So I am back here in the eastern part of Europe to try to finish everything up to bring Lucy home as soon as possible. I took off from home without my partner in crime on Wed evening and flew the same flight that Dena and I flew coming over the first time, British Airways. On a side note, I have never flown BA before we started on this journey and have been so very impressed with their service and their accomodations. They are really a top notch airline compared to the airlines in the states these days.
I landed on Thursday at 3pm, had a few hiccups getting connected back up with the team over here, but managed to sync up and had the pleasure of meeting Eugene for the first time. He gave me a lift over to an apt in the city, not far from where we first stayed. It was on the 15th floor of a old, dingy looking building on the main street. For those of you that have been over here before, you will understand the strange appearance of the buildings from the outside and even in the hallways inside. But also will understand that the inside of the apartments are very nice and always clean. The view from the 15th floor was incredible though and the 12 hours I spent there was nice. I was able to grab a nice pizza at a place that Dena and I were turned on to by the Golden family and met a nice young woman from the US that was working there for 2 months, she was sitting next to me in the place. We talked for a little while, I told her about our journey and she told me a bit about her summer internship for a law firm there. I wished her a good night after finishing up my pizza and away I went to the apt for some much needed shut eye. It had been about 30 hours since I last slept. So I hit the pillow and was out till the alarm rang at 515am ready for Nico to pick me up and head to the little town where Lucy's orphanage is.
Nico and I spent the better part of the entire day on the road going from this little town to a much larger regional town and then back in order to sort out Lucy's new birth certificate. The two towns were two hours apart. So we went from big city to small city, two hours. Then small city to regional city, another two hours, then back to small city, another two hours. At least 6 hours driving yesterday and a number of hours in between waiting for paperwork and agencies to help us.
Sprinkled into all of this driving were a few nice fun moments yesterday. The first one was when we arrived in the small city, we were able to stop at the orphanage for about 15 min. I bribed Nico to let me see Lucy for 10 min and it was great. I was so very scared and anxious in coming back here by myself that Lucy would forget me and we would need to start at square one together. I prayed so hard about this and asked so many others for prayer on this as well. God provided! As soon as she saw me, she seemed to remember me and after a few well placed kisses on her neck and cheeks and also some bouncing around she started to laugh and giggle. It was such a blessing and a definite answered prayer!
After that though, the fun parts were a bit more goofy and random to say the least. After we waited around for a couple of hours to start the birth cert process in the regional city, Nice and I decided to have a quick bite to eat at a local restaurant. We talked in and it was a dream room for my Dad. Heads of animals everywhere! I guess it was called the Hunters Restaurant. Good name, it had stuffed animals and heads of animals from every continent. Deer, Moose, Tiger skin, rabbits, bear etc... They even had a few nice fish mounted, one that looked to be a Northern Pike, about 15 pounder by the looks of it. It was just a random place to find this restaurant, but they had a cold tall beer for me and actually had a very nice meal to go along with it. All for something like $10. Can't beat the prices here.
As we were at the restaurant, we were talking about many things. We were talking about how Nico often times spends the night in the office of the team because it is too far to drive home. We were talking about what he had eaten that morning and he started to tell me that he had picked up some "bush legs" the night before and had one that morning as left overs. I said, what are "bush legs". Not sure if this is just him or not, but he went on to tell me that people in the country are now refering to chicken wings or legs as "bush legs" because some years ago now, when George Bush came into office, this country started buying alot of chicken from the US so now they say they are going to have a bush leg instead of a chicken leg for dinner. Like I said, random!
As we finished up the paperwork and headed home, we had some choice encounters with the animal life in this country. As many that have been here will understand, people tend to have a number of animals and livestock that roam their land grazing and feeding. You will drive by a whole row of houses and see cows out front of the house near the road or goats or chickens or ducks just out making a day of it. Most of the time the large animals are tied to a stake in the ground and the owner will come and move the stake during the day to let them graze more. But this day a cow was on the loose. We were driving about 120 kmh (74 mph) down this road and started to slow down as we saw some stopping tail lights ahead. As we approached we noticed that people were swerving and stopping to avoide something and then we saw him, just a nice big old cow stopped dead in the middle of this major road. Cars were trying to avoid him but he was not going anywhere and I looked at Nico like, What In the World and all he could do was laugh. As we were driving by him finally, we saw people on the other side of the street that were still stuck with him yelling and screaming and trying to do everyhting to get him going. He wasnt having it though. A big ol cow stopping traffic. What a trip.
But he was not the only one stopping traffic that day. About 20 min later, we again were stopped briefly by a flock of ducks that had taken up residence for a short while on the road. And not wild ducks like mallards but domesticated ducks that are used to cars and traffic and no well and good that no one would be running them over. So they just stood their ground, no matter how many times Nico honked the horn, they were going to eat what they came to eat. They finished eating and looked up at us with what looked like a smirk and waddled off. Nico gave them a good verbal dressing down and we were on our way again.
We crashed finally at the hotel that Dena and I stayed at for 12 days. We arrived about 8pm, exhausted and ready to hit the hay. I emailed for a bit, tried calling Dena and after no luck with her, I crashed.
Long day, but definite memories were created today.