Thursday, June 26, 2008


That’s what happens when your power goes out. No lights, no telephone, no computer, no TV, no sleep, nothing! But that’s not even the half of it – let’s back up a day or two…

A couple of days ago we made our usual run to the store for a few groceries. Nothing special, but we did decide to treat ourselves to some ice cream. It was another really hot day, so we were looking forward to our treat and walked quickly home so it wouldn’t melt too much. Then it started – we couldn’t get the key into the lock on our door! Oh darn, but we’ll just call our coordinator who will summon someone to give us a hand. But, oh yeah, we left the cell phone to charge before we went to the store! Now we have a problem. Luckily we were able to wiggle the lock and key enough to get the key to fit and all was well. The ice cream was even salvageable. Lesson #1 – Make sure the deadbolt is turned all the way to the side. Lesson #2 - Don’t leave home without the cell phone, not even for a minute! But with lessons learned and ice cream in belly we chalked it up to experience and went upon our merry week, but the excitement didn’t end there.

Our coordinator mentioned she was having trouble getting a letter regarding Max’s medical clearance and was wondering if we could contact our agency in Canada to see if they had any idea of where it ended up. Sure! We can do that, we’d be happy to help. Problem was, no one seemed to have heard of this letter and the description we gave of its contents did nothing to make it clearer. Hmmm, now what to do? Well, sometimes email isn’t the best way to figure these things out, so we though we would just telephone at a time that wasn’t ridiculous for either side and wouldn’t get anyone out of a nice sleep. So, we have a plan, now we can relax…or so we thought!

Last night we thought it would be a good night to do some tidying up before we called our agency. Again, nothing out of the ordinary - laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc. Then, half of our apartment lost electricity. No problem, probably just tripped a breaker. Found the breakers, nope, nothing tripped. But, we’re still okay, we have power in half of our apartment, so we’ll just use an extension cord to plug the washing machine back in so we can drain it and retrieve our clothes from the front load machine which locks the door until the end of the cycle and then we will use the extension cords to plug the fridge in. Yeah, right! Just after we plugged the washing machine in, we lost power in the other half of the apartment. Clothes still trapped in machine, no lights, no telephone (because there is only a cordless in the apartment) and a fridge full of food that won’t last forever. We made a quick call to our coordinator who assures us that it can be easily fixed but not until the next day. Okay, well, that’s going to be a real pain, so we try to figure things out ourselves. Rod heard voices in the hall, so ventured out to see if anyone could lend us a hand. The people we found all tried to be very helpful and all tried to reset the breakers, but no luck.

But hey, we’ve got hot water again (oh yeah, it was off again for a day), so no boiling, we still have granola bars, so breakfast is taken care of and despite Rod’s assurance we wouldn’t need them, Tammy insisted on packing some candles and matches, so we can at least play cards for a few hours until it’s time to call our agency (we can use the cell phone, that’s why we have it) and then off to bed. At this point we can’t do anything about the fridge, so we’ll just have to deal with whatever happens and try to keep the door closed as much as possible.

So, when it was time, Rod dials the phone, manages a, “Hello, how are you today?” and then nothing – the phone shut off. Now what? Well, it seems that international rates for cell phones are nothing short of ridiculous, so although we thought we had about 30 minutes left on our card, it only lasted about 30 seconds because we were calling internationally. Okay, we can deal with this…

We’ll just email back and forth! We’re pretty sure our agent is in the office, so although the telephone doesn’t work, email still will. That is, unless your laptop battery is low! We managed only one email and then it powered off. So although the sensible thing would be to try and get some sleep, the whole ordeal pretty much made sleep impossible. We’re not used to being so dependent on others, and something like this was certain to send us a little over the edge, at least for a few minutes.

So, we went about our regular visit with Max and after our visit our driver was going to look at our power problem. We returned to our apartment where our driver told us that it was a BIG problem, not just a tripped breaker (we’d already figured that out, but nobody believes the foreigners). The owner of the building showed up and repaired the problem, and so here we are, back in one piece, and power on.

Oh, and by the way, the letter was found! It turns out it actually was a letter that needed to come from the coordinator at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow, not our Canadian coordinator. So really, it was never really lost, we were just asking the wrong person.

Once again, it’s all good!

As for Max, everything is going well. We are on the big count down to the day we bring him here to the apartment. (7 more sleeps) We will spend the weekend shopping for gifts for the Baby House, Max’s caregivers and will stock up on diapers, food and a few more clothes for Max.


Jo said...

Oh my god, talk about stress. Thank goodness things seem to working out better for you and I hope not too much was spoiled in the fridge.

dhebron said...

Hope that doesn't happen again, especially when you get little Max!

Butch & Tracy said...

What a beautiful little boy!! Hold on. All the stress will be so worth it...


Angela said...

Geez, Tammy. You have made my head spin. Life in Kaz. WOW! I am glad all is well in the end!

What a cute boy!

dkeogh said...

ok i am laughing but not AT you - WITH you!!! (honestly!!) life in Kaz - hmmmmm, not for the weak of heart. You guys should make a book of your blog to keep all the stories to share with Max down the road!!

So glad to see you are retaining your sense of humour - you WILL get through these adventures!!

The Keoghclan

bgabel said...

Wowser, you really did have a nothing day!

Glad to hear everything is back to normal again & especially that the ice cream was salvageable. That makes it all worth while doesn't it Rod?

We love all the photos-especially the ones of Max.

Love reading the adventures you three are having.

Max will be with you in a few days, and time will go by much more quickly & soon you will be on your way home.

See you then. bj