[Scott here again]
Well, today we went to visit the International Clinic to get Alia's medical check-up for the Embassy. I'll admit that I was definitely not looking forward to this day. Alia is very suspicious of strangers to begin with, and does not much care to be held by anyone she does not know well, much less poked and prodded by some strange doctor. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to the visit.
We arrived a few minutes early for our appointment and were almost immediately taken by a nurse to get Alia’s weight and length. Alia didn’t much care for being placed on the scale or stretched out to get measured, but she calmed down quickly after they gave her back to me. We thought that she had been gaining weight, if the chubbiness of her cheeks is any guide, and that was confirmed today, as she weighed in at 18 ¼ pounds. When we weighed her in Kokshetau, she was close to 16 pounds, so she’s been doing well. She is also about 27 inches long. Both measurements are well within normal parameters.
The nurse then took us straight upstairs to see the doctor – a nice Kazakh or Russian woman. I’ve heard that the doctors at the Clinic come from all over the world, so I’m guessing that she could have been from elsewhere. I fully expected a lengthy exam with blood being drawn and shots. Well, the doctor looked in her ears, her nose, listened to her heart and lungs, and…that’s it! Nothing more! I was so stunned when she told us we could leave, I just gathered up Alia and away we went. No questions asked. We were in the Clinic for perhaps 20 minutes at the most. The visit was even shorter than I expected because I left without paying! No wonder it was so quick! Janara called from the Agency to tell us that we had forgotten to pay about 30 minutes later (I realized it once we got back to the apartment, but after Vitalii had left). Vitalii was gracious enough to come back to the apartment and offered to go pay the Clinic. So, I gave him the money and he went and took care of it for us. Later in the afternoon I went out for a walk and was just aimlessly wandering around town when I looked up and realized that I was right in front of the Clinic. I went in and apologized to them for the mistake earlier in the day and we all had a nice laugh.
We went out for dinner again tonight - this time to Govinda's a vegetarian restaurant operated by the Hari Krishna community in Almaty. When we lived in St. Louis, I loved to go to the Govinda's run by the Krishna's there, so I was excited to be trying out a Krishna vegetarian meal 8,000 miles away from the last one. I was not disappointed. The food was excellent and reasonably priced. I had a potato/cauliflower/cheese dish and mom had a potato spinach dish. We also had a couple of samosas and an order of fried bread stuffed with potatoes (noticing a theme here?). It was very nice to get out and enjoy a good meal. Alia sat quietly and played with (chewed on) her toys. She really does so well when we go out.
Tomorrow, we have an appointment at the Embassy at 3:00, and then...WE GET TO COME HOME! Our flight leaves Almaty at 2:35 Thursday morning, and the get into Carbondale late Thursday afternoon. Cannot wait!