Friday, July 8, 2011

Day Three-Medicals, Tours and Travel

Today was our last day in St. Petersburg before we meet Roman!  Both Brock and I were way too excited to sleep and were awake by 3:45.  It was still pretty bright outside and we watched the ships go through the canal from the window in our room.  At 7:00 AM we were packed, dressed and downstairs to meet our translator, Natasha for our "medicals". Both of us were a little nervous about being inspected by foreign doctors, but all our fears were completely unfounded!  We met with an oncologist, a dermatologist,  general practitioner, cardiologist, pulmonologist and a psychologist.  We had X-Rays, blood drawn and an EKG.  And the entire experience was actually as pleasant as it could be!  Every doctor was very kind, although I did tell our translator that I had no idea so many Russians were going to see us without our shirts on! 

When we finished with that, Natasha took us to a resturaunt so we could experience some authentic Russian food and it was yummy!  We have had meat pie, salmon pie, beet soup, and creamed chicken in a honey pot!  We have since found out that a lot of Russian food has dill, garlic and mayo.  They put mayo on their pizza!!!  I couldn't bring myself to try that one out!!  Up until then, we had eaten from the breakfast buffet, peanut butter sandwiches and McDonalds. (we say it was because of the free Wi-Fi, but it had  more to do with the picture menu!!)
After lunch, we went to two different cathedrals and found out a lot more (more than than the nothing we really knew before!) about the history of Russia and quite a bit about the Russian Orthodox church.  It was all fascinating and we were so glad to get to know more about Roman's birth-land.   
After our whirlwind tour, we were taken to the very hot airport where Natasha waited with us until we could get our boarding passes before she had to leave us.  As luck would have it, I set off the security alarm-a little overwhelming in a foreign country! So, I got the "pat down".  It was less invasive than the doctors that morning, but still, it was a lot for one day!
Waiting in the airport was surreal for us.  Keep in mind that we had had two hours of sleep in the past 24 hours for the second time in a three day window, add to that all the announcements were in Russian and take it one step further by giving us a delay on our flight.  Granted it was only a 15 minute delay, but we had no idea why.  We just knew that our flight had disappeared from the schedule.  Brock, who is naturally less anxious than I am, kept telling me not to worry but I could tell he was starting to get a little antsy, too.  When they did start boarding, we had to exit a sliding glass door, get on a shuttle and be driven across the tarmac to the plane.  I fell asleep before we left the ground.

When we arrived in Murmansk, we were shuttled to the very old airport and we were met by Tatiana and Dennis, the translator and driver.  She told us that the adoption agency had emailed her that our plane was about 15 minutes late taking off.  It was a really good feeling to know, even when we didn't know it, we were being watched.  In a good-not so "Big Brother" kind of way :)  We made it to the hotel and crashed hard for the night.  We were to meet Tatiana and Dennis at 9 AM to go to the Ministry of Education and then we'd be off to Kandalaksha to meet Roman!

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