Tuesday, May 22, 2007

We’ve been able to entertain kola enough, and build enough trust, that he listens to us (sometimes) and does things other than roam the parking lot admiring the machinas. Today the big excitement was that the wind kicked up when the garbage truck was loading, unleashing a flurry of small plastic bags. All bags had to be caught and secured – some in a bag we brought and some in the garbage. He imitates things quickly so we built a tower of blocks and he knocked it down and helped us rebuild it. We taught him how to drink from a sippy cup but he thought it was a better idea to take the top off and drink from it the old-fashioned way (they drink out of small regular cups at mealtime.) We learned that the meals in the orphanage are primarily: homemade soup, fish, apples, bananas, oatmeal with milk and sugar, cooked wheat cereal, meatballs made with meat and rice, apple juice. We’re told kola is a very good eater and given that ‘on the charts’ he’s 50% height and 90% weight we believe it! He might be the first orphan to come home and lose weight with the increased exercise he’ll be getting back home.

We’ve been eating a wide range of things, but my staples here have been: al dente oatmeal with milk and sugar (called porridge on the engliskee menu), red caviar especially in the thin crepes that are sold almost everywhere from good restaurants to food stands, a chicken stock quail’s egg soup with dill and parsley and thin noodles, salmon carpaccio, and a thin creamy mushroom soup. I’m sure I’ll go thru withdrawal when I get home, missing this simple, yummy, very fresh food.

We’ve had a chance to interact more with the other couples at the orphanage. Most of it is during visit/playtime so it’s pretty brief, but the parents are all friendly, supportive, and share experiences/encouragement. We’ve talked with two Italian couples, one swiss, one canadian from montreal, and had a very nice time at dinner with a couple from Delaware tonite. They're in their 10-day waiting period for a 2-year old boy at the same orphanage. When we walked away from the cafe after dinner, it took me a minute to realize we were in a non-english speaking country. The total English immersion was a real treat!! more soon:) xo b/s


Barry said...

Good you have an idea of his diet. You can transition Kola from what he is used to and enlarge the scope of things that he will eat on a gradual pace. He will have so many new things to get used to when he arrives home in Oak Park. It sounds as if things are progressing well in terms of his becoming more comfortable with you. My guess is that it will be a back and forth kind of thing for awhile. Leaving the orphanage and his friends there will have an emotional impact for sure. He may not be the happiest child for awhile as he mourns that loss. Thank goodness, kids are resilient.

Mary said...

Hope all is OK w/ Clan Burdin in Ukraine. I'd read this morning that there have been some "skirmishes" (probably no worse than 1st grade boys arguing about t-ball...you have that to look forward to!) b/t various gov't factions and that riot police had been called out. They said the streets of Kiev are quiet so I hope that's good news for all three of you and that you are enjoying "machina" time together. Best wishes from the non-Woodbiners