Day 6 - We walked down to the Tourist Hotel again to blog and check e-mails. Today is a free day. We have a washing machine in our apartment and George showed us yesterday how to use it. We washed two loads of clothes and hung them up in front of the heat register, altough there isn't much heat in it. It is now 65 degrees in our apartment. We still don't have hot water so we boil water on the stove, close the kitchen door and can get it to about 71 degrees, so we wash up in the kitchen.
Yesterday, we had the adventure of taking the Metro (subway) back to the SDA to pick up our referral papers. We waited on the stairs until they called us in, showed our passports, and got our referral paper. While we were waiting outside for George to make some calls - he called the orphanage director and the inspector of that city - we talked to a couple from Texas who are going to the Donestk region to meet two little boys. George said the director is out, but he talked to the secretary and she said there is some commission there on Monday and we may not be able to meet the kids, but she will try to work it out. She also offered her husband to come pick us up in Odessa and bring us to Belgorod-Dnestrovsky (the city where the kids are). The inspector was already out. He has to agree to accompany us to the orphanage or we can't go. Prayers would be appreciated for this official and the director - that hopefully they won't drag it out. We can't wait to meet our kids!!
We found out that the Odessa region is more expensive that some others, so please pray that we would find favor with all the officials that we will come in contact with.
Some people have asked about the apartment. It really is quite nice - it has a living room, bedroom, kitchen and two "bathrooms", one is the WC (water closet) with the toilet and the other has the sink and bathtub. It has everything we need as far as dishes, utensils, soap, blankets, etc. The market is just a block out of the way when we walk back from the hotel. It is fun to try to provide for ourselves. We still haven't been able to buy butter, and the store is always full of people who are in a hurry, so it is hard to look for anything. We really like their juice - it comes in a carton - and has lots of flavors to choose from.
I mentioned in an earlier post that we had eaten Snow Flakes. I explained what they were in my journal and sometimes I forget what I wrote there and what I've told you, but I realize I didn't explain what they were. They are Nestle Gold Snow Flakes - kind of like thick frosted flakes, but they are good. Yesterday, we bought honey nut Cheerios - there are about 3 cereals in English that we can pick from - unless we get really brave. We did pick up some crackers that were in a clear bag - they are just like Ritz crackers.
Its been about 25 degrees and windy, but I won't complaint - we've heard its been below 0 since we left Minnesota.
I will try to answer a few e-mails. I think we will go over our hour today - it is about $1.30 for an hour, but we still try to stick to an hour because there is a smell in here that gives us a headache. Just wanted to add that the exchange rate is at 7.75 to 1 USD. That is really good for us! It keeps going higher everyday.
I am not sure we will be able to post tomorrow - don't know if the Internet Cafe is open on Sunday or not. I will try to tell you about the kids as soon as I can - may not have Internet there either right away.
Thanks for your continued prayers and e-mails - it is so nice to hear from home!!