one of the many annoyances we have to deal with here is the fact that noz jr.'s weight is apparently a state secret. we asked how much he weighs on the first day we met him, six weeks or so ago. and we have asked again on a regular basis ever since. they keep telling us we will get it eventually, but so far at least this "eventually" has never come.
i have a few ideas on how to solve the problem. there are these older women who sit on the streets of taraz and sell little packs of chewing gum. a few of them, including one not too far from where we are staying, has a scale and charges people a few cents to be weighed. i'm thinking of asking her how much she makes from weighing on the average day and then pay her that amount to rent her scale for one of our two hour visits to the orphanage. but my russian and kazakh abilities are way too limited to describe this plan to her. without a translator, i'm not sure if it's feasible.
another idea is to get a big bag of sand. we bring the bag with us on the visit and then hold noz jr. in one arm and the bag of sand in the other. mrs. noz would scoop sand out of the bag until i thought the bag and the boy each weighed about the same. then we'd take the bag to the lady on the street and pay her to weigh it. unfortunately that plan depends on my ability to accurately guage when things i'm holding weigh the same. also, i am aware that it didn't work for indiana jones.