October 28, 2008
Bonding Day 8
Since I have been in Kaz, I have received dozens of wonderful notes regarding my blog. Thank you! It is exciting to hear that many of you are enjoying my daily stories and photos and feel that you, too, are sharing in this journey with me. However, it would be wrong for me to take all the credit. Although it’s true that I write the posts and snap many of the pictures, my friend, Regina, in Georgia, is my amazing blog master. Each day I send my text and photos to Regina, and she dutifully posts them without delay. She has made communicating with you quite easy, and I’m very grateful for her commitment, talent and friendship.
I also want to thank my friends Dave and Ellen Rosenbaum and their talented team at Real Time Computers. Thanks to these tech gurus I have the knowledge, skill and equipment to communicate with family, friends and colleagues on a daily basis via email and Skype (Note: If you don’t know about Skype, you need to check it out fast!). So, a big round of applause goes out to Regina and my pals at Real Time. Thanks to their help, I have a lifeline to home.
Today when I entered the baby house I discovered that Emilia had been segregated from the other babies because she had a fever again. Since she usually shares her bedroom with seven other babies (all boys, mind you), I didn’t think it was so terrible for her to have her own cozy room with a window, but she looked sad being alone, and I was concerned about her health. The doctor, however, suspected it was teething – her upper front teeth are probably trying to push through – and there was no real cause for concern. When I asked why she had been put in the other room, I was told that the doctor did not want her to get sick from other babies, as she will be traveling on a plane soon (well, not that soon). I felt somewhat relieved.
If Emilia wasn’t feeling well, it certainly wasn’t apparent during breakfast. She ate all her food and then was ready for playtime. Her smiles always brighten once she has food in her tummy.
During my ride to and from the baby house each day, I pass a monument at a big traffic circle. Much to my delight, this is the marker, which separates the Eastern from the Western worlds. In other words, at some point when I’m in the circle, I’m in Asia, and at another point, I am in Europe. Of course, I have no idea when I am in which continent. Since most of Kazakhstan is in Asia, the people do consider themselves Asian.
Instead of going back to the hotel, Aliya and I visited the World War II Memorial, which is a short walk from the Pushkin. The park consists of two very tall, dramatic, white towers; an eternal flame; a wall of names remembering the fallen; signage commemorating the war; and a large parade ground. There was also a tribute to the soldiers, who died during the war in Afghanistan.
The park has a pathway to the Urals River, so we went for a stroll. It was so peaceful looking at the rapidly-moving water, which seemed to have little pieces of ice floating in it. Apparently, the place where I was standing becomes a popular beach in the summer. Sand is brought in to cover the mud, and many people go swimming there.
I had a quiet afternoon writing and checking emails, and then went back to the baby house for my second visit. Although Emilia perked up when I came into the room, she seemed more subdued than usual. The nurses suspected she was thirsty, and I was able to give her a bottle, which she slurped down in minutes. Previously, I had not given Emilia a bottle; I have fed her juice with a spoon!
We played happily for our remaining time, and I was delighted to see that Emilia is really holding on to objects with her hands. She had fun shaking her plastic car keys when they weren’t in her mouth.
Tonight I had an enjoyable spaghetti and meatball dinner with Henry, Cecile, and Jasmine. Cecile had requested that Chef Hassan make this meal, and he willingly complied. It was a tasty dinner, but I was very surprised by the meatballs, which were not much bigger than marbles. Much to my amusement, Jasmine called them crumb balls (well said, Jasmine!). They were tiny, but they had a nice meat taste – and no, it wasn’t horse meat!
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m quite happy to have another adopting family staying at the Pushkin with me. We hope to have another spaghetti and mini meatball dinner together soon.