November 28th, 2006
We woke today at 5:30am. The streets below were quiet. It was colder than the day before. But as the day matured it revealed itself to be one of sunshine. I spent most of the morning writing the travelog for day one. We ate a leisurely breakfast downstairs and made a quick trip to the bank to convert some dollars into rubles.
Our task for the day was to visit the Ministry of Education and register for our referral on Thursday. Our appointment was for 10:30. Yanna picked us up at 10:20. The hotel is only a few blocks from the hotel. Normally it would be a 10 minute walk, though with Today’s temperatures, I wouldn’t be surprised to see people do it in 5. We drove.
Olga was waiting for us at the MOE. She briefly explained the meeting to us and then we were invited in. Sitting at the conference room were two directors. Through Olga they explained the process and proceeded to review our documentation. Though there was little required of us but to answer a few simple questions, my heart raced during the entire meeting (which lasted about 10 minutes). It is truly happening; my heart still beats ahead of pace at the thought. The directors approved our registration and invited us to return on Thursday for our referral. The simplicity of the day is misleading. It was clear to me that Olga has done a lot of work to keep the registration process simple. As I mentioned yesterday, we are in very good hands.
With registration done, we were free the rest of the day to explore the city with Yanna. First stop was to do a bit of souvenir shopping. For details, you will need to encourage Tanya to write a blog. It was lots of looking at things and saying words like “oooh, pretty”. I grunted with encouragement at all the appropriate moments. Though I must admit, the craftsmanship is very nice – still, it’s shopping.
The restaurant today was Georgian. We had a plate of various traditional vegetable salads, potato vereniki, mushroom dumplings, and a beef dish over homemade pasta. Yum.
As Yanna had an errand to run in the afternoon, we opted to head back to our hotel after lunch. Tomorrow is a free day and Yanna will take us to the various historic sites in the city. We contemplated walking around but realized no matter where we wanted to walk, it was going to be more than the two blocks that Tanya has realized is her limit for the “novelty” of true cold – and for the record, her limit is about two blocks past mine.
So the afternoon and evening has been leisurely. We rest our bodies and our minds in preparation for the day of our hope.