't believe I'm saying this, but this will be our last night in Ust! Tomorrow we have court in the morning and then we board an Air Astana flight for Almaty in the afternoon. So whaddaya think, did I get any sleep last night? Nyet. My mind was a-whirl with things I wanted to talk over with Julia about during our last few moments with a translator, what we need to do while we're in Almaty, parting gifts for translators, drivers, directors, etc, what to pack in which suitcase for God's sake and let's not forget the ever present all-the-things-that-could-go-wrong-with-the-adoption worries that constantly plague my mind. One thing's for certain, tonight will be an Ambien night.

Even Bella has switched gears, preparing for our journey home. Tonight she's playing waitress with us, taking our orders for The Waffle House. We want eggs and bacon and waffles and above all COFFEE! I love the tea I get here in Kazakhstan, but come on, I've been nearly a month w/o an honest cup o' Joe and I'm truly Jonesing. Know what kept her pretty well entertained here most days? Pretending she was a notary. She would fill a paper with a bunch of lines, then come to me and say sign here ....now here......and here at the bottom, too. OK, now print your last name here .... first name .... and middle name right there. I teased her about becoming a professional notary when she grew up, and the poor thing looked so torn, because as much as she loves it, she wants to be a hairdresser. So I suggested to her that before she cuts someone's hair, she can have them sign a few forms. That was all it took. She now has a crystal clear view of her career stretched before her.

Driving out to the orphanage this morning was unbelievable, I have to say. There had been a frost over night, and a fog this morning, and when we crossed the river all the trees as far as the eye could see had every branch coated in ice. With the mist surrounding the frost-covered forest, and the barest glimpse of the mountains in the lanscape behind, it was eerily, breath-takingly beautiful. A scene straight from Dr. Zhivago. Of course, ironically, when I mentioned that to our fur-coated, high-heeled, Russian speaking translator, her response was, "Dr. Zhivago? That's a movie, right?"

Prayers, please, and good vibes and anything else people send out/up, for Weds 10am Ust Kamenogorsk time! That's 11pm EST for anyone keeping count. Thanks everyone!

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