07 August, 2012
We resumed our visits today, which meant no sleeping in. I was a little hungry today since we had run out of milk so I couldn’t eat my bowl of “Start” as usual. For those of you who haven’t been here yet, “Start” is a kid’s breakfast cereal, the one with the soccer playing lion on the box, that is what Cocoa Puffs used to be thirty years ago. Put that in a bowl with some 3.2% milk (I was able to find 4.8% last trip) and you can’t help but “start” the day right! We went to the market first thing in order to get some fruit for the kids and their groupas. Peaches are in season right now so there’s plenty and they’re cheap. Today’s visit was going to be a little different since the Director was going to be on vacation and we didn’t know who her replacement was going to be. It had also been three days since we had seen the kids … would they remember us? After what is becoming the normal first stop at the CSO, we arrived at the orphanage. Question one was answered shortly after our arrival when the Deputy Director met us and let Luda know that he was in charge while the Director was on vacation. I would have assumed he would have been the guy, but this isn’t the U.S. Question two was answered a few minutes later when the kids were brought into the psychologist’s office. Jessa just walked on in and sat down next to Erika; Caleb came into the room and held his arms out to me to pick him up. We spent the morning playing and looking at books. I discovered that since Caleb is sensory deprived he prefers rough contact to gentle touch (i.e. he is much more comfortable with my arms wrapped around him then if I place my hand on his back). That is a good thing since I’m sure his brother’s will want to wrestle as soon as we get home. We tried the clothes that we had bought on the kids and Jessa’s were pretty close, Erika had guessed a size small. It was a bit sad with Caleb however when the 4T shirt was too big and the 24M shorts fit. As usual, right around 11:30 Caleb began to get restless and acting as if he wanted to go back to his groupa. It’s been the same each time we’ve visited; I guess his tolerance for activity is only about 90 minutes. After leaving the orphanage, we tried a new restaurant recommended by Luda’s brother. It was billed as having “American size” portions. The food was excellent, but if those were American sized, we eat waaaaaay too much. Erika and I could have easily shared either of our orders … with a third person. We took our usual evening walk to dinner a little bit earlier than usual out of deference to Luda. I have to make a clarification of an earlier post. Although Erika and I were walking home at 23:00, it was due to having missed the last bus for the night. In general, it is not a good idea to be out that late and Luda prefers if all families in region are at their apartments by 22:00. She says that she doesn’t sleep when we are out later. Because of our backgrounds Erika and I are probably a bit more comfortable being out late than we should be. We went to a different Celentano’s Pizza for dinner and had a great time with the English speaking members of the staff. One of the waitresses had a sister who lived in Buffalo, NY so she thought it was pretty neat that we had lived in NY (upstate) as well. I had the lasagna, which turned out to be a meaty marinara and pasta tort. It was good, but I don’t think Don Corleone would have approved. We got back to the apartment early (20:00) and watched the first Sherlock Holmes movie online, called the kids back home and hit the sack. We move apartments tomorrow.