2014 Ukraine Trip
Trip to Odessa
Odessa on Peace One Day, September 21, 2014 was a great time to celebrate peace in Ukraine. There may be war going on in Eastern Ukraine, but in Odessa it all was peaceful. I went to a Peace rally and parade in downtown Odessa with friends. We saw so many people, young and old, in traditional Ukrainian costumes.
This was the first time to Odessa since my bout with cancer. It was so wonderful to be back there seeing friends again. There were some changes since I had last been there in April 2012, many new apartments and houses going up, and many things still the same. I had noticed that a few orphanages had closed, like #4, Fontanka, and #9. We were able to go to Lastochka (TB clinic), #5, Shelter #2, and hospitals or clinics - Alexandrovka, Slobodka and Belgorod and Oblast Children’s Hospital. I bought 4 water heaters, or as they call them - boilers, when I was there so kids would have hot water to wash hair, hands, etc. Everyone is worried about heat this winter.
These shoes were for Lastochka where we had also gotten pants, socks, shirts, underwear and shampoo for the 50 kids there.
UAC staff celebrated Peace One day at Shelter #2, Lastochka and Orphanage #5 on September 19, 20 and 21. There was music, poetry and lots of fun for all. Many kids in Ukrainian costumes they had sewn themselves. A lady from Michigan came to spend that weekend with us. Kim de Blecourt spent one night with me at the apartment I stay at. Otherwise I was at the apartment alone, but saw some or all of the staff that works there just about every day.
I was able to spend a bit of time along the beach of the Black Sea. I love the sound of the waves. Belgorod Children’s Hospital is about 2 hours south west of Odessa. We met 3 people from USAid out of Washington D.C. who went with us. Saw a tiny little girl who was a year old but weighed only 5Kg, only about 11 lbs. Also we went to a boy’s psychiatric orphanage. That was hard to go to, but everyone was very friendly.
It was so wonderful to be back in Odessa again. I spent 3 weeks there and got a lot done and enjoyed myself as well. Universal Aid for Children is doing a fantastic job of helping these kids in Odessa.
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