About The River

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ukraine



The Isolator Kids...and how do you break the ice? If you have read my past Ukraine posts, I explained the Isolator Kids are the kids right off the street. Shaved heads...lice check...wild...due to street life. So how do you break the ice? I brought sidewalk chalk. It did not matter if the kids were 4 or 16 they were interested in it. Stickers as well, some had never seen such things. Slowly they started to come and look us over. It was a little scary, especially when one tried to steal my camera out of my back pocket. You learned to say NO aggressively to the Isolator Kids. You had to or they knew they could intimidate you. As time went on, they wanted to talk. I only know a bit of Russian. We had one translator...she did her best getting around to us to help us carry on conversations.

Of course a soccer ball helps. Soccer is Football in Ukraine...and they are good! They all wanted to see if they could beat the American Boys! They did...our boys did a great job. I was so proud of the group of California Teens I went with.
Dasha, our little girl we loved so much. She took the longest to break the ice. She wanted everything we had, but was scared of us at first. Of course a little girl like this breaks your heart when you have to leave to go home. She is looking at you with tears in her eyes. I just prayed she had a great two weeks while we were there, and that we planted a seed.
American Games...we brought as many as we could. We took them out of the box and even tore some of them apart and re-built them once we got to the shelter. We brought so many items for the kids. So you will see me wearing the same shirt in many photos. :-) We brought supplies for them and a few clothes for us.
A bible story and song. I love the smiles! The young lady in the pink shorts with the dark sandals was our translator, Natasha. She was very will with cancer...she was one of the young children caught up in the fallout.

Crafts! The big hit. The kids loved doing crafts. It was so much fun for us to do them. Even the wildest kids would settle down to do a craft. It was great. On our last day, the kids began to give us the creations they made, as gifts to us, to say Thank You. I took a few, but wanted them to keep them. Tears streaming down our faces and we hugged good bye.

More to come...stay tuned.

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