This whole thing has been so surreal! Deana had a great day bonding with the children, who now know she will be their mama. It was so wonderful to watch. I will leave the details to Deana to write on her blog, but it has been truly a blessing to see everything occur!
Some other comments about Russia:
Imagine the worst road, with bumps, potholes, maybe a few speed bumps, etc. Now imagine driving that for three hours! (Part of it might be the effects of the snow, but still.)
Pedestrians do not have the right of way. Like other European countries, pedestrians better move or be killed.
I have not seen a Russian eat yet so far on this trip!
Gas costs up to .73 cents per liter.
Everyone walks everywhere, no matter that it’s 10 degrees outside.
We have seen several families with the babies in sleds, not strollers.
Deana and I seem to be a novelty at the hotel, as the only Americans here.
Russians exchange gifts on New Years Day just like we do on Christmas. Christmas is 1/7, but there are no traditions because they stopped celebrating Christmas under Soviet rule. It is not a national holiday even now. Then, on 1/14, they celebrate the “old year”, or the year passed. This coming year is the “Year of the Pig” – he is shown all over the place with Santa.
I was amazed that records are all kept in hand written form (one such record was in a book that looked like a comic book!). The histories of the children, the legal records, etc. are all hand written out on paper. No sign of computers or databases, etc. (Zack’s orphanage had one computer using Windows 2000 and floppy disks, but didn’t look heavily used.)
The clerks at the market (not Super….) sit at the registers, they don’t stand. The carts are about ¼ the size of American carts.
That’s all I can think of now. More later!
Sorry Rona, couldn’t think of any nerd-type items today! Maybe I am becoming less nerdy? Oh wait, I DID say database and floppy disk……