Day five and six of our journey (March 16th, Wednesday, and 17th, Thursday)

March 16-17, 2011

By Tony posted March 19.  We have no internet for three days and may not have any for several more days.  We are doing well and things seem to be going ok.  We will update as time and connectivity allows.

It turns out that we indeed needed to worry about train tickets.  This time of year there is a high demand for train tickets going to the south part of the country.  Most people do not have cars and flying is simply not an option so travel on trains is the main way to travel long distances here.  Despite our worries,  tickets were obtained on the overnight train to Zaparozhye.  Our compartment consisted of two berths on the bottom and two on top.  We had a compartment that locked which I’m told is very important as there is always a villian around ready to slit your throat and take your money.

As I was sitting on the train I had visions of sitting in the dentist or doctor’s office as a child just knowing something was going to happen that was not going to be pleasant but would ultimately be for my good.  I can remember wishing that I was anywhere else in the world except the place I was really in and trying to conjure up a time machine to vault me past all that unpleasantness. That is the way I felt sitting in that semi-dark compartment on the train last night just wishing to this to be all over. 

The ride on the train didn’t turn out to be all that bad.  We spent most of the time just sleeping.  It was interesting to see how many people were up and about at 5:30am.

Slavic, our driver, met us right at the train this morning and even helped us take our stuff off the train.  He was supposed to speak a little English which turned out to be, “No Spick Engish”.  Our start was at seven in the morning and the first stop was good old McDonald’s for an egg mcmuffin that tasted just like any other egg mcmuffin you could get at any other McDonald’s. The drive to the inspectors office only took about 40 minutes.  The “inspector” is sort of like a social worker for the county who makes sure the rights of the children are protected.  We actually had to drive two of them to the orpanage where we could meet with them along with the children and Yulia the orpahage director. 

Luba, Zhenia, and Yuri seemed very pleased to see us.  They were just all smiles the whole time.  Yulia came a little bit later as she had taken the later train to Zaparozhye or Dnepropetrovsk and had returned via bus from the train terminal.  We had to spend about an hour doing paper work with the inspectors.  One of the things that had to be done was that the children had to write a letter in their own handwriting stating tha they wanted to be adopted.  Yuri could not get a hold of a pen fast enough and his younger brother and sister followed suit.

From there we had to go to the notary to help make things official.  In the States being a notary is like being a rich uncle; everbody wants to have one but nobody wants to be one.  Here being a notary is considered very prestigious and takes quite a bit of education and is considered as important as being a lawyer.  While the notary was preparing the documents we went and had a late lunch which was quite nice.  The signing at the notary was quite uneventful and we then went back to the orphanage and Gabe amazed everybody with his cup stacking skills.  We also went up to their gym and played some basketball and volleyball with some of the kids. We were pretty beat by the time we left.  Our drive to Nikopol took just over an hour.  It is actually closer than Zaparozhye but  because of the road conditions it appears to take longer to get to and from Nikopol.  We may end up changing to Zaparozhye in a few days.

We arrived in Nikopol around 8 p.m. in time to get some groceries and come to the apartment in time to unload everything and go right to bed.

3 Responses to “Day five and six of our journey (March 16th, Wednesday, and 17th, Thursday)”
  1. Stephanie Holbrook says:

    Anne, your comments about the villain and the dentist made me laugh. I could just hear you saying it. I must say that even I am impressed by the cup stacking. I’ll bet the kids at the orphanage we’re super impressed! So glad to hear that you made it! If you end up staying in Zap, maybe you’ll have some company from the other families that are there. So happy for you!! Take care.

  2. Andreas says:

    Glad to hear you are doing well and made it safely to you destination, though a story about being in a time machine would have been quite entertaining. 🙂 I put a map on the Save A Child blog that show where you are and the cities around that you mentioned in your post. I also Google-mapped the city the orphanage is in. If I am seeing things right, this appears to be one of the most remote cities we’ve seen, as well as one of the most rural. If you can get any internet, it would be interesting to hear more about what you are seeing there.

    Good luck in the coming days. Hopefully it will be relatively uneventful with no surprises! God bless you all.

  3. Kim Golling says:

    Glad to hear that your meeting with the kids went so well. We have missed seeing your family since we separated. I look forward to seeing in you Zap if you come here to stay. Our prayers and best wishes are with you!

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