Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Paka, Paka until we meet again……(that is good-bye in Russian)


This will be my last post for awhile until we get home.  I promise to touch base during our waiting period and let you know how things are coming at home and then for sure when we are ready to leave again and during our trip back to Kaz to pick up Jonathan.  That will be a whole new set of adventures and a different city to explore and tell you about.  So be sure to check back in July.  Right now our plans are to return sometime around the 20th or 21st of July and we will be gone a week. 


I must write my last entry today because tomorrow the big treat comes---our phone bill which includes our internet charges (that could be a nail biter) and once we pay we can’t get back on the internet unless we go to the Internet Café which we don’t plan on doing. 


We have begun the loathsome task of packing, although I must say it is much easier to pack to go home because our only goal is to get everything back in the suitcases.  Seems we have more than what we came with.  That’s odd!!! 


Let me catch you up since yesterday.  Last evening Bryan and I decided we wanted to celebrate our day and so decided to try a new restaurant right by our apartment.  Sure wish we would have done that a lot sooner.  The place was called East-West and it was a very nice place to eat.  We were the only ones in there and so got the full treatment.  It was by far the best place we have eaten this entire trip.  First and foremost, the menu was in English, which I find very helpful since I like knowing what I’m eating.  You could choose from four different menu’s-Kazak, Italian, Russian or Indian.  We both ordered off of the Italian menu and it was YUMMY!!!!  Our waiter was the nicest young man who spoke great English and shared his dream of becoming a translator and coming to America one day.  It is fascinating and also humbling to listen to these people and their view of the freedoms of America.  Nice little reality check to realize how fortunate we are compared to what the majority of people here have.  We talked about his family.  His mother is a Math teacher and his Dad is an auto repair mechanic (I suspect he has plenty of work around here!!)Bryan asked if he and his family had ever been to this lake we have been hearing about closer to the mountains which is about 3 hours away.  He said “Oh no, that would cost too much money for my family and we need the money for food and other necessities”.  A simple drive (or what we would think of as simple) to have a picnic lunch was a luxury.  We all have it pretty good I’m thinking.  He made our evening very enjoyable and he was so happy to talk to us.  It was a lot of fun.  We invited him to Iowa and he wants to go to college in the United States, so I sang the Iowa State Fight Song for him and told him I would send some college info to him when we got home.  Ok, Ok, we did mention the other two state schools but there was no need to spend a lot of time on that was there???  Only kidding.  I love the Panthers.


Today we met Dina and Boshjan(I did learn the correct spelling of his name but since it is wrong throughout this entire journal I’ll just leave it so I don’t confuse anyone)a little early because we had to make our purchase/donation to the Baby Home.  We were given some suggestions so that helped take care of that. 


We were hoping to get some pictures today with all of the Dr.’s and Jonathan as well as Dr. Alma and the caregivers but it looks like we will be doing that tomorrow.  They had some inspectors coming in so they were busy making sure things were in order.  They take that very seriously. 


Jonathan was great today but I think his teeth were bothering him.  That and they had him dressed in footy pajamas and he was HOT!!  He gave us his now usual shriek and giggle greeting which we love and we were off to the playroom for some playtime.  It was kind of rainy so we couldn’t take him outside.  It is hitting me that we have only one more day with our little son but he is in good hands and we will be busy painting and decorating while we are home so the time will go fast.  Plus, so much to look forward to in being reunited with Rachael. 


We decorated Jonathan’s locker today with photos of all of us so when Dina goes and visits him everyday for us she can show him the pictures and tell him we are coming back soon.


Finally, tonight was our celebration dinner with Dina and Boshjan-but mostly it was the dinner that Bryan had been longing for---horse meat extravaganza.  Let me just say that since about a half hour before we left for the restaurant, the horse jokes started rolling off his tongue.  Let me see if I can remember a couple of the highlights.  Oh yes, as soon as he started to order he said to the Russian speaking waitress-Oh boy, I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!  HaHaHa….she had no clue what he was saying.  He got his meal and they call it the 5 Fingers because you get to eat it with your hands.  That proves to be quite interesting and MESSY because the bottom layer is a big noodle, then broth, potatoes, the dreaded meat and top that off with some tasty onions.  MmmmMmmm good.  Then you dig in with your hands.  It looks like you haven’t eaten in a month and someone just slopped some grub down in front of you and you are so famished that you can’t take time to use silverware.  Then as if that wasn’t enough he decided he would taste a bit of Boshjan’s horse milk.  I smelled it and it was nasty enough but I thought Bryan was going to spit it across the table.  All he could do is laugh and say “Well, that’s different all right.”  Smells like sour milk with a bunch of vinegar mixed in.  They say if you drink enough of it at once it will actually make you a bit tipsy.  No worries here. 


After we got back to our apartment, Bryan bellers out “Boy, that horse really RIDES with you” Another HAHAHA from the kitchen and I think we have it out of our system.  Literally.  Ok-No need for bathroom humor this late in the game. 


Well, I must go and pack.  Looks like the weight limit could be an issue this flight.  Once again, we have been so  grateful to each and every one of you that has been following along and emailing or posting to our guestbook.  We love it and plan on printing out each one to save.  Your words and humor have been a light for us and we feel blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends and family to introduce our son to.  Thanks and may your life be blessed in every possible way. 


Until later….


Much Love,

Maggie, Bryan, Rachael and Jonathan Drake


Jonathan's locker now appropriately decorated with his family!!! 

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.  Tasty Horse Meat-Five Fingers or Besbarmak as they like to call it here. 

I can't believe I ate the whole thing..................

Our wonderful friends Boshjan and Dina.  We adore them and will miss them very much.