Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Home & Day 4

I'm home and very jet-lagged. And I hardly know where to begin and so I think I will just pick up with day 4.

We had a later start since the playground was finished but spent the day in the Children's Home. We painted t-shirts and played games with them. As we went to the different classrooms, I was touched by how welcoming they were and how happy they were that we had come.

In the first class we taught the children how to play Duck, Duck, Goose (only it was actually Dog, Dog, Goose due to a translation misunderstanding :)). They in turn, taught us musical chairs. So sweet.

We were with older kids (14-17) in the afternoon. They were a bit more shy and reserved but still gave us beautiful smiles and talked to us. One girl asked us to find her friend who had been adopted and taken to America 7 years prior and she had never heard from her. We were told that the children often wonder why they haven't been chosen. I choked back the tears and knew I would wonder the same if I were in their shoes.

I met a girl who shares a similar name - Ilona. We bonded instantly over the similarity. (On a side note: We had nametags in Russian so the children could all read who we were which was awesome!).

Throughout the day, different children would run up to me for hugs or to tell me something (sometimes I understood and sometimes I needed a translat0r). They often recognized me from their class the day before or from working on the playground. What sweet kiddos! I loved the shy smiles and the joy they demonstrated with each interaction.

My mind cannot comprehend the daily life of living in an orphanage. How sad. They were clearly starved for touch (hugs, pat on the back etc.) and attention. And I gave them all I could.

My heart broke a hundred times.

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