2009 Ukraine Trip
Linda and I worked with several orphanages doing a variety of crafts with the children. The children always love beadwork, so we try to do that at a couple of places. The mental hospitals have trouble with small items to work with, so we try to do a craft that is coloring or something with large pieces. It is fun to do the crafts and seeing the children’s faces as they have completed something. I try to find crafts that are not easily available there.
As it was Easter, on April 19th, we bought Easter Breads for all of the orphans at #34, #4, #5, and #7, Shelter #2, Lastischka, Alexandrovka, and Slobodka. That was a lot of Easter Breads! The children all love them and it is a custom to give Easter Breads when you go somewhere at Easter Time. Easter is the most important holiday in Ukraine we have been told.
It is always such a pleasure to go to Odessa and work with the children. We never know what will happen and things never go exactly according to plan. This time Igor’s van broke down and then he got sick, Irina had a conference to go to so we ended up using Peter Panin for a lot of our time there. He speaks good English and has a car, so we were set. He took us to various orphanages and to markets to buy crafts and school supplies for the kids. I remember my German grandmother saying “Bend like a willow or break like an oak”, so we try to be flexible with whatever happens in Odessa.
We were gone this year from April 1 – April 23. Now that I am home again in California, I wish I was back in Odessa. The kids enjoy us coming out to see them and we enjoy being there with the children and being in Odessa is great. It is a beautiful city with beautiful parks and wonderful people. Now, I can start the process of raising funds and sending donated items over there.
Check out www.uacukrainerelief.org/blog for our trip and information about UAC.
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