I finally got photos up. They have a pretty good internet connection here; sometimes it goes fast for incoming, but it never does well with outgoing. I tried all the photo storage places I know of yesterday.
Anyway, on Monday we went to see the apartment, meet the landlady and get the keys. The amazing thing is that she's been going to a church for a year now! Last year her mother and husband died. She said it was the hardest year of her life, so she starting going to the church. In her own words, she doesn't understand much yet, but she wants to come to us to hear more!
The apartment is three rooms (that's the Russian way of saying it; Americans would say two bedrooms), but it's not much bigger than the two room (one bedroom) apartments we've always had. Still, it will be nice to have the rooms divided up. The overall impression at first was dirt and clutter and tight spaces. After a little while, I left with the children, because it was just too dirty. Will cleaned for the rest of the day, and got their room into good shape. Tuesday we started to work on the rest of the mess. One young man from the church spent the whole day with us, and three girls came after work. I brought the children back here at bedtime, and everyone was still going strong. Even by the time I left, it was looking much better.
Yesterday Will went to order a hot water heater. I talk about how much better it would be for cities to switch from municipal hot water, to individual hot water heaters. Dneprorudnoe did that a few years ago. I forgot that Soviet apartments don't have any nice little hiding places for anything to heat the water and that it would be some trouble to make that switch. Still, Will found something, and we're hoping that it will fit hanging over the toilet. It should come in Saturday, and I'd like to see it installed soon after that, but we'll see. There were five others on order before us. After ordering the boiler, he spent the rest of the day cleaning.
The area around our new home is just beautiful! It's so green and clean! Actually, the whole little city is clean. That's the biggest difference we're seeing from rural Russia. That and people say an H sound instead of G.
Now, we're off to clean some more. If we work all day, we might get to where we can spend the night there tonight!
Enjoy the pictures I posted at the link above.