Wednesday, July 7, 2010

We started out with an exciting day. As we were waiting for our driver to get us to visit Hannah, we discovered our phone was no longer with us. There's no other way to communicate with anyone except with this phone. All the numbers we needed were in it, and we weren't sure what to do. The last we could figure, we'd used it outside no. 19 restaurant while waiting for the Hauflers. After that, we never used it the rest of the day. So, 1st stop was exchanging money, then the police station to "announce our mobile was lost", answering questions about when we lost it, if we saw anyone suspicious around us, etc. Pretty interesting to be in the basement of a post-communist police station. The lady was very nice and thought they could find it fairly easily. Then to the Geo cell store to announce again our lost moblie, get a new sim card so we could have the same number, and then to the restaurant. No one knew about a phone, so we had to go find a new one. It felt so good to have that little Nokia in my hand!

The sweetest thing about the experience was our driver and translator. They were so concerned about our phone and wanted to do anything they could to help us find it. We ended up spending almost 2 hours on that fabulous chase.

When we got to Hannah's house, the younger 2 children were getting ready to take naps. Shoot! I thought we were timing it well so we could visit before naps and not mess things up like we did the day before! Hannah again was quite happy to see us. She always has the picture book from 2 years ago with her. She's very fascinated with cell phones and sunglasses. I really should have gotten her a phone to play with! If we find the one we lost, maybe one of them can be her toy. She kept telling Buddy how much she liked the camera when we put it away, and kept asking for my sunglasses when I put them up and wouldn't let her have them- her little foster brother was not being so gentle with them and it just made it easier.
Here she is with Irma, her foster mom and Costa her foster brother.
Here is the view from their courtyard, where they spend a good part of their day

Things I found out today:

-she wears a diaper to bed at night
-she doesn't know when to stop eating or drinking
-she thinks pretzels are sweets
-she likes to play grand theft auto
-she dances to rock music when Costa plays it for her
-she really likes my backpack because I keep bringing things for her AND she found one of our bars in it
-she loves her little foster brother Ilio. They share with each other. However, when I asked if I could have one of her pretzels, she wanted to make sure it was only one. She did share more eventually.
- she likes baths and spends hours a day in the pool
We're really enjoying our times together with her. Kind of wierd to know yesterday was the last day for over a week Buddy will see her. I'm sure we'll try to skype after I get her for good.
Nino, our translator took us to Rustavele, which is a really neat part of town. There, she found a souvinir shop that was filled with things from different regions of Georgia. Of course, we wanted to find things for Hannah that would help her understand her country and feel a little of what the culture is. The had amazing costumes from the regions, and were kind enough to allow us to try them on. The one I'm wearing is more than 100 years old! Buddy had a hard time finding a hat to fit his head, but he really enjoyed his outfit. Complete with sword. After we'd taken one picture, the gentleman added another coat and a gun. He took our picture and make copies for us and Nino. I'm so thankful for how kind everyone has been. It's really a very wonderful country!
This is from the oldest part of Tbilisi and is a very hot spot for night life. My night life is being in bed by 10, complete with earplugs and the back of my eyelids, but for them, things don't really get started until around 9. Down the left road is a restaurant, #12 where we ate the 1st night. Behind us is a park with a statue to a famous actress, who, according to Lika, was fabulous. Her name is Sopiko, and I'd really like to see if netflix has any of her movies. To the left of the picture is another church (they're all over and so much fun to look at) and beyond that is #19 and the lost phone. All the restaurants has couches and tables outside for people to sit at, as well as inside. Georgians like to eat and drink wine and enjoy being with each other. Nice concept.

After we did our souvinir shopping, we went to see this church.It really is as big as it looks. Amazing architecture that has just recently been completed. There are actually several churches inside it. Women are not supposed to go into churches without their heads covered, but we had to make the exception since we didn't bring one. Nino found one for me, but sweetly went without herself.
Charissa likes the Goodwill in OK, but I got to go to Tbilisi's goodwill. It's actually a grocery store! It was a bit hard to figure out, but we managed to find some pastries, water, juice, cereal, yogurt and some fresh veggies.
Nino took us to a restaurant called Martini, which was Elephant just a few months ago, for a great dinner of authentic Georgian foods. We had kinkali, khachapuri and khachapuri with beans instead of cheese. I'll have to ask the name a'gain. Could I just buy these spices and bring them home? They're wonderful, and we surely have nothing like them in the US.
Because Buddy left before we were able to complete things for the embassy, we had to meet Giorgi for Power of Attorney papers.

The Hauflers were there as well with a sick little boy. Please pray for them for sweet sleep, peace, and grace as they finish up their journey. They may be able to leave Saturday. It's almost been 2 weeks for them, and they're really ready to be home.
Buddy's flight left at 6:50 am, so he had to leave at 4:50. Sadly, the airline wasn't going to let him board. I'm thankful I stayed at the apartment so my mom could call me and I could get online to figure out what I could, call Giorgi and wake him at 6:30 am to call the airline. God was once again faithful, and Buddy got on his flight and should be almost to Athens by now. Oh, how I would really like to view that city from the air! Better on the ground, but at least on the air. I hope he remembered to take pictures. We loaded him up with everything that wasn't essential so I could take a much lighter load home. I'll have the stroller, carryons and checked in luggage to get around Amsterdam.
I'm ready to go back to bed so I can get rest before another full day.
Mary- what do you knit with #1 needles? I'm thinking socks. Going to really get started on Samuel's sweater today. found out my cable was too long to make the girls' hats. :(


Christine W said...

There is a fabulous spice market "somewhere" there :-) As if I could ever follow the crazy driver we had. Ask to go to that. Also, the art market by the Dry Bridge is fabulous when there are a lot of vendors. I can home with beautiful watercolors (don't know if you remember them on the Georgian Angels site)... but my favorites are two different oil paintings. SO inexpensive, and just beautiful.
Did you go to a souvenir store (I think on Rustaveli) where they actually still use an abacus??? We just could believe it and took pictures of it... Oh, the memories you are bringing back!! Thanks for sharing your experience!

Mary said...

Lol, usually socks although right now I'm working on a very involved mitten project that uses size 1 needles - really complicated pattern, tiny stitches, and it's taking me FOREVER!

I think the bean bread is called lobiani (though don't quote me on that one). The general spice mix would be Khmeli-suneli - you might be able to find it in the open-air markets. Have you ever read The Georgian Feast by Darra Goldstein? It's a really neat Georgian cookbook with many of the foods you're describing in it. The recipes are really authentic, and there's a whole section on Georgian food culture as well.

I loved all the pictures of Tbilisi! That's so cool that you got to try on the costumes - sounds like lots of fun!

Christine W said...

By now have you started to speak in a really strange English pattern? By week 2 I was changing the order of basic sentences b/c there was so much mis-translation it wasn't funny... I just remember rethinking what I had just said, and started laughing at how bad the sentence structure was to get my point