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the field trip

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I didn't get to visit Maddie today.
Not because I missed my cab or because anyone was sick, but because today is a religious holiday.
Unfortunately, no one told me.
I walked into the orphanage doctor's office at 10 this morning to check in and was greeted with confused looks. I tried asking (in my general pantamime way) for permission to go visit Maddie and they replied with way more than their usual 'da, da.'
So I tried asking questions...and they tried answering.
It wasn't working so I pulled out the cell and called Lev.
It seems in honor of the holiday the kids went to church and they wouldn't be back until the afternoon.
Sigh.
I wouldn't be able to see her unless I came back for the afternoon visit. The problem with that is, I just don't feel safe coming back at night by myself. As I've told you before, the alley I have to walk through is a little intimidating...even in the daylight...let alone in the complete darkness. There is very little light and several tunnels I have to walk through to get here.
I've actually considered asking the OES staff to find me an apartment back at the main building. It's not that I don't love my apartment - I do. It's just that at the other apartment complex, the courtyard is nice, well-lit and there's plenty of traffic at all hours. That way I could visit her twice a day...feel safe...and be around other adoptive parents.
I'm still thinking about it.
Anway...
There wasn't anything I could do but make the best of it. Since Maddie was on a field trip...maybe I should go on one too.
So I did.
I went for a walk...a long walk down by the Black Sea.
I have no idea what I saw, but I enjoyed exploring...and I finally feel like I'm starting to get a feel for Odessa's geography.
First I walked toward what I think is the opera house, then turned left, went a couple of blocks and turned right. (I'm great with directions aren't I?) This road took me past a woman begging with a tin cup, a couple of street cats sunning themselves in a stairwell and a street vendor selling bread.
I also passed high-end specialty shops selling everything from jewelry to souvenirs.
At one point I passed a bunch of men standing on a street corner, speaking in English. One of them said something about acting like the driver that day.
Aaaaah...it was good to hear English.
Then I came across a gaggle of German tourists. I'm pretty sure they were German. I took a semester of it in college and they sounded just like my college prof. Of course, I can't remember anything from that class except, 'Spreche se deutsch.'
Doesn't help me much - since I don't. ;)
I kept walking, enjoying the fresh air, taking in the sights and trying my best to read the Cyrillic business names. (I am getting better...it's like a game to me now! :)
I finally reached Primorskiy Blvd., and Moon Park. (I only know that because I found an online map to tell me what it was.) It was a great walking area with a ton of steps that take you down to a very busy street.
Silly me... I decided to walk down the stairs.
About half way down I realized I would have to climb back up.
Duh.
I kicked myself the rest of the way down.
I am not a stair climber.
When I got to the bottom I found a free venicular right next to the stairs.
Whew.
There is such a thing as a free ride. ;)
Once I got back to the top I walked from one end of the park to the other and then headed back.
I walked past the bread vendor, the sunning cats and dropped some coins in the old woman's cup. I walked past the stores selling jewelry and the ones selling souvenirs. I grabbed a bite to eat at McD's, walked through another park, headed over to the 'Greek Mall' and strolled through the grocery store before finally heading home.
I'd made it.
My first really big excursion on my own and I had explored the city and found my way home.
A successful field trip if I do say so myself.
Although my legs are killing me! :)

12 salty messages:

Rachael January 15, 2008 at 4:58 PM  

So the weather must be somewhat pleasant?

Christina January 15, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

good job making lemonade out of those lemons! It looks like a beautiful day there.
If they can get you a same quality apartment in the other building, it sounds like that would be ideal.
Hope you have a good visit with Maddy tomorrow!

Anonymous,  January 15, 2008 at 6:33 PM  

Hey Dear Friend, Perhaps, just perhaps this blog will show up. I am so happy that things are going okay and that you are hanging in there. I understand that the hours get so very, very long, but it sounds like there are a few bright spots along the way, not to mention the time with Ellie Clymer! Let's keep each other posted. I'll be there before you know it. Love, Sandra

Tina in CT January 15, 2008 at 8:33 PM  

What a beautiful city Odessa is.

You did very well getting around today and must have tired yourself out with all the walking.

The alley and tunnels would also frighten me and make me feel leery. Perhaps the idea of moving is a good one and there would be outehr adoptive couples there for company and support since your husband is back home.

I'm sorry that you were not able to see your daughter this morning.

How much longer do you expect to be there?

Gail,  January 15, 2008 at 8:54 PM  

What an adventure you had!! Wow! The Black Sea!! Awesome!
Gail

BethPie January 15, 2008 at 10:46 PM  

What an adventure!! And great pictures. :o)

Troy and Rachel January 16, 2008 at 9:19 AM  

I'm sorry you didn't get to visit 'Maddie' but I think you made a great day of it and you were so brave!!

Anonymous,  January 16, 2008 at 9:49 AM  

Loved the photos - they sure do have some beautiful architecture in Odessa. I love the walkway with the trees arching overhead; I bet that's really beautiful in the summer. I'm glad you got out and about, but it's too bad you didn't get to visit Maddie. You were wise, though, not to go in the afternoon, making it necessary to walk in those dangerous places after dark. Better safe than sorry! - Melinda H.

Caroline January 16, 2008 at 10:53 AM  

Besides for the fact of missing Maddie, it sounds like a wonderful day! Good for you. We appreciate you taking us along for the walk! I'm glad it's been a little warmer for you. It will make seeing her again all the sweeter. Glad the taxi conversations across language barriers are getting easier. Any progress on the bus route yet?

Nataliya January 16, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

I've never heard about a religious holiday on January 15th! But I'm glad you went on a field trip!

It was very nice talking to you today!

Tina in CT January 16, 2008 at 6:28 PM  

Are you and Nataliya going to meet? That would be so great!

kate January 17, 2008 at 8:30 AM  

FUN! Are you loving Odessa yet? I wish I were there...

Change your room.

Word verification says, "Swte pi". Sweetie pie.

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