Day 4 in Kostanai

September 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm 8 comments

Sunday, September 6th, 2008: Day 4 in Kostanai

At this time, our baby house visitations are from just after 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and today was our second visit. Things seemed to go well and I’m sure that, day by day, we’ll get more comfortable with the routines of the children, the caregivers, and how we are expected to interact. The caregivers are incredibly patient with the little understanding of their language that we have, utilizing their amazing pointing skills that clearly indicate feeding times and how long we should stay outside with the children. They truly have an important and challenging job.

The weather has been close to perfect since we’ve arrived, although today was a bit warm. Tomorrow is supposed to be around 78 degrees with the remainder of the week only in the high 60’s and 50’s. I really thrive in the cooler weather so I’m looking forward to that!

Kostanai truly is a beautiful city with much to offer. We’ve completely enjoyed what little experienced in our first four days. Our apartment is adjacent to a beautiful park and walkway that must be at least a square mile. No cars are allowed and people casually walk, visit on benches, and enjoy the stores, carnival rides, and other attractions in the area. It is common to see women walking arm in arm while men are often seen with one hand on another’s shoulder, both actions conveying a sense of friendship in comfortable surroundings.

We’ve also tasted quite a selection of cuisine in our short time here. From the Italian food of Dolce Vita to a brewhaus, called Bavaria, this afternoon, all of the food has been excellent! I’m looking forward to trying more Kazakh dishes. My favorite dish so far is Solyanka, a traditional soup with pickles. It is delicious!

The local grocery store, GROS, is only a short walk from our apartment and just across the walkway is a large department store/mall (I believe it is five stories) with a large selection of just about anything you could need. The people here have been extremely friendly and helpful, especially on my first trip to buy diapers when I didn’t know the size or weight of the child I was buying for. I’m definitely gaining a list of “words to know” as we make our way around the city.

My basic knowledge of Russian has helped us find the grocery store, order water at a restaurant, and let people know that we really don’t speak Russian. However, it is time to start building vocabulary and to stop panicking when we get a wrong phone number (I lose my ability to speak anything I already know). In order to learn this language, I really need to repeat the words over and over so hopefully I can start getting some real life practice. Zhanat, our coordinator here in Kostanai, is incredibly helpful in correcting my poor pronunciations and she is going to teach us some Kazakh, as well. That should really be interesting: two languages, one trip, and so much to learn.

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Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption. Tags: , .

Finally Time to Write Day 6 in Kostanai

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Maddy Arsenault  |  September 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Sounds like you and Doug are enjoying the charm of the country as well as the food. You sound much calmer and looking forward to each day (as well as I am).

    Love you both and am sending hugs. Of course,

    Reply
  • 2. kazreader  |  September 8, 2008 at 1:19 am

    My son and I wish you the best from Austin, Texas!! Griffin arrived home on May 1 from Petropavlovsk. He recently turned 1. It’s been great. Life is the very best it can be and we wish you well. Regards, Susan and Griffin

    Reply
  • 3. Susan  |  September 8, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Valda biz gaza….Sean’s best Russian phrase..water, no gas!

    we LOVE the beer at Bavaria (well, me, not Sean)
    the “dark” beer is best i think…also the “bread balls” are very good!

    I love the soup here, but i haven’t tried the pickle one….

    It was great to see you at the baby house…Sean was DYING to come over and talk t you but i said we have to just “wave” for now…

    I told ya you could buy ANYTHING here…the mall, the market, whatver you need!!!

    so glad you are seeing the wonderful charm of this city as well.
    It’s really wonderful!!!

    Reply
  • 4. Tricia  |  September 8, 2008 at 3:12 am

    You will really start picking up the Russian there since you will be hearing words over and over. And hearing it from native speakers really helps the pronunciation. Have fun with it!

    Reply
  • 5. Susan  |  September 8, 2008 at 4:47 am

    ps. I am cracking up because last week it was FREEZING to me, i had to get those mountain goat fur socks/slippers from the market to keep my feet warm

    i was so happy it warmed up this weekend and today….much more my speed…but yet not nearly as hot as florida right now.

    🙂

    Reply
  • 6. Pat Niles  |  September 9, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Wow Kelly just caught up on all your blog entires had to start from beginning…what an “adventure”..am dying to know about your child can’t wait for your next entry want to hear all about the kid!!! Get some sleep,use lots of deodorant, big hug to you!

    Reply
  • 7. Carol Nylen  |  September 9, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Glad you’re enjoying the countryside and the mall! You’re making the best of your situation–that’s great! I bet if you’re there long enough you can really experience some “cooler” weather!!! Just a guess!

    Am enjoying your posts–they are very informative about Kazakhstan–or at least Kostenai.

    Soup with pickles????

    Carol

    Reply
  • 8. Matt  |  September 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    What an amazing trip so far. W’e’re really enjoying following along with this, Kelly. Best of luck and say hi to Doug for us.
    Matt, Cassie, Max and Asa

    Reply

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