Today (Monday) we made it to our region. We took a 2 hour flight and it was fine. We had heard some not so great things about the flight, and were a little bit nervous, but it was just fine. Our driver picked us up at the Holiday Inn in Moscow and drove us to the domestic airport Domodedovo. He helped us all the way through check in and as far as he could go to the gate. He was very kind to us. The flight was completely Russian and we were separated but it went pretty well. The flight had some turbulence as it was very cloudy, but all in all it was fine. Troy and I joked that when the announcements came on in Russian we would look around and if everyone suddenly assumed the position for a crash landing so we would know what to do. When we stepped off the plane in Izhevsk, our interpreter snapped us right up (obviously we stuck out like sore thumbs!!) and off we went to the hotel.
Our room is great as it is more like an apartment with a kitchenette, bathroom, living/dining room and separate bedroom. We even have a few dishes and plenty of free drinking water. Our stay for 3 nights was cheaper than the one night in Moscow. Our interpreter then pre-ordered dinner for us. Troy got a fish soup which came with a shot of vodka (I’m not sure I would eat anything that came with alcohol!!)!! He also got red fish and grilled vegetables. I ordered chicken that came with onions and red peppers on a shish kabob and the best baked potato ever. It was cut into cubes and had a garlic butter sauce that was delicious. We got two Cokes and our grand total was 475 rubles which is only like 20 bucks. I had heard food was cheap in Izhevsk, but we were pleasantly surprised!!
We also met with our regional representative today and we leave tomorrow a.m. for our appointment with the ministry. Afterwards we have about an hour drive to the orphanage and we get to meet our little guy and we will have a chance to ask tons of questions about his health, habits, etc. We can’t wait!!
The neatest thing tonight that we discovered is that our hotel has blinking lights, red and blue and flashers all over the building at the top. It seems like a happening place!
Lastly, a hint for anyone traveling – the hot and cold water is on the opposite sides than we are used to!