Today was our first day at the orphanage.
The guys received their jobs last night and quickly got to work this morning after a brief team meeting and breakfast (we had scrambled eggs!!).
The gals split into teams last night and then arrived at the different buildings to eager kids ready to play. For those of us that were here last year, it is always interesting to see what kids are still here and here about the kids that were adopted over the last year. One girl Yasa has been here all 3 years that we have had a team in Vorzel. I think Yasa might have remembered us from last year. Within a few minutes of seeing her she came up to me and gave me a big hug!
The kids all seemed excited to play … whether it was blowing bubbles or punching a balloon, swinging on the swing set or sliding down the slide. They also really love having their pictures taken (and then looking at them … thank you digital cameras!!).
In the afternoon, most of the girls went back to the same orphanage (the guys kept working on their constructions project). I had the opportunity to go into building one where most of the severely disabled kids live. Interestingly, I intentionally did not go into the building last year because it was so hard seeing the kids the first year. But Sasha really wanted me to spend time with a certain boy (also named Sasha) who just had surgery on his hips and his legs are casted with a bar in between. Sasha led me into the room with kid Sasha. He was just sitting in his bed in the room all by himself. Sasha introduced me and then for the next 2 ½ hours I sat on the bed with Sasha reading, coloring, rolling a ball, playing playdough and tossing a balloon. He was SO happy and all I could think was “if I didn’t spend the afternoon with him … would he have just set in the room here all by himself?” I’m excited for our time tomorrow.
By the end of the day, the guys were tired (and a bit dirty!). Several of the projects were suppose to take 2 days and they finished this afternoon!
Tonight we are doing some team building activities however I think the American and Ukrainian teams are getting along pretty well already!!