Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 24

The weather was better today but we were not able to go out walking because Kerry had to leave early to do paperwork.  Her paperwork went really well and she should be out of here soon…I’m so happy for her and her family.  So, when she left today, I cleaned the apartment and watched a movie until it was time to go to the orphanage.  When we got to the orphanage there was a police officer there with a teenage boy and three other adults.  Sasha told us that that boy was in trouble because he was found off the orphanage grounds by the police man.  It is actually very common for the kids to do that but this one got caught.  We called Vitaliy to tell him that we were there and it turned out he was off the grounds as well.  His brother had given him some money the other day so I am sure he just walked to the town center to buy something.  I told him about the police man and the other kid and told him that the police were looking for him.  Just for a second he looked worried then he could tell that I was kidding. 

We played UNO for a while with the younger kids and I made another friendship bracelet.  One of the teachers came over to us with those plastic, kind of thick and stretchy plastic strips and asked if I could show the kids how to make a bracelet and then they could make them in class.  She also told us that the kids should not be playing cards because it is bad for them and she also asked that we not give the gum directly to the kids anymore because they are falling asleep with it in their mouths.  She wants us to give it to her and she will pass it out to everyone.  Well, I already gave out all of the gum so I don’t have to worry about that.  We passed out a bunch of granola bars to the kids today along with some fruity snacks.  About four of the kids including my Sasha stuffed them in their pockets.  It may have looked like they were hoarding them but they do that and then they pass them out to all of their friends.  It is really sweet.  They really just love to share with all of their friends.

We managed to slip in some English lessons with Vitaliy today and he didn’t even know it.  We played a few word games and we played hang man in English and in Russian.  He did way better with the English than I did with the Russian.

On the way home from the orphanage we saw our first car accident.  A little car had run off the road and ran into a tree.  It was quite a sight to see.  I am absolutely amazed that we haven’t seen more accidents than that.  Actually, it is way, way amazing that that is the only accident we have seen.  There have been a lot of close calls though.  I took several pictures in the van on the way to the orphanage today just to record the area around the village.  The pictures would be complete if I could make them a scratch and sniff picture.  Just picture yourself sitting in the van behind the driver.  Now close your eyes, take a deep breath….no really, close your eyes, take a deep breath…. Good…now imagine yourself in the school bus filled with the high school wrestling team after a wrestling meet…now you have the complete picture!  I had to hold my nose a few times today while we were driving.  Love the drivers but hygiene just isn’t a priority around here.

I am posting the pictures I took today on the way to the orphanage and the pictures that Sasha took with my camera.  I am also posting a picture with our beautiful translator, Natalie or Natasha as it is said in Russian, and the boys.  Tomorrow should be the last day we use Natalie because Lucy will be here on Wednesday.  Natalie and I are now Facebook friends and I plan to keep in touch with her.  She loves America and it is her dream to come here some day.  So, if anyone knows of a good job for a young girl who is fluent in English and Russian and Ukrainian, let me know because she would at least love to come work in America for a while.  I am also going to help her find a wedding dress in America because they are less expensive there and she prefers the styles in America better than what she sees here.  She is one of the very wonderful people I have met here and will remember always.

I had a great time visiting the boys today.  I should be meeting Vitaliy’s sister this week and seeing his brother again.  I hope the meeting with his sister is a good as the meeting with his brother. 

Another day down!  I just love to say that.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments.  It really is a big highlight of the day to come back to the apartment and read emails and comments.  I am following Kerry’s paperwork process closely because I should have the same time frame for it next week.  If all is going as it is for her, I will be right on schedule to be home for Easter.

I love you all so much.  The boys and I are very anxious to come home.  As always, thanks for the prayers!!!

This is a picture from inside the van as we are coming up to the orphanage.  In the village that the orphanage is in the majority of housing is homes and not apartments.

 This is another picture of houses along the road to the orphanage.
This is the closet where Sasha's age group/class has all of their clothes and shoes.

There were shoes lined up on two sides in the closet

The share all of their clothes and shoes

These two kids loved the bracelets.  I had made a special one for this little boy yesterday and brought it to him today.

She was helping and loved playing with the thread and scissors (with supervision of course)

This is our translator...Very sweet young lady!

Right after I got in the van, Sasha asked for my camera and snapped this picture.  It is taken from just outside the orphanage gates.  The closet building houses the offices and classrooms and the building in the background is where the children have their rooms.


  1. sooo... If they can't play cards, what can they do? Sneak off the premises? Pick your battles... Whatever, I'm trying to understand that one. That little girl making bracelets with you is stinkin' cute, so's the little boy. And of course, so are your boys!! And so much for me stocking up on gum to take when I go. If Natasha finds a dress she wants, I'll take it back to Ukraine for her:) As for the police situation, I'm hoping that I don't know the teenager involved...

  2. If they share the clothes and shoes does that mean your kids wont be packing clothes? Guess you'll have a big trip to the D.I. !!!!!!!! How you love that.

    Have your kids ever sneaked off premises?

    Watched your two little ones this morning. The youngest slept until 10:30 - wish I could do that!

    Another game they could play is tic-tac-toe. Also, I spy (they find a color in the room and you try to guess what it is). You could also make up some small squares of paper, either with numbers or pictures on them (two of each) and play match game. These are just simple suggestions. Can't believe they can't play cards. Love you, Mom

  3. I could really use a tutor that is fluent in all three! :) I don't think she could get here fast enough though.

    That is so funny about the cards! We didn't have that trouble. We played many an Uno game and a couple games of Phase 10. That one was a bit harder to grasp, but Masha did well at explaining it.

    I SO hear ya about the smell! There was one guy we used to get from the bus station to the orphanage (about 2KM) once when the weather was really nasty that smelled SOOOOO BAD! I had to breathe through my nose the whole time. He's also the one that had the mostly naked woman hanging from his rear-view mirror. I wonder if prostitutes don't mind a smelly guy?? At least those that we used from Dnepro to the village weren't smelly. Well, the one smoked but at least he only did it once we were there instead of on the way. Some of the bus drivers did it while they were driving. Ew.

  4. I just learned to never inhale deeply! Especially on the bus!
    No cards? What the heck? Is it FACE cards they have an issue with or ALL cards? Crazy.
    I can understand the gum. But cards?
    So glad you and Kerry have each other. Amy R and I are still tight after our experience together. Nothing bonds like living in the trenches together!
    I've been gone (Spring break) but I'm all caught up on your posts! So glad you're through court and in your ten days. I hope it goes fast and that the passport goes faster!

  5. I'm so glad that whole police thing didn't involve Vitaliy! You don't need any complications right now! I really enjoy seeing all the pictures you post and for all the information you are sharing in your blog. I think the people living there probably get used to the smell and don't notice it after a while. I'm so glad that you have so many wonderful friends supporting you through this process and all the people that are there that can relate to all your are going through. It won't be too much longer and you'll be home!!

    Love, Karen