Sunday, October 3, 2004

Praise the Lord and Pass the Hot Water!

We are happy campers today, as the hot water has been turned on!  I tell ya, there's nothing like sitting in a tub with warm water circulating around your body, after almost a week of polar bear spit baths.  You haven't lived until you've gotten a cold water headache while washing your hair with Arctic sea water.  I heard David in the kitchen singing, "Praise the Lord!"  I knew it was Sunday morning and thought maybe he was having his own worship service.  I walked in there and he was running the water into the sink ... and it was HOT.  You've never seen him smile that big.  (Well, maybe on the bus in Urlask after a few toasts on the last playground trip in '03 ... right Susan?)

Last night we went to dinner at the Hessen Pub.  (Okay, David wants to make some snide comment about my misunderstanding of Aida's accent ... it's not "Hessenpop" but "Hessen PUB" yeah, yeah, okay, I feel stupid.)  It was a great trattoria with a microbrewery in the back.  The pizza was better than any old Pizza Hut guy could deliver, and the beer was pretty good too.  We were escorted by our substitute driver, Kareem (not Abdul Jabar, unfortunately) since Aida's sister was in the hospital with kidney stones.  We were able to carry on a pretty good conversation; I think we're invited to his wedding in two years, and have to bring them a horse as a gift.  But I'm not sure.

This morning, after dancing around celebrating the hot water, we sat outside waiting for Aida to come.  We watched the small world of TaldyKorgan go around, with rugs hung out in the communal area to air, and laundry hanging out to dry.  When we arrived at the Baby House, Melanie was dressed in a cute number we had brought yesterday.  We called to her, but she sat with the other kids on a little bench.  Soon a caregiver came out with a tray of juice cups ... she was going to have her juice before she came to us!  Imagine a line of 12 18-month old sized kids, all drinking their juice out of a ceramic mug ... sup sup sup ... it was soooo cute, I couldn't stand it!

We went outside again, as the weather is primo ... warm and sunny.  All the "groupas" (that's what they call them, not a typo) were out today, so it was kids and more kids as far as the eye could see.  One little girl is waiting for her family to come next month, and for some reason she has attached herself to me.  At one point I leaned down with Melanie on my knee, and Nastya climbed on the other knee.  I felt myself falling, but could do nothing about it as my hands were full.  Boom! ... the kids were safe, but I scraped my knee and hand.  Oh well, as long as the kids are okay ...

We're getting all kinds of smiles now from Melanie ... she is just blossoming before our eyes.  She is so beautiful ... and she is definitely a Kazakh Princess ... strong willed and knows what she wants.

Today is a national holiday for teachers, and we are taking a cake and other sweets to the baby house to celebrate with the caregivers.  They have all been so kind to us, so we look forward to showing them how appreciated they are.  They do so much for these little babies ... you should have seen them getting all twelve of the little ones down the marble steps and outside without too many wimpers.  One little boy is new to the group and seems a little out of sorts.  Poor baby.

That's about all for today ... we are loving it here, but of course miss everyone at home.  Love to Colin, Quentin, Christian and Lisa ... and of course to Grandmama and Granddaddy, who deserve a medal for all they are doing to keep the homefires burning!!


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