It has been a while since I have last posted, but I have some kinda big news for you…
Yesterday, I dropped Tanya and Uliana off at the Chicago airport so they can make their way to Belarus for a month where they will spend time with family and friends. This will be Uliana’s first trip on a plane (and to Belarus) and Tanya’s first trip back home since Uliana was born (~ 5 years). I am not going, because we could not afford it at this time. =(
We had a goodbye lunch with my parents at a Chinese place at noon, and then Tanya finished up their packing and pre-trip checks. We left by 3:22pm and drove down I-90 to get to the airport. The drive was pretty uneventful due to the rain even though there was a lot of construction zones. We made it there in about 3 hours (~6:30pm). Once we got there we checked their baggage, obtained their ticket,s and then they left for the security check @ 7:35pm. By 8:45pm I received the call that they were finally on board the plane, and that their security check was really quick. Their flight was scheduled to leave at 9:00pm for a nice overnight flight. I started my long drive back home after I knew that they has passed the security check OK. I arrived in Baraboo at 10:40pm and the whole trip cost 1 tank (15 gallons) of gas in our Santa Fe.
I will call them at noon to see how things went. Hopefully, it went well. =)
Update: At 11:15am I received a text and a voicemail from Katia saying that they landed, Uliana was great, and everything went well. Whew!
My Thoughts on Their Trip
I am very happy that they finally get to go to Belarus. I know Tanya has been a bit homesick and really wanting her mother to finally be able to spend time with her grand daughter. We have a lot of family and friends over there that we have not seen in 5 or 6 years. Distance from them is hard. Skype is only so good. There is no replacing talking and meeting in person. Although, we keep our selves really busy, so that helps to not think about it too much.
While they are there Tanya will have to work on getting Uliana a Belarussian passport. Unfortunately, it is required by Belarussian law that Uliana gets one. She already has a US passport since she is a US citizen, but as far as Belarussian law is concerned she does not choose her citizenship until she is 16 and is kind of considered a citizen of both countries until she is old enough to choose. In the US getting a passport is a pretty painless process. Go and fill out a form, get a picture, pay some money, and then wait a little bit. In Belarus it is significantly more difficult. They are still dealing with Soviet era bureaucracy and red tape. It will go kinda like this: she will need to fill out a form, then go somewhere else to get someone’s signature, then go somewhere else across town get a stamp to verify the signature, then fill out another form, and perhaps do the previous steps too for that form. She may also have to get a signature to verify the stamp which verifies the signature. It is pretty crazy and it can take a month to get a passport as the red tape deals with itself. This is our main concern while they are over there, because if we are not able to get Uliana’s passport done by the time they are scheduled to leave then they will not be able to leave the country. So, this is going to be a noticeable shadow and stressor over their trip until that gets resolved. We plan on expediting this as quickly as we can, but that only goes so far.
I am a bit concerned about Uliana’s personality. When she is having fun and entertained she is great, but as soon as that bus stops she can be quite stubborn (she gets that from Tanya… for reals) and mean. Since they are in Belarus and are not in our own house, disciplining Uliana can be a real challenge. She is going to be around a whole new culture and people and I am worried that she will be overstimulated which may make her cranky a lot. I fear that the trip for both of them will be a complete nightmare. On the other hand, since everything is new all of the time she may be in a great mood since she will be continually entertained… until they have to leave someplace fun. Plus they will be speaking Russian all of the time. Since Russian is not an easy language and she will have to try and think which may make her cranky. This may also add an additional stressor to their trip.
We shall see. I hope and pray for the best possible trip so they both survive to return home. =O =)
Friends and Family
We have a lot of friends and family over there. We have our girls who were here with Tanya – Katia, Ania, and Lena over there who we miss terribly. Katia from St. Petersburg who we met here in Wisconsin last year will make her way via train to see them for a whole day. We really miss her too. Tanya’s mother, brother, aunt and uncle and their families, and everyone else too. She has a lot of other friends to see too. A month is almost enough time to make the rounds to everyone at least once. It will be a great time to reconnect and renewing those relationships. It is a wonderful thing. I am soooo jealous. =)
What About Me?
When I am able to pull myself out of fetal position long enough to wipe the tears from my eyes I plan on hiring a bunch a strippers and having a keg on tap the whole time…I just gotta party when I can… While the cat is away the mice will play…
Ok, maybe not quite that. I plan on cramming a lot of stuff into my head. I have the following to read:
- a book and a half on Mary Magdalene
- 3 books on yoga studio management
- a 1200 page Constitutional Law Book
- books are religion and theology
- books on writing
I also plan on fitting in some gaming. Brian has a Russian army I can play for the Bolt Action WWII miniature game. I will also be playing the our normal FFG Star Wars Game, and if I can fit in another game day or two I will.
Next weekend , my awesome nephew, Tyler, is turning 21 so I may go up to Marshfield to partake in that celebration. =)
I will post an update later on about how things are going.