We named our little girl Sasha Anh. I have always loved the name Sasha and also wanted to name her after me (my middle name is Ann) so that part was pretty much decided. We did want to wait until we saw her to make sure. The name Sasha is so soft and sweet and it fits her perfectly. We were going to put her first and middle names in there (Duong Thuy) but when I asked the caregiver what she called her she said Bui (her last name). That surprised me so I asked again (through Kenny) about five more times in different ways and kept getting the same answer. And then I heard her caretaker call her that when she referred to her to Kenny a little while later. So that was it for me. It was great too since we had been looking for a "B" name for awhile like her brother and sister, Brayden and Brookelyn. Maybe it will be one of her nicknames. I call her Bui or Sasha throughout the day. It's the only Vietnamese I speak right now.
We were told a few things by the caretaker. One was that Sasha was "lovely." That she rarely cried and slept from 8:00 pm until 6:00 am. We were also told she wasn't eating food yet and only took three bottles a day. I forgot what times she gave us. Well, she took three bottles throughout the rest of the day and hen woke up three times at night to take a bottle. Maybe it's because of all of the changes. She didn't cry at all, just make sweet little noises.
Ray went to apply for Sasha's passport in the morning. I stayed at the hotel and took a shower while the baby slept. My friend came over to watch her so I could run down and get some breakfast. Then she and I went over to the store, Vietnam Quilts, and bought several things. I love that store! It is a short taxi drive from the Melia. I bought a quilt for Sasha, one for my sister who is at home watching our kids, two pillow cases and several Christmas ornaments. I wil post pictures tomorrow. I love that store. The quilts are made by local Vietnamese women and it is a nonprofit organization. The people who work in the store are volunteers. I am planning to go back in the next couple of days and buy at least one more quilt. I could have stayed in the store longer, but my friend had to catch a plne to Saigan.
We went to the store and bought two cans of formula and a few jars of food. I am pretty sure she is eating food already. We went back to the hotel and said goodbye to our friends and then went to lunch at Alfrescos. We had pineapple and ham pizza and cokes. It was pretty good. I know I should be more adventurous, but the only thing I wish is that there were more American places to eat. I miss knowing health standards are being followed. I also miss Subway and hamburgers. Even hamburgers don't taste like hamburgers here.
We raced back to the hotel and then Ray, Kenny and Jenny drove up to the orphanage in Lang Son. Kenny had said that the director of the orphanage had asked if we could bring the donations for the older children today because they were at a picnic yesterday when we were there. So they all left about one. I took a taxi to the Hgoc Ngoc to check it out. I don't know whether to stay there or the Somerset. They were really nice there. Really nice. I wanted to get a stroller so I asked for directions before I left. It sounded easy. Just a few streets over. Within minutes I was lost with no hope of finding the street with baby things unless I stumbled onto it accidentally. I kept looking for about fifteen minutes and then started thinking I would abandon that idea and just head back to the hotel. I have no sense of direction in this town. It's easy in Orange County, CA since the ocean is west. You can figure out everything else off of that really. No ocean here in Hanoi. I wandered around for about an hour, enjoying the walk with the different sights, smells and sounds. Finally, I just wanted to be back at the hotel. I hated to give up and get a taxi, but then I remembered it was about a $1 fare, so I flagged one down. The weather here is really nice, not too hot at all. But I was wearing Sasha in a front pack and was a little sweaty so the airconditioning in the lobby was a nice welcome. Sasha had already fallen asleep so I got into bed and we both took naps. We stayed in our room for a couple of hours after we woke up and then left for another walk. We went to the lake (I just headed to where I thought it was and lucked out) and walked around there. It sounds refreshing, but it actually wasn't. It's just too polluted and makes me feel bad to have her out in it. But it was nice to watch people around the lake. We sat down at a resteraunt overlooking the lake and I had Vietnamese tea (So good!) and a croissant. I just needed to eat something. I had seen a woman cooking ducks (she had removed their heads which were on the table with the food she was preparing) on my walk over to the lake so I wasn't quite ready to eat any meat yet but needed something. It was perfect. The waitress walked over and smiled at Sasha and then reached over and took her from me. In the states I wouldn't have let her, but it is different here. People just like babies and want to touch them. She commented on her pretty eyes and then handed her back.
I attempted to walk back to the hotel (are you sensing a theme here?) and was pretty sure I had no idea which direction to go in very quickly. I walked for about 45 minutes or so thinking I might magically come upon it and then took a cyclo. I knew as soon as I got on it that he was going to rip me off when it came time to pay. I also knew that I didn't care so I sat back and enjoyed my expensive ride. I took a log time, twenty minutes or so and then we pulled up near the Melia. Again, I knew he was going to rip me off otherwise he would have pulled up in the front. I just didn't care. He asked me for $5. When I said I din't have dollars he said 100. I happily gave him 100,000 and walked away. It was worth $50 to get home, so I was fine with him overcharging me. I just wanted to be in my room. I walked through the lobby doors and had the sense of coming home. It was after 8:00 pm byt then adn I was tired. Sasha had fallen asleep in the cyclo. She woke up in the elevator. I gave her a bottle and then a sponge bath and then she fell asleep in my arms.
She hasn't cried yet, she has started to sound like she is going to cry a couple of times and then stopped. She is very expressive otherwise, She smiled a lot today when I talked to her and seems to know I am someone important. She looks for me when I lay her down on the bed or if Ray holds her. She likes to blow bubbles and reaches for her feet as soon as we lay her down.
A couple hours after I put her down to bed Ray came back from the orphanage and told me about his trip. While we were talking Martin called from the lobby. He came up and we filled out paperwork for the first interview. We had thought it was going to be tomorrow but he said they can't schedule it until Tuesday afternoon. BUMMER. One is that Ray leaves for home Monday afternoon and we wanted him to be at the first interview. Also, bummer because that pushes back the time I can go home since the second appt is usually a week after the first one. Do you see what I mean about the days lasting a long time???