Thanks to Lisa Detweiler for taking the last 3 photos.
Happy new year from Utah. Nate is skiing this week and I am taking care of Charles. Charles did well on our flight here, but it’s amazing how much more difficult it is to fly with a baby. More luggage and a baby doesn’t understand the demands of airport security or the lack of feeding and changing facilities on a plane.
Here are some pictures of our sweet boy.
Charles with Grandmother
And hopefully someday I’ll have some pictures to post from this vacation
By now, I have a pretty good-sized list of differences between Poland and the US, so it’s about time I write a few more of them down. I was made aware that some Polish people who read our blog were intrigued by the differences that had caught my eye. I hope everyone enjoys a few more observations.
Windows almost never include screens, as they do in the US. On the other hand, windows often include a cool feature that windows in the US don’t have – they have the option to open just the top of the window, leaning it inward. In my observations, windows always open inward, without exception. Of course, there are differences from an apartment setting to a business setting.
Apartments always seem to have drapes, but rarely mini blinds (Venetian blinds). If the windows have blinds, it’s a roll of vinyl that’s fastened to the part of the window that can open. This means that you can’t have the window open and the blind closed at the same time. (Or if you do, the blind will be rendered useless.) It’s also very popular for windows to have a thin, lacy drape. Maria and I agree that we have never ever seen a window that slides open in the same manner as an American window.
Phone numbers are usually 9 digits long, or they could be 11. The two digits that often don’t get written are the country code: +48. (Don’t know why it’s always written with the + when it’s written.) Polish people can’t seem to decide how they want to group the rest of the numbers. I would say the most common that I’ve seen is three groups of three. For example, my cell phone number could be written 535 397 141. Also fairly popular is a group of three, then three groups of two. Then, my number would be 535 39 71 41. I think (but I’m not totally positive) that with land lines, the first two numbers are the area code.
Walking around Mińsk, you’ll see a lot more people on foot or bike than you probably would in the States. Specifically, you’ll see a lot more strollers, because moms (or grandmas, or whoever is taking care of the kids) tend to go for walks with the kids. Pedestrians have more right-of-way here than they do in the States — at crosswalks. At stoplights, however, don’t try to jaywalk! It’s not very socially acceptable. But at crosswalks, I’ve seen people step into the street without even checking for cars.
There are very few stop signs here. When needed, they prefer to use a yield sign, but generally, they avoid the problem by using roundabouts (rondos). There’s a sign that I think is slightly humorous, but it takes a bit of explaining.
The cross street that is supposed to yield has a yellow triangle sign to show them this.
On the other street, there’s a sign with a yellow diamond inside a white diamond, which means, “don’t yield.”
And on the street that is supposed to yield, about 20 meters before the intersection is a sign with a yellow diamond inside a white diamond, and then a black slash through it, which means, “don’t not yield.” :)
That’s a little of what you might see if you took a walk around Mińsk.
Now for some random ones…
At the train station, the taxis waiting for customers keep their engines off. This means that when the first one in line gets a customer, all the rest in line, keeping their cars off, move forward by pushing.
The napkins in almost every public place are these tiny little delicate tissues. It takes about 3-6 per person to make it through a meal. We call them “finger wipes.”
Lawnmowers are a bit of an extravagance. More common are electric push mowers, and weed eaters. In fact, about half of the town is routinely mowed by a small army of men with weed eaters. Noisy.
Well, that’s certainly enough for now. I hope this is interesting for you!
On Wednesday I went to the doctor again. This time it was good news! The ultrasound showed that the placenta is healed, and the hematoma is gone. The doctor said that if he hadn’t done an ultrasound two weeks ago that he wouldn’t be able to see that anything had ever been wrong. Obviously we are relieved and so thankful to God for his healing. In two weeks I’ll go to the doctor one more time before we fly just to double check that everything is stable.
In the meantime a heat wave has us melting into puddles and waiting for a thunderstorm to cool us down.
Thanks for your prayers!
Yesterday Nate and I went to another doctor here in Mińsk. Once again we were relieved to hear that our baby is healthy and well. But the doctor could quickly see the reason for the bleeding I had 3 weeks ago. There was a partial placenta abruption (the placenta detached from the wall of the uterus) and a hematoma formed on the wall of the uterus. It’s really scary to hear the doctor saying all the possibilities of what could happen. At the same time we know that I could carry the baby to full term and worrying doesn’t help the situation. Pray for Nate, me, and the baby.