Srozhdestvom Kristovym...or Merry Ukrainian Christmas.
It was a relatively uneventful day...but very enjoyable considering how close we are to getting home. We made our 47th and 48th visits to the orphanage. Two more tomorrow will bring it to an even 50...which is a nice point to wrap it up.
It seems that we have had many interesting cab rides during the trip. Our cab driver this morning, for example, started by asking me if we were Spanish. I told him that we were Canadian and then he told us, in very broken English, that he had been a seaman on a Spanish trawler that worked from the Grand Banks off Newfoundland down to Cuba. He told me he had visited Halifax, St. John's and Labrador. When he said "Halifax", Candace thought he saw Terry Fox...so she was really excited.
Our morning visit was much quieter today given that we did not try to take Alexandra outside again. The highlight was probably the half-hour that we spent playing keep-away with an empty plastic bag. I have a duffle bag full of toys that I always bring and she spent most of the morning playing with something that I originally wanted to put in the garbage.
We had lunch at the hotel before doing a little bit of shopping. We returned and I finished reading "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and did a couple of crossword puzzles. Candace finished reading "Jane Eyre"...but I can't say how the remainder of her afternoon went. I told her recently that I would not mention her napping anymore in the blog so I want to keep my word to her.
The evening visit was more of the usual fare...eating, quiet playing, tickling, frantic running, some more quiet play, followed by hugging, kissing and carrying. When I write it that way it almost sounds like my first date with Candace. Despite the repetitive nature of the visit, I still thought it was exceptional. Every single opportunity that I get to spend with Alexandra is greatly appreciated. While I am excited about returning home this week, I also will miss the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with my new daughter every morning once I get back to work.
After our visit, the three remaining couples went out for a celebratory meal to end our time here. Tomorrow evening will be spent packing and getting ready for returning to Kiev on Tuesday. I have made several references to how Candace and I have been doing our hand-washing in the sink of our hotel room. The second day that we got here I went to the front desk and asked if they had a laundromat or a laundry service. They said they they had neither and directed me to the nearest laundromat. It was about a kilometre away and it takes them 3 days to return your clothes. So we kept doing it ourselves in the sink. So during supper I asked the Spanish couple if they have been doing their own laundry in the sink. They said that their facilitator made arrangements with their lady on their floor to do their laundry for them. They dropped the clothes off in the morning and got them back cleaned and pressed in the evening. Another benefit of having a full-time translator that we missed out on. Both Candace and I laughed about this, especially considering that there are clothes hanging all around our room.