Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heading to Abbyville--Feb 13

This was the sandwich we got at a roadside stop along the way to Abbyville. It is sausage with a few slices of cucumber. We got to add our own condiments: mayo (which is in the YELLOW bottle), mustard (in the GREEN bottle and it seems there was a WHITE bottle, too. The potty at this stop costs 30 leva for the privilege of using their toilet paper, hot water and soap, I guess, but beware!! it is a "squatty potty." You have not lived until you've had this experience and if you walk out with your clothing and your shoes dry I think you have passed the test. We have joked that if they had these kind of toilets in the US there would probably be a lot less people needing knee replacements--all those joints and muscles would be kept in tip-top shape. And bummer, I wouldn't be able to read or fall asleep on the "throne" either. In fact, all the people would get in and out of the bathroom a lot faster!! LOL.
Hotel Park "Bora" in AbbyVille. That's a palm tree underneath the wrapping.
Hotel lobby area

We were in Room 11 right off the lobby. Here's our living room.

I think we got the Honeymoon Suite--Humongous Round Bed!!!!!

The veranda accessible from our room.

View from the veranda

Lobby view

Journal entry Sunday, Feb 13, 8:10 p.m.

Sunday morning we ate at the complimentary buffet at Hotel Budapest. It was delicious. I had scrambled eggs, mushrooms, slice of yummy cheese, french toast with jam, very meaty bacon, something like yogurt but not so sweet with tiny pieces of fruit cut up in it, slices of oranges and grapefruit, and cherry tea. It was great. They had lots of other stuff, too. Oh, I forgot to mention the apricot juice. I had two glasses and I think Kevin had 3. It reminded me of when my grandma used to be alive--she made what she called "apricot nectar" which was very thick apricot juice (only this wasn't thick.) Plus I drank one of our bottled waters. I must have been dehydrated.

We were to meet Toni at 11:15 in the lobby. We were actually in the elevator heading down when the phone was ringing letting us know she was there. I forgot to mention that when we arrived at the motel, we were given a cell phone and charger for use in talking to Toni whenever we needed to. I appreciated that though I don't think we ever had to call her. People can also call this phone from the U.S. with no charge to Toni--of course, it would definitely cost something from the U.S. end.

Rats! I'm losing it again. I'm getting really sleepy.

Anyway, we got in the car with Toni and Marty. (Toni was injured in a car accident as a young lady so her brother drives for her.) Then we drove across the city and picked up Villi who will assist Toni. Villi sat behind Toni, I sat behind Marty and Kevin sat in the middle.

Toni told us we would notice two things about AbbyLand: 1. everyone smokes and 2. the roads are bad. True enough, the road had lots of potholes, lots of patches, lots of patches patching the previous patches, and part was pretty narrow. Toni and Marty were having to follow their map pretty carefully.

Once we got here to AbbyVille, they had to get directions twice to get up to this Park Hotel Bora. It is almost a dirt path up a hill but very pretty. It has palm trees outside that are covered with plastic. There are also palms in the very big lobby and lots of moisture in the air--so much so that my glasses completely fogged over. There's a big veranda through glass doors over-looking a swimming pool. Our room seems to be the honeymoon suite with a big ROUND bed, curtained glass about 1/2 way around it, doors that open up to the veranda, blue and yellow striped couch and footstools. The seat of the couch glides out so we have our footstools lodged in front between the couch and the coffee table. There is wifi hook-up but of course we have no lap top. Right inside the front door of our room is the coat rack and a closet, the door to the WC with toilet and small sink (on which the faucet comes out so far it almost misses the tiny sink) Then there's the door to the living room, followed by the bedroom and finally the room with the bathtub and another sink.

I was looking for the towels and found them very obviously decoratively gracing the bed. Duh!

This hotel is somewhat wheelchair accessible. The "ramp" at the front door consists of two strips of metal strategically placed over the steps so that the w/c can be pulled up or eased down. Also there are rooms that open right off of the lobby. However, the restaurant is downstairs so Toni (or Marty) has found another establishment in town for our dining pleasure tonight. It's called the Snack Bar Cafe. In Cyrillic that looks something like CNEK BAP (I can't make the "B" correctly on this typewriter; B like I've typed it actually makes the V sound; the letter actually pronounced like our B has a tail on it) C sounds like "s" and P sounds like "r".

{While I'm on this subject, I discovered on this trip that AbbyLand does not use exactly the same alphabet as Ukraine but I was assured that Abbyland's version is the 'real' Cyrillic. Smile. Also they pronounce the word Cyrillic like it starts with K. Uppercase T looks like T but lowercase t looks like m. L looks something like an upside-down V but skinnier. It is really fun. The language is very phonetic and I truly get a kick out of trying to pronounce things on signs. Often I'll just get something sounded out and then see that it is re-written for me in 'our' Roman alphabet directly below!}

Anyway back to dinner--it was yummy. I had something in an earthenware bowl--cut up chicken, tomato puree, mushrooms, eggs--I can't remember what all--mmm good! I drank 1 1/2 Cola Lights and so did Kevin. He ordered chicken fillets and cheese fries. It was like crunchy chicken fingers with a batter that was made with Corn flakes similar to what is sometimes on shrimp. The fries had grated light-colored cheese. Toni was saying this cheese and a kind of yogurt can only be made in AbbyLand because this is the only place the bacilli will grow! Marty had spaghetti. Toni had chicken on a skewer and mashed potatoes.

Back at the hotel Kevin said there is another part of the swimming pool that is INDOORS. I guess it's actually connected to the outside portion but there's a wall down to the water level that helps maintain the warmth on the inside. Kevin got in. He said it's at the temperature "where you have to keep moving" to keep warm. I didn't even think to bring a swimsuit.

Tomorrow the director from Abby's orphanage is supposed to come to the hotel about 10:30 am and lead us to the orphanage which apparently is difficult to find. Actually it is not technically an orphanage but a family-type setting. I'm really not sure what that means--I suppose a care-giver living with a smaller number of kids in a family-like setting.

Toni has given me Abby's official written referral from the Ministry of Justice. The poor kiddo has already been in 5 places. I am really concerned about bonding. It seems it will be extra hard for her to leave her caregiver and friends if they truly are like a family.

Lord, please help her heart. Help my heart. This is going to require a miracle. You know my fears. You know the difficulties with other children that have already influenced/bruised/even tainted my outlook. I am expecting BAD. Please God, miraculously implant love in my heart. Please miraculously give something that I can attach at least a feeling of empathy/sympathy/compassion. Like with Steven, in spite of his wild, really difficult behavior in the orphanage, I kept the picture in mind from the first time I say him of a fragile little boy. I felt compassion--and still do--when I remembered him like that.

Tomorrow we meet her. Tomorrow the purpose of all the paperwork will stand in front of me. We truly believed you have led us here. Please do not leave us now. Please do not let our 'enemies'--nay-sayers-- rejoice over us. Please do not let them say, "They trusted in God and it destroyed them." You know how many expect us to fail. You know how many think we are crazy. You know how many think we have over-stepped.

Please God, help our kids at home. Please give THEM love and compassion. Please help us allay their fears of being overlooked and crushed. Please, if it's your will, help us find a way to expand our house so the girls don't feel so crowded. You know the difference between a want and a need. You said you would supply all our needs according to your riches in glory--not according to our bank account or our tax refund.

Please, God, I am so scared and actually kind of dreading tomorrow and all those hours of trying to keep her occupied.

1 comment:

  1. I remember those squatty-potties from visiting our relatives in Estonia. Loads of fun!!! :)

    Love your descriptions of everything especially your prayer at the end. So understand that prayer!!!

    God bless you!