19 February 2005: Almaty

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The ballet was excellent. The theater was beautiful and only half full which is unfortunate for a Friday evening performance. We noticed that they are doing Spartacus, which is rarely seen in the US. It is a Soviet ballet celebrating the famous slave revolt. We have never seen it, and look forward to it.

Internet connection was recovered this morning and yesterday afternoon. I had lots of work related stuff and Rita emailed our friend Steve who is keeping an eye on our house, one of her co-workers, and her mother. No email from them as we did not send them one yesterday.

Picture on the route is the apartment block we have to pass through to get to the Baby House. Unlike US cities the slum areas in European cities are on the fringes and are marked by large apartment houses such as this. The last half of our route is down roads lined with these. A bit warmer today, -14C at 10:00, and a bit brighter. Mountains faintly visible.

Our visit was good. Sergio looked everywhere for our bags, but spent most of the visit playing with us and stuff. He seemed to really like an apple that we had cut up for him. At the end of our time he started to push on the door to get out and go to lunch. We embraced this and started to "help", telling him to push. Eventually he was telling us to push, we actually understood him saying push, in his attempt to get get out, and when he succeeded he was rewarded with lunch. He had his picture taken for his passport today. It was quite an effort with Maigul, the photographer, Rita, and me all working to get him to smile for the camera.

On the way back Dima helped us get tickets for Spartacus and we walked back to the apartment. We stopped at a market and got some bread for the weekend. We have no plans for tomorrow. Dima had no suggestions besides relaxing which sounds good to us. Rita and I agree that we have reached the point of diminishing returns in our visits. With only two hours a day it is hard to go further with Sergio, and we really want to take him home and get on with raising him. It is really going to be hard to wait one month before we bring him into our home.

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