Today is my Dad's birthday.
Got up on birthday day & watched game 6 of Tor/NJ. So it seems as if Monday Night NHL playoff games are shown live here on Tuesday morning. Igor picked us up at 9:45 am. We went to get Sheila-Igor couldn't get her on the phone since she was talking to the USA.
After about 15-20 minutes, she came out.
Dropped her off at Benjamin's orphanage & went to see Laura. She was out back with her group & waved as soon as she saw us.
Played out back with her for a while (forgot the bubbles) & then got her into the van. Got her into the van (with candy & dried fruits). Eventually got her into the seat opposite the sliding door.
Left about 11:30 & came back to the apt.
Went to the internet cafe from 12:45-1:45 to send & receive email, & to send pics.
One George hit (from Baltimore to NYC)
Going back to orphanage this afternoon & to the "American Grill" this evening for birthday dinner (tried to teach "Happy Birthday" song to Laura.)
Got back to orphanage around 4pm.
Laura was inside. We played with her for a few minutes in the "video room" & then she went to eat while we waited.
10 minutes later, she was ready to go outside. Since it was in the 90s (about 35C), she had a cotton dress on!
She still had to wear the "cassinka" on her head.
We played ball & bubbles. She then stood on the sidewalk & peed! While they changed her clothes, we moved the bench to the near van.
Food got her into the van & we even closed the van door this time.
Left at 5:10pm since Igor had to drop some papers off at the city hall before 6pm.
Back at the apt. at 6:10pm.
An hour later, Igor & Don picked us up (& then Sheila) to go to the American Grill for birthday dinner. The place was all American Music, decor, hostess in cowboy hat, etc.
We got a table & Igor left to go get Tatyana.
We had an American sampler appetizer while we waited.
About 8:10pm Igor & Tatyana arrived.
She gave me a bottle of vodka for my birthday. She gave Sheila, Sarah, & Suze chocolates.
We had some garlic bread on the table.
Tatyana asked for more & they eventually brought another American sampler appetizer & put it in front of Igor, who thought it was his dinner!
Dinner came. Don had some beef dish, so did Tatyana. Igor has a chicken dish.
I had chicken fajita (delicious) Sarah had a burger & Sheila had a pasta dish.
Then they brought Igor a grilled chicken salad! Another misunderstanding as Igor wanted a little salad with his meal...
Finally a piece of birthday cake with a lit candle was placed in front of me & the whole staff gathered around and sang "Happy Birthday"
Back at apt. at 9:45pm & Suze called at 10:30pm (of course she had called while we were out)
First thing...the courier went to pick up my visa at the Kazakhstan embassy and discovered they were closed for the holiday (Victory Day), even though the actually day it is celebrated is on May 9th.
Since they already take Wednesdays off they were taking Tuesday as their holiday. Luck would have it that there was a visiting dignitary and the office was open and Steve (the courier) told them they just had to give him my passport/visa, and they did! Yeah! (Left FedEx Ramp PITTSBURGH PA 05/09/2001 06:46). My flight is at 5:05.
It was Jim's birthday and the whole group...Jim, Sarah, Sheila,
Don, Igor and Tatyana went to the Americanski Grill for dinner.
Jim had chicken fajitas, Sarah a hamburger with Heinz ketchup.
The waiters came and sang Happy Birthday (imagine it with a Russian acccent, too bad I have the video camera!). Igor's order kept getting mixed up and they ended up with massive amounts of food on the table.
Tatyana gave Jim a bottle of vodka and Sheila and Sarah received boxes of chocolates.
Jim was trying to teach Laura to sing Happy Birthday, but didn't
succeed, although she did sing some tune with words of her own.
They had the van door closed while she and Sarah were sitting in
it, the next thing to try is starting the engine.
Friday we will be attending a party honoring adoptions where a group of older orphans will be putting on a concert.
The weather was in the 90s and Jim even wore his shorts. Jim said there was thunder but no rain, just very windy. Our phone conversation was cut off again, but I did call him again last night (10:45pm our time 9:45am in Almaty) to see if he had seen the Penguins. Sarah answered and said he was changing channels trying to find out the score. He was very happy to hear the results, and I'm sure the two of them will be on the internet looking for details of the 3-2 overtime win!
This should be my last edition from Murrysville until we return
on 5/20, I've sent Jim the email address, so hopefully he'll write while I'm traveling.