The days seem to blend together here. Of great help have been Mike and Carol, the couple traveling with me to the same orphanage day after day. We often compare notes when something suspicious or strange seems to be going on and it helps to have someone else English-speaking around. There are other folks in town who are adopting but they are all visiting a much large orphanage here in Kostenai which has a whole different set of rules. Last night at a restaurant I met a couple who'd adopted a little boy 2 years ago and who are back for #2. Another couple had a 9-year-old girl with them they adopted 2 years ago and now they are in town to adopt an 8-year-old.
The restaurant was very bohemian. A pianist was playing "Moonlight Sonata" in the background. A salad and Russian soup and a Kazakh beer - all for about $5-$6 - fills one up. They serve sour cream with everything here and vodka abounds.
Yesterday Veeka was sniffly - with the beginnings of a cold, I think. I asked the caretakers for tissues and got handed a handkerchief - I guess Kleenex boxes cost too much?! There's so much going on here behind the scenes that I've yet to figure out. Like the orphanage personnel don't want us to see some of the really disabled kids there - and there's a whole wing of kiddies with various deformities. We really do not get the run of the orphanage at all - we are limited to 1-2 rooms. They say if we wander about, we will scare the other kids. Am not sure I buy that.