Friday, July 29, 2011

Wrapping it up

Thursday, July 28, 2011
This was the last full day of camp—Friday is a half day before the parents’ night. Our secret ingredient for the day was “Remember Jesus Often” so in crafts, we made one of the best crafts ever—shrinky dinks! These are sheets of plastic that you can draw on and then when you put them in the oven they shrink really small and harden—the kids decorated them with reminders of Jesus that they can use to tie on their clothes or a backpack. The kids loved them, as well as the adults, and me! In games the kids played a cup relay that involved spelling out “remember Jesus” and in discovery the kids made an apple snack that was part of the Passover dinner.
During snack time, we noticed a little boy who was sitting without a snack, while others were crowded around him with a grocery bag full of snacks. We thought the kids had taken his snack from him, and with the help of a translator, we realized that the kids were all brothers and sisters and they were taking the snacks home for later. Although we gave the snack back to him, he wouldn’t touch it—almost as if he was afraid. So, we gave him a plastic bag for his snack alone, and opened a pack of cookies for him to eat here. He took those and ate them quickly—we are wondering if the food they eat here is the best food they get all day or perhaps the most. It was very upsetting to think that this little boy really just wanted to eat his snack—so simple, and he couldn’t because he had to save it for later. Vasya told us that both of the parents of this family are alcoholics, and the worst part is that there are so many stories so similar to this one. There are so many kids in this area that are not well taken care of, and it seems there is not enough we can do to help.

Friday, July 29, 2011
            Today was a half day of camp; we ended after lunch and took the kids over to the church at 2 pm to practice for the parents’ night, where the kids were able to sing the songs they learned and the parents could see a little bit about what we learned this week.
            This morning, we counted about 78 kids who showed up—some of them brought their little brothers and sisters! The team was really worried because we didn’t have enough crafts for everyone, but it worked out because the craft was a kite, so kids from the same family could make one to share. The kites were a little difficult to make, but the kids loved flying them! I’m not exactly sure what the kids did in games because I stayed in crafts to help with the madness ;) but in discovery time the kids made were able to make homemade ice cream—I did this once in chemistry in high school and it is so cool! They also enjoyed banana splits! Yum!
            Parents’ night went well—we had a good number of parents show up, and the kids had a lot of fun showing off their singing and acting skills. It was a short program, and a good thing because at the end of a long day at the end of a long week, the kids were getting pretty restless! When it was over, everyone headed down to the basement of the church for refreshments—we bought for over 100 people, and within five minutes the food was wiped out! We are glad we bought a lot. I finally saw Halya, Vasya’s sister and our translator from 2005 and 2006, tonight with her baby, Natan (English-Nathan), and met her husband and daughter, Emi—so cute!
            One random thing that happened tonight—I tried the Ukrainian version of Ramen noodles—strangely tasty…I told the team that Ramen noodles are one of those things that I don’t truly like…but every now and then a craving for them comes up. Perhaps that is why they tasted so good—haha! Tomorrow I think we will be visiting another Roma camp—I am preparing myself mentally for the experience.
Natalka is the youngest child here. She is 4 and her legs are bowed badly--soon she will have some braces put on them to help straighten them.

Making shrinky dinks!

Timothy having fun with the megaphone

Measuring out the ingredients for snack

Boys...horsing around...

Just look at that face--he's so cute!! Little Sasha

Entertainment is simple here--stack some cups and let kids toss a frisbee into them=FUN!

Friday--78+ kids :) the beginning of the week he drove me a little batty, but now we have reached an understanding and you could say we're best friends... ;)

Anya--decorating kites!

Putting the kites together

LOL--shaking the bag to make ice cream--Mark looks like he is  in such pain! I think he was being splashed with cold water?

Elya--Banana splits :)

Viktor, another favorite here.

Joma is such a good sport--he let me style his hair!

Flying kites

He's just so stinkin' cute

Singing at Parents' Night

Halya and Natan

Anya--sweet girl.

Week 1 over and we finally get a group picture! From left--Anette, Calvin, Crystal, Me, Lillian, Kenny, Grace, Robyn

Ukrainian instant noodles! Haha

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