Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flies, birthdays and relay races

Our appointment was one week ago today. We've accomplished so much in a week and have done so much driving that we feel like we have been here a month! Alexandra said today that she feels like we just keep driving and driving, never reaching our destination.

We had asked the dorm parent at camp yesterday if there was anything we could bring that she thought the kids would like. She suggested board games. So this morning after a delicious breakfast at a coffee house, Sergey picked us up and took us to a toy store. We bought several board games, a soccer ball and a volley ball. Then we went by the supermarket and got some nectarines, grapes, and some sort of sweet bread for the kids.

They were all thrilled with their treats. When the rest of the kids headed to lunch at camp we left with Gabrielle for our daily visit into the village. Gabrielle found a nice dress for court. Then we went back to the shooting gallery at the amusement park. After that we walked across the street to a new restaurant. This one was not up to par with the rest. There was a fly in Roman's soup; all seating was outside and flies were abundant; and the food was only so-so. The kids did enjoy the juke box, however.

After lunch we went to a little store and bought a birthday cake for Sasha S., one of the children from Bela. Today was his 14th birthday. For $20 we got enough cake, plates, forks, juice and cups for 35 people! Sasha was shy about eating the cake but was very gracious. He is such a sweet boy. The rest of the kids devoured the cake.

Next, they went on to win some competitive relay race among the dorms. The Bela kids were by far the fastest kids there! We were so proud of them and happy to be able to be there and cheer them on.

Before we left, Gabrielle had to take her new clothes in and try them on for her friend Vicka. She is a precious 13 year old who so desperately wants a family as well. I know that Gabrielle is torn between celebrating her new family and mourning for those who are still without. My heart breaks as I think of each one we will leave behind. My mind is already working out a plan for somehow getting some of these kids over next summer for hosting.

When we got back into Lugansk, we had dinner at Mario's Pizza, a much welcomed treat after so much Ukrainian food.

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