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Friday, November 02, 2012

Not being from Latvia

Funny stories abound at the moment. For example, we were just trying to explain to Anastasija why Arwyn is chewing on the coffee table. Anastasija says, "baby hungry?" And we say no. So she asks, "Then what?" And then watch us try to mime and use simple phrases to explain that Arwyn is teething. People on the outside looking in would think we are some sort of weird vampire people.

Also, Joe is NOT Latvian. At all. Everyone wears black coats, black pants, and black shoes. Joe is all Carhart coat, jeans, and brown boots. All men shave here. We've seen two other men total with facial hair. And, he's a little tall. And he needs a hair cut. Let's just say, he gets some looks.

I, on the other hand, must look like a native because people speak to me in Latvian all the time, and when I tell them, "No Latvia, just English" they look me up and down and shrug.
However, I am getting good with the language.
I can say: Please, thank you, ice skating, ice rink, hello, good-bye (oos-RAY- ZAY-sha-new-us; no small task learning that one, and then, come to find out, for friends you just say ciao), I'm doing fine, you're welcome, pizza, no, yes...

One of the hard parts is figuring out who is Latvian and who is Russian. We are only 15 minutes from Russia and about half of the people in Daugavpils (DOW-go-peels) are Russian and don't even pretend to speak Latvian. They are very haughty and very offended when I speak Latvian to them.

Another interesting thing is that no one looks around. Walking down the street, people run into each other, do not look at anyone, do not say excuse me, smash their bags into our stroller and never seem to notice that there is anyone else on the sidewalk.

There is a little old lady, (babushka, yes?) who sells apples that look like they were picked out of my front yard. I plan to buy some tomorrow, see how they compare. And, to clarify, by little old lady I mean elderly woman who could kick your butt. Just saying.

Anastasija is doing better. We have been playing Go Fish! all day every day. Today we bought Toy Story UNO. Gotta mix it up, you know? It's rainy today. About 33 degrees. Lovely, really. haha. Warmer than it has been, though. It has been in the 20's since we got here. We have been working on a Thomas Kinkade puzzle and coloring in our big Brave! coloring book.

Yesterday we went to the ice rink. Joe and I were like, "Ana, why so many kids here? Why not in school?" She said "I don't know." Which we are beginning to realize can mean any of these three: "I don't know," "I don't understand your question," or "I don't know enough English to answer your question." So, we asked the social worker who is handling our case and she let us know that this is fall break week. And Ana said, "Yes, this I not tell you." Which, we think would put her response in the thrid category- I don't know enough English to answer this question.

Anastasija took a bath for over an hour yesterday, she was cold by the time she got out. She yelled to me, "Mommy! Look I am swimming!"
 LOL Poor kid, she's from the country, and so are we, so none of us really know what to do all day in a city.
Like....put random things on our heads and walk around.

Joe got pizza today, "Ham and Sausage" LOL- ham and hot dog, I think. Hot dog pizza and fishy water. LOL.

Keep praying for us! Anastasija is making a big adjustment here!

Okay, Skype call coming in from Bergen!


1 comment:

Hanna said...

It makes my heart happy to read about you in Latvia.
Praying for yas. All. the. time.

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