Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Of Turkey & Duck

Today has been a very unusual day, a day very different from any other we have had in Kazakhstan. As Alaina wrote yesterday, we had to stay inside our apartment all day today due to the fact that it was a holiday here in Uralsk, with the presidents here and about, etc. So we did. And except for the fact that we missed seeing our boys (that was very hard), we had a great day.

As the title of this post indicates, we had some fun with duct tape today. Duct tape was on the list of things we were supposed to bring, although we weren’t entirely sure why. Today we learned why. Our diaper bag has been falling part. This evening, it sits on the table newly restored. With duct tape! Alaina and I took turns making repairs; what she initially took for frustration for her style of repairs was actually eagerness and impatience at taking a turn. Caleb, you would be proud of us. No, we don’t have a diaper bag made entirely of duct tape, but silvery duct tape now complements very nicely (and strengthens greatly) our black diaper bag!

Our repairs were interrupted by a phone call. Unlike most of the calls we have received here in this apartment, the caller spoke English. (We don’t know what to say other than “we don’t speak Russian” to the unintelligible callers most of the time.) It was most unusual, however: “We’re calling to take a survey of your television watching habits.” Huh? It turns out it was a “prank” call from one of the other families here. Her real purpose in calling was to let us know that our coordinator, translator, and driver were on their way over to our apartment for a document-completion and signing session.

Indeed, they arrived shortly thereafter, and we worked on filling out more paperwork for the next hour and a half. I could tell you about it all, but don’t want to bore you unnecessarily.

Speaking of television, our viewing has been rather limited. We did catch some of the CNN live coverage of the Amish-school-shooting last evening. Due to the time change, it was prime-time live viewing here, despite taking place mid-morning in Pennsylvania. We watched with both fascination and horror. We feel so awful for the families and that community.

Amazingly, I am being permitted to blog tonight because Alaina is engrossed in her book. We have both done more reading in the last twenty-four hours than in much of the rest of the trip. I just finished Dances With Wolves. It was a quick read, but very enjoyable, especially for me as I have long been fascinated with the American Indian. Last night or the day before, I finished Stephen Pressfield’s The Afghan Campaign. The Campaign was particularly good, but like Dances doesn’t have the story-book ending I would have liked :)

Alaina finished Three Weeks With My Brother last night and is in the middle of several other books. Like me, she thoroughly enjoyed Three Weeks. If you enjoy the novels of Nicholas Sparks, Three Weeks offers some incredible insights into the source of many of his novels – and also helps to explain why so many of his stories are both so sad and so heart-warming.

It has been enjoyable today checking regularly on our blog and seeing the various comments coming in, rejoicing with us on our good news from yesterday. Thank you all also for your prayers for our court tomorrow. Immediately before I wrote here, Alaina and I spent some time planning what I will say in my mini-speech tomorrow. We’ll spend some time in prayer before we go to bed and again tomorrow morning. We leave here about 9:30; the other families go at 10 and 10:30, and then we have court at 11.

Another fun activity for the day was making supper. Alaina’s been planning a turkey meal (we brought some packets from home) for a while, and today we had the time – and the ingredients – to make it. So we feasted on a stuffing-like casserole (turkey, bread, onions, garlic, cranberries, and almonds), mashed potatoes, and beets – absolutely delicious! And because we have few containers to store leftovers and few meals in which to eat them, we cleaned out most of the pots!

So it’s been a full day, and one for which we’re thankful.


liz said...

glad you were able to enjoy some relax time. that's important too. i'll be praying for you guys and the big day tomorrow. love you so much!
ps: my russia group presentation went really well. thanks for your input andrew!

Heather L. said...

We are thinking of you and praying for the court session! Can't wait to see a picture of you both with the boys. We are home from our trip to Minneapolis -- we had a good time with the other RP church planters.

Grandma Judd said...

Can you believe it is the day of Final Court tomorrow? I am sure you are well-prepared and ready. I will be praying at 2:00 A.M. I can just imagine you missed those two little boys as much as they missed you today. It was nice that you had some time to relax and plan. I just could not imagine you being able to put together such an amazing meal. I was ready to join you. The Trip Journal is a real treasure, and I am so pleased that I was given the privilege of sharing it with you. I am so anxious to have you back home. Please share the reactions of the two little boys when they meet for the first time. God has been so good to you, and I am sure he will continue to bless you. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
Love you so much,
Grandma Judd