Day 14, 15, 16 - On to Malaga!!!!

Trip Start Jul 21, 2010
Trip End Aug 26, 2010

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Sunday, August 8, 2010

... final packing in Prague ... a lazy day ... the family barely leaves the house ... I go out only for an hour or so, just a final walk in the city. Cab to the airport .... and off to Malaga to meet our friends Inigo and Jaione and their new foster child Deanna!

Our plane is a bit delayed, but not too badly. We walk out of the gates, grab our luggage, and find Inigo and Jaione waiting for us wearing the custom tshirts we had made for them as a gift on our last get together, with a big banner above them (a red arrow pointing down to themselves) ...  "GUIRI" ...

Guiri = Spanish for horrible tourist. ... A running joke between all of us ...   Its funny. Other passengers on the plane are even laughing as we share hugs ... its great!

An easy hike to the train and our apartment ... and we cap off the night with some excellent seafood. The kids devour the mini-squid ... even after Sam notices the two black dots that mysterioiusly look like eyes ... hehe ... Simon had one too and said, "Hey, not as bad as I thought... " ... no camera today (or the next as it turns out) ... but I'm SURE I will photo some of this great grub as the days go on. Fried fish, battered fish, boiled gambas (shrimp) with salt, fresh veggie tomatoe salad, ... great grub all pulled fresh from the ocean in front of us.


Next day, a trip to the beach. Inigo and Jaione meet us there with their foster child Deanna. ... Deanna is a beautiful little Russian orphan. Inigo and Jaione have gone through a strict screening process this past year and been approved to be a part of a program that matches young Russian orphans up with Spanish families, and then brings them to Spain for a long term visit over both the summer and Christmas seasons. ... Just prior to Deanna coming, after the long process of approval, Inigo and Jaione were informed she had an eye problem, and were asked if they still wanted her to come. ... Their response was an immediate YES!! accompanied by a sort of distaste for the question. ... Deanna is so beautiful and friendly. Outgoing, social, and very loving. She immediately showers our whole family with hugs and kisses on the cheeks ... and she heads to the ocean with Pappa Inigo. ... Inigo had told me they were braving the challenge of learning to swim in the ocean, little did I know it was with a mostly blind little girl! Triple the challenge!!! ... Deanna laughs and giggles and clings to her Pappa ... while yelling all the while, "Ella !!! How are you?! How are you? How are you? How are you?" excitedly (the only phrase she knows in English). She reaches for Ella, then Pappa, back to Ella ... an occasional yell to Sam ... Just a beautifully happy little girl. She has jet black hair past her shoulders a bit. Her smile is nearly NON STOP. Her eyes are half rolled back most of the time, rapidly darting back and forth trying to make the most of her limited vision. The doctors have told Inigo and Jaione that her condition is not curable ... it cannot be improved. ... but her eyes have a very unique beauty about them. I can't quite describe it. They hold a sense of mystery ... some life there, but not fully functional ... it leaves Deanna doing things like smelling objects to obtain more information, or touching faces ... ... its just very fascinating to see in this precious little girl. She is going through life, already so difficult as an orphan in Russia, ... and then to be half blind ... ... and yet, after two full days now, we've yet to see her cry or complain for a moment! ... just happiness. joy. hugging. smiling. Deanna is a beautiful and remarkable girl, and its obvious the amount of love and caring that Inigo and Jaione have poured in to her. 

"Ella! How are you? How are you? How are you?" ... fills our day at the beach ....

Then we clean up and Inigo shuttles the whole crew to the nearby outdoor shopping mall / plaza / disco-center / grocery store. This place is HUGE. and its crawling with life. We get there just in time for me to do a last minute grocery run to add to the items Simon and Janice got yesterday from the nearby waaaaay overpriced market. ... the grocery store closes at 10pm ... and then I run across the mall to meet with the others who have found us a place to eat. ... Just shy of midnight, we are finished with food and headed back to the apartment ... and the mall is still FULL of families! Toddlers, children, pre-teens ... ... all still alert and awake and having a great night with no signs of slowing down ... ... and the night life is seems to be a bit of a ways of still. Only a group or two of adults in club outfits start making their appearances. .... its nuts! "Crazy Spaniards!!", I say to Inigo over and over again with a smile. ... The kids here don't go to bed until after midnight regularly during vacation time. Its fun and works really well with the weather here in Malaga (hot all day, then cools off to a PERFECT temperature at night, not too unlike Sacramento!). Unfortunately for us, Ella hasn't adapted just yet and she zonks out asleep as we eat.

Back to the apartment. SLEEP.

Today, I woke up at 1pm after a tough night's sleep. Precious Deanna thought it would be funny to play a practical joke on me so she messed with the air conditioning controls and I couldn't get it to turn back on!! Finally , I woke up at 3am and messed with it and got it running. ... but it was just a lot of tossing and turning for most of the night.

Down to our apartment's pool where Inigo, Jaione, and Deanna meet us for a day of swimming followed by 3 mile walk and eat!

Inigo's parents own this as a secondary beach home and have SOOO graciously offered us to use it during our stay! Its a very nice 3 room / 2 bath apartment with a view of the beach, a private pool, and a short w minute walk across the parking lot to one of the best beaches in the Malaga area!  We aren't TECHNICALLY in Malaga. Our city is Torremolinos, just south of Malaga proper.

Deanna. Man. We are in love with the little girl SO MUCH. She spends 30% of her time holding on to Momma Jaione, 30% clinging to Inigo, and 40% holding Ella's hand. I was on the verge of crying today just watching her and Ella interact today. At lunch for instance, ... we decided for the kids and pregnant Jaio to eat at Burker King. ... Precious Deanna sat there with her burger close to her face, with a smile, smelling it, asking "Poppa... queso? Donde queso?" ... searching for each bit of cheese around the meat, plucking it, eating it ... then Poppa Inigo saying to her, "Mira Deanna, mira ... esta bien ..." ... bringing the burger close to her mouth, she takes a bite ... "Mmmmm. Poppa, carne..." ... Can't put it in to words well enough. Just so beautiful. This little Russian girl, thrust to their home with ZERO Spanish ... and now, speaking some words and so full of love and happiness.

Today we finally busted out the camera for a couple of photos, but darn it, none are clear of Deanna. Will get some in the coming days I'm sure.

... Janice has been aching for some working out (like the marathon of walking miles each day isn't enough!!) ... and we've finally figured out that about 8pm the sun is about to set, it cools off, and all the joggers hit the pavement here ... so tonight she went on her first run! ...

Hmmmmm. What else to say? ... Simon well, lets just say he enjoyed some Tinto Verano quite a bit the past couple of days. That was fun ...

Lots of relaxing at the pool and beach. Just what this trip called for! And more to come !!!! ...
Tomorrow we travel by train to meet Inigo's parents in person for the first time and visit their home and beach .... they are in the HEART of Malaga, on the same street as the city's renowned bullfighting ring and only blocks from the beach! We are excited to meet them having spoken with them once on video Skype a few months back.

Tonight, several hours of work ... and now some sleep.
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iba-jee on

Asher, It's Iñigo. You made me cry, man!! Beautiful post

Tonja on

One word: JEALOUS!

Great post.. loved it!

You will LOVE Inigo's parents... "Do you... do you... do you... " (Ask Inigo :)

I <3 Inigo, Jaione and Malaga! :)

Marita on

You make me love Deanna too!
Sounds like everyone is having a relaxing time and you make it sound like a nice summer dream...

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