Last night was an all night train ride down to the region where the orphanage is located. I had visions of a peaceful and restful night as our train slipped though the country side. Well, you know what they say about the plans of mice and men.....
The train, while dated, was very nice. We had a sleeper compartment all to ourselves and even enjoyed a nice freshly made cup of instant coffee before turning in for the evening.
They even had a cool infinity mirror setup to keep us entertained. From Cathy's perspective, you could see my bald spot a million times over.
However, the tracks that were travelling on/over were probably cold war era and were not laid with peace and comfort in mind. Our train rock, bounced, rolled and jerked its way through the night. Sleep was very difficult to come by, but mercifully about 4:30am both Cathy and I finally dozed off. At 5:30am, we were both jerked awake when someone ran through our train car screaming "FIRE" at the top of his lungs. I don't know about you, but that word usually solicits a rapid and heart pounding response. Before we could even think clearly, we were rounding up our belongings making sure we had all the important documents related to the adoption in our possession. It was a this point that Cathy's mind snapped into gear and she questioned why "fire" was said in English? So we sat and waited, sniffed the air, and listened to see if there were any further cries of alarm. There were none; we had been victimized by a hoax. So, we settled back down and enjoyed the last 90 minutes of the trip, wide awake.
When we arrived we were met by a driver and a translator and driven to our new apartment. The apartment was still occupied by a couple form the States who is also adopting from the same orphanage. They had their court appointment yesterday and are starting their journey home this afternoon. They are a wonderful couple from Virginia who are adopting two children with Down's Syndrome, totally amazing. After quick hellos and a change of clothes we were off again with the promise to get together later before they left.
Our next stop was the regional office of what is their department of Social Services. Our first government appointment gave us permission to travel to this region, now we needed permission to go to the orphanage. It is nice to see that their government functions much like ours, S..L..O..W..L..Y. After more that 90 minutes of standing, sitting and waiting in general, our petition was granted and the area social worker gathered us up and we were off to the orphanage and our first meeting with "Duncan".