When we picked Erika up from the orphanage, she still had her feet. She was in braces that she could sort of walk in, but it was hard for her and she was in a lot of pain. She would more like "slide" her feet in what she called "her bricks".
These braces attached as high as her upper thigh, just below the buttocks. They had straps and hinges, so you could let the tops down, but they only went to a 90º angle.
Now, many of you who have been to Ukraine, know that public restrooms can consist of a porcelain hole in the ground. It would be required that a person "squat"..... a position that I certainly have never been used to. LOL
And Miss Erika, who is unable to bend, hardly at all, CERTAINLY could not attain a position like that!
Back to the story:
We were in the Internet Cafe' near Victory Square. It is upstairs and there was no elevator. The handicapped are pretty much UNSEEN in this country. They are neatly tucked away in institutions out of the sight, minds and hearts of this nation. :(
We carried Erika upstairs with us and were enjoying writing to our relatives, when Erika got this look on her face and said, "Toilet"! I'm really glad "Toilet" is the same in English and Russian! :)
But that look on her face convinced me this was urgent. We asked her if she could wait, and the answer was "NYET!"
So, I took her to the bathroom at the internet cafe'. It was a hole in the ground. I struggled to try and help her over that hole but there was no way! And she said, "TOILET!" Even louder!
Ok, Ok! I'll get you to a toilet!
So, I got her dressed again, and headed down the stairs with her. There was a McDonald's about a Foot Ball field in length away..... I was walking as quickly as possible holding her in my arms. She was small, but she was a bundle at 45 lbs!
It was so cold, and I was getting out of breath. We had to go up stairs into the McDonalds, and then Down a flight of stairs to the bathroom...
There was a CODE that had to be typed in at the door, meaning you had to PURCHASE something or you couldn't use the bathroom, and oh the LINE!
A manager saw me coming back up the stairs and I
I managed to get out.... "TOILET!"
Erika said it again! "TOILET!"
The manager quickly took us down the stairs and opened the door with the code for us..... Thank YOU Manager!
The door opened to a room FULL OF BEAUTIFUL TALL WOMEN all crowded around the mirror.... there was no room to fit in!
Erika said, "TOILET!"
It was like the red sea parting.... There was a stall open and we rushed in.....
I quickly got her undressed, coats off, braces pulled down...... and then..... AND THEN.......
There was this, tinkle, tinkle, tinkle..... "Spaciba!" And a big smile. :)
I was thinking, " for all that effort can't you produce a little more?"
Nyet! It was just a tiny TINKLE????
So we finished up, and I carried her back up the flight of stairs and we sat on the steps of the McDonald's so I could catch my breath and not keel over from a heart attack. :)
After about 15 minutes, we went back to the Internet Cafe' and back up the other flight of stairs where Mike was happily typing away to his dad. LOL
He looked at me and said, "Wow, what took so long!"