Talked with my mother this morning. She had knee surgery on Tuesday and just got back home. She is in a bunch of pain, but the doctor said it went well and she would be well within a week. Exchanged emails with Rita's parents. Carla is clearly in charge, telling them she is getting a poodle very soon. This is news to us. They are moving to Chicago today and I left them an email telling them to call when they arrived at Rita's sister's house. Hopefully Carla will be able to visit my mother this weekend. She could use some cheering up.
The usual routine today. The picture on the route is what we took to be the University, but Dima tells us it is the Children's Palace which in the Soviet era was where Pioneers went to activities.
Sergio really liked some graham cracker cookies, and spent much time sitting on Rita's lap playing with the shape box. He actually spoke to us for the first time. He also got into building things with Lincoln Logs and playing with the wind up car. We gave him a toy remote which makes different sounds depending on which button you push. He really enjoyed figuring out which button led to which sound. We had no problem engaging him, but he is still a bit dour. A little time with the very silly Carla will cure him of that. Our memory is a bit foggy. When we first met Carla she was the same age and we are comparing. He seems about the same size as Carla, which is quite small. He generally seems less developed. He had trouble climbing the small plastic slide while Carla could easily climb the much taller slide and the "wheel of death" outside the Uralsk Baby House. Perhaps his first year medical problems have put him behind Carla's development. In any case he seems to learn fast, as he was better with the shape box today than two days ago.
We went for a walk this afternoon. This apartment is very centrally located and we found the Venezia restaurant, European style thin pizza plus Internet cafe, just around the corner. We remember this place as we took our daughter there on our last visit. Her first taste of pizza. We had not realized the monster we had created. There is also the Guiness Pub just down the street. The Ramstore and the sisters office is walkable, and there are markets even closer if we ever need anything quickly. The building visible out the bedroom window, Kimer, is a business school. The strangest thing is an out door shopping mall with very high end stores, Versace and such, that was completely deserted. Just shop keepers who seemed to look desperately at us hoping we would come in.
We found the book of notes from previous occupants of the apartment. Now it is clear why the place was empty when we arrived. Apparently the maid who cleans up between visits, also empties the place of anything left behind. There were also helpful notes on what to do with the garbage, and some suggested restaurants. Some folks seem to eat out all the time, while we have yet to and are likely to do so only a few times during the whole visit. When we were in Uralsk we had other families there at the same time and there was lots of contact with them. We went out to dinner or lunch as a group every few days. In Almaty we are not hooked up with other folks going through adoption, and at least at the start we are content to stay in and keep each other company.
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