Oops!... Saturday evening I had just finished typing our update and didn't get it published to the blog before we lost our internet connection. We had only paid for an hour of use at the hotel as we figured that would be enough time to Skype with family and update emails/blog. Well... we got cut off just as I hit "publish". I'll tack on the rest now then jump over to a more recent post-- about our first visit-- since I'm sure that's the part you're dying to hear about.
After a night on the plane, we have arrived at the first destination of our EE adventure. With connections that took us to JFK before heading acrosss the big pond, we've spent the better part of the past 36 hours either in an airport or on a plane. We arrived in the Capital City about 1:30pm (local time) on Saturday. Our connections, flights, and entrance into the country went smoothly. The trans-Atlantic flight was as pleasant as could be for being packed in like sardines.
Getting through immigration was a non-event (for which we are thankful). Our driver (Dima) met us and took us to our hotel. The staff was very kind and upgraded us not only to a nicer room, but also gave us access to a hospitality lounge which included snacks and breakfast. After getting settled in our room, we did some damage to the cookie stash in the hospitality lounge before heading out to exchange money and go grocery shopping. We picked up a few essentials for dinner (their equivalent of Ramen Noodles), bread, chocolate, and water then headed back to our room.
The grocery store was 2 levels. There was and escalator-ish thing that accommodated both people and grocery carts when going from one level to the other. There is really no pattern to the traffic flow in the grocery store. It seems to be each man for him/herself. Watch out if someone's headed your way because chances are they are not going to stop for you. Add in the fact that all 4 cart wheels pivot and it becomes an evening of entertainment for the Americans.
We slept well, "strapped on the feedbag" in the hospitality suite, then headed out for a few hours of sightseeing. We braved the metro by ourselves. We even switched lines without incident! The biggest problem we found was that the print on the metro map was almost impossible for aging eyes to read. Thankfully, Dave brought along his magnifying reading glasses... what a lifesaver!
After a few hours of wandering around Capital City's most famous sites, we headed back to the hotel to meet our driver.
Our driver (Mark) took us to the train station and got us situated in our cabin before our 8:16pm departure.
The train was a great experience and after 13 hour and some sleep, we arrived at our stop--- the end of the line.
Our in-country adoption representative (Anya) met us at the train then took us to our host family's apartment. We ate breakfast then got in the car for a 3 hour drive to our little guy's orphanage. The drive there and back... well... let's just say Danica Patrick has nothing on Anya!