That is my own spelling of the cross streets of our apartment...I get laughed at by the locals everytime I say it, so I don't think I have it quite right yet. I can however get home by taxi now which is quite the feat for me. Last night I learned what catching a taxi in Kaz means. Lorie and I went to the store while Abby and Christa were putting Ben and Eva down for the night. We decided to take a taxi. In Kazakhstan the way you do this is to hold your hand out about waist high, about 10 inches from your hip. Then the 1st car that pulls over you tell them where you want to go, and they decide if they want to stop there on their way to wherever they're going. Notice that I said 1st car that pulls up, not 1st cab. Basically you hitchhike around the city here...I'd be a little better with this if I spoke russian or kazak, but since I don't, it just becomes a long, awkward car ride with strangers. I also learned today that the national past time of Kaz is blowing snot rockets. If you ar
e unfamiliar with the snot rocket, it's basically blowing your nose without a kleenex. The REALLY interesting thing is that this is NOT a male dominated sport!!!! the weather here has taken an extreme turn for the better...it's probably in the low 70's high 60's today. Not so upset about the lack of A/C anymore!!!!
Today there's a street ball tournament that Jake's in so we'll probably go check that out. Also there's a Kazak christian rap group here name Maranatha that will be performing. I met one of the guys from the group the other day and he was pretty excited to know that I'm in MM and that I'm friends with Toby Mac, John Reuben, and of course T-Bone. You can check them out if you'd like to experience what I experienced when he played it for me then proceed to point outhis favorite parts, none of which I understood. Their myspace is.... www.myspace.com/maranatharap
Yesterday was our last day this week to spend time with Millie. Good news is, we are through with our 1st week of bonding!!!! Band news is, no visits are allowed at the orphanage on the weekends, so we just have to find stuff to do. Millie was sweet as always and once again fell asleep on Abby. Every time she wakes up from her little naps, she's even smilier than she is when we 1st see her each day. God has blessed us with a very easy bonding time, we can't thank Him enough!!!! Every now and then she does this rocking back and forth coping thing when one of the other babies gets in her grill and she gets upset. We were told that a lot of orphanage babies go through this. She stops instantly when one of us picks her up, which is a great sign that she feels safe. She's only cried like once in our time with her...she really is a happy little thing. Sad that she has no idea how much better life is supposed to be. She has no idea what we're trying to give her....There are currently 4 babies being adopted while we're here. They're all beautiful and going to go home with very loving parents. It's been fun going through this process along with other americans, and 1 canadian!!!
This morning we spent some quality time with Ben as he is still waking up between 3-4 am. We went for a walk around 6 am. We met this really nice Russian gentleman who Ben REALLY liked. He was exercising in the park and Ben started following him around. It was pretty funny to watch....He asked me if, "I could give sweets to Ben?" in rather broken english, so this morning at about 6:45 am Ben had his 1st gummi bear!!!! It was a proud moment for me and Abby actually handled it quite well!!! Ben liked the gummi bear so much he gave the old ruskie a hug...it was pretty sweet.
Mike, Abby, Ben, Millie, and some old guy in the park.