I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 267 - Kazakhstan Part 28

Every Sunday, this blog will describe our life-changing trip to Kazakhstan in 2005 to adopt our two youngest children. While some of our friends and family have seen a few of the pictures, we've never put it all together in an organized format. One of the reasons is that I hesitate to subject others to a 21st century version of the endless slideshow of vacation photos harking to some relative's visit and a lost evening of my childhood. Still, the story must be told before details are lost since this is my children's unique birthright. When we get to the end of the story, I'll edit the posts together into an extended and separate blog page and then have it printed by one of the blog-to-book(let) services for my kids. For people with less interest, these posts will be easy to identify and avoid. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Monday morning was here and we were ready to start our first full week of visitations. We were to meet our driver and interpreter each morning at about 9:30 and visit with Nurlan from 10 to noon. In the afternoon, we would be taken to see Anastasiya at 4. In between the two visitations, we would be taken back to the apartment with occasional sidetrips for shopping for necessities.

Terry had largely recovered from the weekend's bout of whatever was ailing him, though he was still a little woozy. Here he sits in the living room to gear up for the morning visitation. These metal-trimmed chairs were quite common there. They were actually very comfortable although they look like fuzzy wheelchairs.

We arrived at the preschool right on time. After the pageantry of the first day or two had subsided, most people in the childrens' homes seemed to ignore us and we rarely saw any of the administrative people. Inna brought us in through the back door past the kitchen and laundry and up a stairway to our visiting room. She spoke to one of the caregivers, who disappeared and returned shortly with Nurlan.

We were better prepared with snacks this time. I had a whole box of something like animal crackers. I didn't recognize most of the animals but they looked like animal crackers as designed by Dr. Seuss and they seemed to smell and taste attractively. We also had blocks and some coloring books. We envisioned a much more peaceful visit. Yes, we were optimistic chumps.

The visiting room at the preschool was huge, particularly compared to the closet at the baby house, and very impressively furnished at first glance. By the end of our trip, I would have spent enough time in that room to know every place where the molding didn't meet or the wallpaper pattern didn't match. But this is what we saw in the beginning. Every wall held some colorful and delicate Kazakh artifact.

This table held a collection of dolls, puppets, silver, and musical instruments. The necked instrument on the left is a dombra, a traditional Kazakh fretted instrument that is played by plucking. It felt and sounded a lot like an Appalachian dulcimer.

All of these objects were lovely, stacked precisely on the rickety table, attractive to small children, and extremely breakable.

Immediately to the right of the table was a marionette theater with richly detailed background and many handmade marionettes hanging on the front. They were marvelously detailed with feathers and intricate little costumes. When Nurlan managed to rip one of them off that had been pinned to the backdrop, I could never get it back on correctly. Eventually, I sat it in the little plastic chair and it remained there, staring at me accusingly, for the rest of our visits.

Finally, we have the even more rickety little table with the tiny tea service. Nurlan could not take his eyes off this. He would regularly start to run toward it with outstretched hands. Tea cups on their way to the mock parquet floor were routinely saved from their fates by the cushioning of a parental body diving beneath them.

No comments:

Post a Comment