Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Well....Liz finally found her way into an internet cafe and was able to send this update...enjoy -- (the editor):
Well howdy folks from the other side of the globe! Debi and I have been in Kazakhstan since late Saturday night. After two days in Amsterdam (a whole 'nother email!) we flew to Frankfurt, and then to Almaty. We arrived after midnight, and our trusty driver Emil was there to meet us; I have met him several times on past trips and just love him. He's wonderful. Our hotel is very nice and European. Sunday Emil drove us to Taldy Korgan, which is where Melanie is from. It was almost a 4 hour drive, and the roads are not exactly smooth. I have a few loose teeth. We also peed in a most interesting roadside toilet ... er ... no, there was no toilet, only a hole in the ground. What I would have given for an Exxon station at that point. We met our former translator, Aida, at her mom's apartment. Her mom had a huge spread laid out for us, with soup, vegetables, fruit, COGNAC ... and many speeches were made about old friends, etc., which then required toasting. It was the same apartment we stayed in while we were there, but she had done some remodeling. I think my sister is having serious culture shock, but in a good way.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Here is a quick report from David (Liz' husband who is currently playing "Mr. Mom").
Just wanted to post that Liz and her sister, Debi, have arrived safely in Kazakhstan (after a two day detour through Amsterdam -- but as far as I am concerned, what happens in Amsterdam, stays in Amsterdam.....) Since they arrived a day ahead of the rest of the playground group, on Sunday, they hooked up with Emil (one of our former drivers) and traveled to Taldy Korgan, since this was not on the official "tour" and Liz wanted to show Debi where Melanie was from. According to certain sources, they had a great time (I think there was a certain amount of "toasting" involved).
On Monday, the whole group arrived. I just talked to Liz, and they spent the first day sorting through the equipment, leaving one playset at the Esik Babyhouse and putting everything else on the truck for transport to Petro.
Overall, things are going well. I don't know if Liz will be able to email me pictures, but I will try and add periodic updates as I get them from Liz.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
They're moving the shuttle to the launching pad, and the voyagers are donning their space suits. (Okay, their capri pants and flip flops, but you get the idea). The bags are packed (sort of) and the healthy panic has started to set in. It doesn't help much to see stories plastered all over the front page of the newspaper about how horrid the airports are this time of year, not to mention some damn tropical storm worming its way up the east coast just in time to interfere with our trip. Larry Sprinkle, the weather man (yes that's his REAL name!) is just calling for showers tomorrow. Guess that will be okay. Hmmm...seems like there was a tropical something looming as we left for Taldy Korgan in 2004! Are the weather gods trying to tell us something? I did have my moment of "I don't really want to go" yesterday, but I overcame it pretty quickly.
We have a driver lined up to take us to Taldy Korgan on Sunday after we arrive. I am very excited about that. We had a note from friends who are there now, and got the word that BUG SPRAY was an important thing to take.
I am going to try and send dispatches from the edge (sorry Anderson Cooper! -- I do have your book loaded onto my iPod to listen to on the plane) to David to post here, but it may be just snippets of phone conversations that David gets from me. I'm not sure of my technological capabilities. In any event, farewell to you faithful blog readers of mine, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks!
Friday, June 9, 2006
What a week ... we took Boudreaux back to the vet on Monday, to be seen by his regular doc. She cleaned the wound again. He seemed to have his "sparkle" back by Tuesday or so. But today I took him back yet again to have it cleaned. She wants him to stay on ABX another 10 days or so, but it's slowly healing, thank goodness. It just looks awful in the meantime.
I'm starting to panic about the trip. In the middle of packing and shopping for last minute necessities, I'm fielding calls from our kitchen remodeler, and the appliance supplier. Not to mention several doctor/dentist/orthodontist appointments sprinkled here and there. It's not the trip I'm worried about; it's getting ready in time! Once I get on the plane I will breathe a huge sigh of relief. Debi is over the moon about it ... she calls me once a day or so asking about what to bring, what to expect. The weather in Petropavlovsk has been running 100 ... yikes!! Need to wear my Foreign Legion hat and my iceberg underwear (now there's a visual!)
Took Melanie back to her surgeon today. We hadn't seen him since October, at the team evaluation. Before that I think it was April or May of last year. He wants to do a nasal endoscopy (doesn't that sound like fun?) so they can judge where her palate is in relation to the back of her throat. That way they can see if she needs further surgery or if she has just developed some bad speech habits than can be overcome with intensive therapy. Today at speech she made the "tee" sound, which is quite a breakthrough! Think about it ... make the "tee" sound while you're blowing air out of your nose. That's what she usually does, but she cut off the air through her nose this time, and it was clear as a bell. Small steps, I know, but they're big to me!
Sunday, June 4, 2006
Boudreaux fell victim to the Cujo-Jack Russell terrier who lives down the street. Lisa was walking him on the leash, as David had put out fertilizer on the yard and didn't want B. to get it on his paws. Apparently the C-JRT came bolting out of his front door and just pounced on B. growling and snapping. The Mom of the C-JRT checked B to see if C-JRT had bitten him, but found nothing. However, he DID bite him on the shoulder, and this morning said bite was infected, swollen and bleeding. We went to the Emergency Vet. Hospital, where they gave him morphine and opened up the wound so it would drain. He has been very loopy all day, just lying on his little lambskin pad and looking pitiful. We've all been overdosing him with love and petting; I think he's enjoying that, at least.
This is the first time B. has been hurt or sick, and it just breaks my heart. He finally went outside to do his business this afternoon. Now we have to fun job of reporting to C-JRT's family what happened. Boy, are we making strides with all of our new neighbors!!!