Newsletter and Update – Spring 2011
Our dear friends,
The winter seems to be over and that is very exciting! It feels like for the last couple of months of winter it was just cold and school and snow. March is always like that. Spring came late, and everybody was longing for warmth and flowers. So it’s good that we had all those holidays that kind of made things better. In February we celebrated Valentine’s Day, which is not really a Russian holiday, but we like it anyway, and Defenders’ Day, which is February 23rd.
Originally it was a holiday for the military people and everyone who defends our country, but somehow it has turned into a men’s holiday. So we honor our boys and men and give them gifts and so on. In March we celebrated Pancake Day and Women’s Day. The Pancake Day is when we greet spring, make crepes, it’s also the Shrove Sunday and the last day before Lent. We played some games outside, burnt a puppet of winter, ate pancakes and had a great time. It’s a very fun holiday! The Women’s day was just a couple weeks after the Defender’s day, and people joked that the presents the girls get on this day are equivalent to those they gave to their men before. Some girls tried really hard on their gifts and got something nice in return.
In March we spent three weeks at a camp. This was unusual – to go to a camp in the middle of the school term. We still had to take classes there, but it was very easy, because we had different teachers there and they were kind. We love going to that camp, but the bad thing was there were no other kids, just us. So it wasn’t as much fun as it usually is in the summer time. All of us got to go except for Alina (she’s too little) and Yulia Kolosova, she has to prepare for exams and can’t skip school.
Right after we got back we had a very special visit from very special people: our good friends Kevin and Aletia along with some other great people came to visit us for a day. Too bad they couldn’t stay longer, we loved playing with them.
We are looking forward to the camp we are going to have this summer. For many of us it’s going to be a first camp with Americans. We heard those are a lot of fun! And we are looking forward to making new friends! So… hope to see some of you soon! As for the rest – don’t forget to write!
Your kids from Ostrovskoye
|From the caregivers|
We are very excited about the upcoming camp! We haven’t really had one for some time, so this is great that we are going to do those again! We are already thinking about what it’s going to be like and planning some things for it. Other than that we haven’t had much going on. The kids were gone for awhile, so it was very quiet here. We have had some official visits and checkups at the orphanage but those were not anything special, just regular work moments. Everyone is really excited to have warm weather. Soon we will start the garden, and the children will have tests at school. We hope we will have enough time and strengths for everything! We hope to hear from and even see some of you very soon!
|From the discipler|
I should say that the one-day visit from you guys may have been crucial. There are many relatively new kids at the orphanage now, who hadn’t had a chance to meet an American before. So all this pen pal thing wasn’t quite clear to them, I think. Now that the new kids got to see “real Americans” as they say, and know for sure that you guys do come to visit and you’re fun to be around and they can make friends with you, it has lit a sparkle in their hearts! They want to write and get letters now! It’s not letters from abstract people anymore, these are now notes from people who may actually come, and who they can keep in touch with. Everyone is sooooo excited about a team coming in a couple of months! I know it will make a great impact on the kids. Making relationships which will be long term is very important for them. They’ve had so much transition in their lives that finding people who will follow their lives should mean a lot to them.
As you can see, everything all of us can talk about now is this camp. But I want to also thank you for your letters. There’s been a lot more coming now, and they make the children so happy! You should see how much joy there is in their eyes, when they hear there’s a letter for them. I hope they keep coming and the kids do too!
Have a great spring and can’t wait to meet some of you!
- For the kids’ health
- Good school achievements for everyone
- For the staff to have strength and wisdom, as they work with the kids and take care of them