Tuesday, May 12, 2009

До Свидания!

As I write this, everyone is one hour and fourteen minutes away from landing in New York City...

Cheburashka is off to America!

That's "Good bye" in Russian, but literally translates into "Until the Next Meeting." It's not forever. And today's "good bye" is far from permanent!

Everyone headed to the airport this morning, miraculously awake, bathed, dressed, and packed. The only glitch is the missing bag of painted Russian pins and carved wooden boxes that Cecelia bought for her girlfriends... It somehow disappeared amidst our chaos. I called the places we went after buying those items to see if they had been left behind, but they didn't have them... I can easily go get some more, though... PLEASE let me, Cecilia. 

The girls cried and cried as the cabs drove away... I'm glad I got a colleague to cover my first two classes today so I could still be at home then... They were devastated that my mom left and they were so sad their friends wouldn't be back here "soon." Um, that's an understatement. They still don't "get it" that people don't just "pop over" to Moscow for play dates...

We're already thinking of how to meet up with everyone at Cecilia's house in upstate NY this summer, though... The kids truly got along SO WELL. 

I'm running on empty... Towards the end of the morning at work, when I was already dreaming of leaving the very second classes ended so I could SLEEP before taking over "Mommy" duties later on, I found out there was a very important faculty meeting I had to attend... One related to my earlier post about my job... Thank goodness I'd forced myself to be awake enough to put on a nice skirt, heels and professional top/jewelry today! I also had to stay after work to evaluate a candidate we are considering for a Spanish position.  I only got home from work/picking up Katya at 7:45 p.m.! (She had play rehearsal after school that went late). 

I'm so glad that everyone came to visit. Yes, I'm EXHAUSTED, but so happy everyone came. Natalia is kind-of falling apart in her behavior as a result of the over-stimulation and sleep-deprivation and she is extremely trying. Poor girl, poor me... But then again, what did I expect? All in all, the kids were all VERY amenable to the grueling schedule we had them on in order to see/do all that we did!

There is SO much to blog about! We truly crammed in much more than you'd think could be done in 3 1/2 days...

Just for fun... Here's a video about the stuffed animal that you can see driving away in the taxi above. He's "Cheburashka," a beloved animal from a VERY famous children's cartoon/music. I actually did some translation for the creator of him (a famous children's writer) in 1991 and I know him... Natalia's first word in Russian, "пока", (bye), was spoken to him on New Year's Even in 2004! Katya P. loves  Cheburashka, so Natalia gave her a stuffed Cheburashka she doesn't play with anymore (and a dvd). 


Rachael said...

I love that Cheburashka shows up in the picture like that! We've watched the little video clip twice already here in the JFK terminal, where we've still got 3 hours to kill before our 2 additional flights. Unfortunately, I think our bodies are all on Moscow time, and we are feeling like it is way past bedtime already. The kids did great on the 10 hour flight, but if they can hold it together for the remainder it will be a miracle. Actually, it will be a miracle if I can hold it together! I thought I'd blog during the lay-over, but I think I'm falling asleep as I type now...there is NO way...I'm surprised you had the energy to do so! Hope Natalia goes easy on you during the "recovery"! Tell both girls hi for us and THANKS again for EVERYTHING.

P.S. My Katya said "Prevyet" to the passport control guy in JFK. I reminded her that we're in America now -- time to speak English. But she asked the guy (in Russian) if he spoke Russian. Surprisingly, HE DID and they had a little conversation in Russian (how old she was, etc.) while he checked and stamped our passports. Oh, and similar story at Sheremetyovo -- getting on the plane, Katya spoke Russian to the Delta agent as I handed her the American passports and the woman asked Katya if she spoke Russian and Katya said, "Dah, e Engliski." To which the woman replied, "Maladyets!" This trip was definitely good for rekindling her interest in keeping her Russian.

OK, gotta go. Katya's in over-tired, over-drive and crawling/loping around on the JFK floor on all fours -- your mom would have a heart attack if she were still here with us...

Natalie said...

Almost makes ME sad to say goodbye, and I wasn't even there! I hate goodbyes, makes normal life seems so plain and boring at first.

Tina in CT said...

Just think of all the germs on that JFK floor. Horrors!

I did briefly doze twice on the CT Limo ride from JFK. I've been home an hour but my Liesel is not coming home tonight so I'll go pick her up in the morning. Guess that means I can't stay in bed all morning.

I am really doing quite well and am not exhausted.

What a time we all had! Just so much fun and all the sightseeing, new foods, friendship and new experiences (like squeezing through a fence after the Victory Day celebration at Victory Park) were wonderful.

Sure hope all the girls and kids make it to Cecelia and Bob's in August when you are here in CT. I've already told Diane and told her that she's coming too.

Thank you for all that you did to make our trip so memorable. It'll be a Mother's Day memory that I'll treasure.

Miss all of you! Wish I'd planned to stay until Sat. so we could have had more time, I could have gone to school with you and been there for Katya's play.

Another tripping moment - I was rushing to get to passport control and tripped getting onto the down elevator at JFK and have a bruise on my right chin to prove it.

Tina in CT said...

The pharmacy called and they filled the prescription the day that I left and are waiting for me to get it. Email me and let me know what to do about it.

Off to bed.

Annie said...

I do not know how you did it all!

My own travel plans are usually much more tame - along the lines of walking down streets and trying to look into windows at dusk to see how people REALLY LIVE. But that doesn't give one much to talk about once home.

I wonder how you managed to transition back to school and teaching. I would be more like Natalia, I think, after all that excitement!

The Expatresse said...

That went by fast!

Annie said...

When I lived in Ukraine I loved that cartoon. I watched this video and it reminded me of my childhood. Thank you for sharing.

kate said...

I'm amazed you blogged during the visit! I thought you'd be too focused on just having fun. And, it certainly looks like it was a FUN visit!