So you've seen the village we are staying in
(or if not, see yesterday's post.)
With buildings like this:
all around us, and vehicles like this:
rumbling down one of the only paved roads in town,
you may be wondering what sort of place we might
have found in which to stay. Well, imagine our surprise
when we pulled up in front of this building:
and were told that this was our hotel! Right in the middle of this thousand-year-old village, there is a brand new building, built last year, that is sparkling and perfect. And inside, we discovered a grocery store, a 3D movie theater, a pizza place, a fitness center, a sauna, a salon, and yes,
|The 3D Theater, with 7 rows of seats, 6 across. We can hear the|
sounds from the movies rumbling through our wall. We are
thinking it would be fun to see Cars 2 in Russian before we leave!
Here is the hallway to our hotel room:
and once inside, we discovered a clean, cozy little room, quite reminiscent of our days living in Married Student Housing at Bible College, complete with occasional bouts of claustrophobia, boredom, and general irritation at spending 24/7 in the same room with each other (except here we get to feel like Rob and Laura Petrie as we settle into our side-by-side twin beds each night):
I love the high ceiling and arched doorway:
and our cute little balcony (even if the locals do all stop in their tracks and stare up at us whenever we go out to get a breath of fresh air:
The bathroom is very nice, with all the hot water we want from an instant hot water heater. And I get to wash dishes in the bathroom sink again, just like our good old Bible College days:
Here's the extent of our kitchen. A fridge the size of a shoebox and a tiny rolling table to heap things on, prepare meals on, and then hover over as we eat our meals. Again, very much like our newlywed days, except then I had a toaster oven:
See this cute white kettle? It is our new best friend! We bought it for ourselves yesterday at a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop we ventured into, and I'm not sure what I am more excited about: the fact that we managed to communicate with the shop owner clearly enough to find and purchase this little beauty, or that we actually have a way to prepare all of those Folgers Singles, hot chocolate packets, soup packets, and instant oatmeal that we lugged halfway around the world! Because sandwiches, yogurt, and a cup of water, meal after meal . . . it gets really old after awhile!
Even though technically they allow smoking in this hotel, the building is new enough that we can barely smell it. Much more tolerable than other places we have been in! The room came with an ash tray, but Derek found another good use for that . . . it makes a dandy candy dish for these candy covered raisins from the store downstairs:
We brought games, DVDs, and books, but all I can say is, not enough! We are so ready to get back home and be busy again!
The rooms here do not have internet, so we were thrilled to find this wonderful device, which allows us unlimited internet use for about a dollar per day (plus about $50 to buy the wireless modem initially). Well worth the cost to be able to stay in touch with our kids back home:
And out back, behind the hotel, there is the nicest playground I have seen so far in this entire country. Right in our backyard! I think Micah would be very overwhelmed by all of this, but I can hardly wait to take Gideon to play out here:
Here's the back of the hotel right next to this lovely park:
So there you have it. Our oasis! Oh, and the cost to stay here each night? $25. Praise the Lord! With the money we are saving by staying here, and by not having to pay a driver to take us to our visits with the boys (since they are within walking distance of us) we are hoping to have enough funding left to buy a second plane ticket back here for my second trip, so I can bring somebody with me to help get the boys home. (For those of you who may not know, we will probably be flying home after court and then I will be returning about two weeks later when the paperwork has been processed and the boys are cleared to leave with me. Derek will need to stay home to work and be with our other kids during that trip.) With Micah's delicate health and sensitivity to stimulation, and with Gideon's curiosity and busyness, I am praying that we might be able to find the funds to bring a helper back with me for the second trip! I could do it alone, of course, but what a blessing it would be to have some help!
And we want to thank whomever has added to our adoption fund again! We were so so grateful to see that this morning! THANK YOU! You are such a blessing to us! Truly, all of you who come back to read more about our adventure each day, and especially all the kind and encouraging comments left for us . . . it means SO MUCH to us! Thank you for your love and support!