Monday - 1 Oct 07 - 6:37PM
zzzDRAHST-vueet-ya, DRAHST-ya, BREEV-yet ee DO-bree-dyen from Astrakhan! I just (phonetically) said "Hello, hey, hi and good afternoon" (even though it's now evening here) in Russian. I couldn't remember how to say "evening."
We visited the Ministry of Education today, the people who decide who lives and dies, I mean, if/when we get to adopt a child. The department head we were supposed to speak to today was out sick. Of course. So, we spoke with her assistant, who gave no indication whatsoever that she had ever heard of us or that we had in fact already been given a "referral" for a specific child. It was our "good luck" that because she was filling in for her boss, she covered herself by putting us through a complete interview which they don't normally do. It was very nerve-wracking for Tara. I just found it interesting to be interviewed by a woman in a tight skirt, no bra and fishnet stockings. I was not going to mention the "no bra" part, but Tara brought it up later. I told her that the only reason I even noticed was because, when someone stands up and says "hello," it's only polite to at least acknowledge them. :)
Our interpreter, Vika, "held our hand" through it all. Vika, by the way, dresses very modestly; not the usual tight pants, belly shirt and spike heels that most young women here wear. :) She's a very sweet person. She's also been a lifesaver because she speaks English and, having recently spent a year in Louisiana going to LSU, knows that it's rude to look at us like we're retarded when we don't understand something, like so many clerks have. Galina, our official agency representative, has helped a lot, too, behind the scenes; but she doesn't speak English, so we can't interact with her much.