Our time here is winding down. We hope to come home in just over a week and we have been here for almost 4. In some ways, it feels like we've been here forever. In other ways, it feels like we just got here. Larry and I talked today about things we will miss about Kazakhstan and, specifically, Kostanai (the city we're in).
Obviously, the list begins and ends with Adam. He is amazing and we can't wait to bring him home to meet everybody. He is scooting around the floor and will hopefully crawl soon. He loves to smile and when he does his whole face lights up. You all have seen it in the pictures, but it's even better in person!
A couple of other things we will also miss (in no particular order) are:Having the right of way. It's amazing. We can cross the road (when we have the green light) and all oncoming cars and busses must stop for pedestrians.
Here, the only decision we need to make in a day is where to go to eat. We have breakfast in the hotel, either eggs in the restaurant or oatmeal or a protein bar we brought with us in the room. We usually only have one other main meal in the day. We eat somewhere between noon and 4 and have a small snack in the room for dinner. So, that leaves that our main decision of the day is where to eat. There are 4 places with english menus. One is an Italian cafe colled Dolce Vida. Their pizza is good. Yes, we can actually have pizza in Kazakhstan. Another restuarant with an english menu is the Bier Haus. The english menu is new ... added within the last couple of weeks. Their food is delicious. It's like a high class American sports bar. Another place with an english menu is a cafe we call the Yellow Cafe. We don't know the actual name of it, but the outside is bright yellow. The food is some of our favorite. The last place is a larger restaurant called the Bavarian. It's actually a brew house and they make their own beer.
There are a couple of other places with russian menus only where we eat with either our interpreter, Olesya, or a friend of hers who spends some time with us during the weekends when Olesya doesn't work. Her name is Nelly. We will miss her too. She also works in the hotel at the front desk and takes classes in her spare time. One of the places we go is called the Russian Cafe. The fish dumplings are amazing. There's also a very interesting place (I forget the name of it but we call it the horse soup place). The kitchen is actually like a person's kitchen at home, so eating there is like getting a home cooked meal. That's where we had horse soup early on in our time here. It's good, as are their meat dumplings. The soups everywhere are amazing and all are home made.
The other thing we will miss about the food is that most meals will take between 90 minutes and 2 hours. Eating is more of an event because all of the food is cooked to order. Most of the places are small cafes with less than 10 tables.
Since Larry and I haven't taken too much time off together to travel, we have enjoyed our time here together. Whether he wants to admit it or not, we will both miss spending this much time together :)
We will miss our interpreter, who we have also called our angel. Olesya is amazing. She has been with us the entire time we have been here. She is our guide through the process, our liason to the baby house and all of the people there, she has been our tour guide through much of our time here. She has lunch with us most days during the week and has taken us shopping, to ourdoor markets and to a museum. We would not have wanted to go through this process without her. We will truly miss her.
We have enjoyed our time here, and in no way want to leave Adam. We will miss him every minute of every day we are not here. But, we are getting ready to come home (Larry is already ready) and can't wait to see everybody soon.