We didn’t have to get up too early this morning. We made sure everything was packed pretty much because we were waiting to hear if we were heading to Kiev tonight. Hubby and I took a long walk up and down Lenin Street this morning. It is still pretty cold, especially when the wind blows. There were many more people out today because it is a work day. Although, we learned today that many of the smaller markets are not open on Mondays. We stopped at the regular market to get some bread and cheese for lunch. Our regular lunch and sometimes dinner consists of bread, cheese, maybe a kind of meat, not sure really what it is, nuts and of course, chocolate. Their chocolate is very good. There is one particular brand that Hubby even likes in the milk chocolate variety, which says a lot. We did try this one chocolate. It turned out to be filled chocolate and we were trying to figure out what the filling was. I said, oh my goodness, its liquor! Needless to say, we threw that one out. No more filled chocolate. Did I tell you about our experience with Salmon flavored potato chips….not good….just saying!
We made it to the orphanage at about one. Our older boy was being a putz. He didn’t want to play games; he didn’t want to do anything. Finally, we dragged him outside with the younger boy and some other boys and we played soccer, sorry, football. We played for over an hour and everyone, including our older boy, had a great time. I was goalie because I really can’t play and I kick and throw like a girl. The boys were very good. I have some pics on my phone of them playing. I will try to get them onto the computer. As I ran, one of the many, many times to get the ball, I thought about how I was in a foreign country playing at an orphanage. I was running and playing in the same yard my boys have spent several years playing in. It felt good. The yard had patches of dirt and an obvious soccer field with two goal posts. There is playground equipment for climbing on and but the rest is pretty dreary. The longer we played, the more kids came out to join us.
We went back upstairs to the common room near our younger boy’s bedroom and hung out with the other families. There were some playing cards, some throwing a Frisbee style toy, and some playing with soccer balls. It was busy and noisy and reminded me of home. Again, it felt good. I just have to say that I dearly love the families that we are here with and I’m glad we are off and on together through this experience.
Let me give you a tour of the orphanage. You step through a green gate out by the street and walk up a courtyard between the two buildings of the orphanage. The main door is in the center of the courtyard and connects the two buildings. The building on your left is filled with bedrooms with ten or more beds in each room and each floor seems to have a common gathering room. The building on your rights houses the classrooms and offices and gymnasium. When you first walk in the door there is a table set up with a woman or sometimes older children to man it. We kind of check in with her or let her know who we are there to see and they go get them…sometimes. She is also there, I have just today learned, to pass out toilet paper to the kids when they need it for the bathroom. The dining area is straight ahead when you enter and consists of several tables and stools around the room. There are many women who work at the orphanage keeping it clean. They have mops that look like a push broom with no broom. They wrap wet towels around the end of the “broom” and mop the floor. There is always a need to mop. Staircases lead to each floor and the floors and stairs are made of painted concrete. For the most part I would consider the orphanage to be very clean. The common room we hang out in, though, does smell like dirty socks but I suppose that is to be expected. The director of our orphanage is an extremely hardworking woman who spends hours and hours taking care of business. She knows the children by name and they listen to her when she tells them to do something. She speaks to them firmly but you can tell she cares about them. I must add that our facilitators, all of them, work like crazy to help us in any way that they can. I think they are amazing people.
We really had a great day playing with the kids. I gave the director the rest of the stuff that was donated to the orphanage. She said she would save it to give to the children as they had birthdays. They already have the soccer balls but the rest will be given over time. I thought that was a good idea. The kids are wonderful. Some of them are so small and it’s hard to think that they don’t have parents or families. I saved the gum and have been bringing a little each time to hand out. They love the gum. We had a great time with the kids.
We are now on the night train to Kiev. We should have our second SDA appointment on Tuesday, if not Wednesday. If it goes as scheduled we will have our appointment Tuesday, pick up the letter Wednesday and back on the train Wednesday night. We have a first class (don’t get too excited, it is not amazing or anything) cabin next to our friends as they have an appointment when we do. We will share an apartment in Kiev with them and then we will get a new apartment in Zap when we get back. That’s a whole other story and I will tell you about it another time. We spent several hours together visiting, laughing and enjoying the evening and now it’s time to settle down for the night. I really enjoy watching outside as we chug our way along.
Please keep us in your prayers as we cross all our little bridges. Each of the families here has little hurdles and issues to deal with and your prayers are felt and they help so much. We love you all so much and look forward to a grand reunion when we are all done.