English class, Camp, Internet, Excursion, Mondich

Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 16, 2009

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Flag of Ukraine  , Zakarpats'ka Oblast',
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Off the Center again. It's the third day of classes and the camp.  We’re lovin’ it. We get so tired at the end of the day, but Irina and I comment that’s it’s a "good" tired.  We love the experience with the kids, the activity, the Ukrainian experience. 

Daniel is wearing his UYC  (United Youth Camp) shirt which I have now renamed Ukrainian Youth Camp. 

I am now the official driver of the red van.  It’s terrible.  Sometimes I call it the red death.  Ivan Yurishko told me that I should not drive it—it has lots of bugs.  Second gear is dysfunctional and there is trick of working gears one, two and three.  There is no rear-view mirror, so I use the kids I drive as rear view mirrors. They tell me everything that’s going on behind me.

The signal blinker has to be turned off manually and I forget to do that often, so one of the kids in the van is assigned to remind me turn the blinker off. 

Finally, the locks on the doors of the van don’t work.  Well, they LOCK, but they don’t UNLOCK except for the back door.  This means that if you lock the van, you have to unlock the back, let one of the boys in to climb over the seats and open the doors.  Our workaround, however, is NOT to lock the doors.  I sometimes call this van the “red death.” 

The children are really a delight and I enjoy my role as being the gopher for all the things going on….mostly translating and expediting things.  They always greet us enthusiastically.  They are always so good so open and trusting of us as adults.  Just wonderful. Hardly a child is sullen. 

We have a great team here with everyone filling an important and key role.  The Polichko’s are the heart and soul of this children’s project.  I cannot say enough how fortunate I am to find an environment that is as great as the one that we have here with kids.  All the children love the Polichko’s and call them Aunt Ira and Uncle Vasya.   As I’ve said before all four teachers, Ken and Cherie Zahora, Dan and Cindy Harper, are absolutely awesome in how they relate to the children whose language they do not know.  Then there’s Vasya and Maria who work at the home.  Alyona works full-time in the kitchen. The regular cook fell and broke her ankle and is out of commission.  Alyona worked at an electronics plant here in Vinogradov run by Slovaks but it is now closed permanently.

Edita came by with a friend and we talked some.  Tomorrow I plan to get together with the kids we had known over the years at the soup kitchen:  Ondika, Emille, Lolita, Goby, Edita and perhaps others.

Then I played ping pong and volleyball with some of the kids.

Lunch.  Special this meal was the borscht, which is a famous soup made from beets and vegetable.  There are over 300 recipes for borscht. This was a good light one.

Ivan Yurishko Jr. came out to try to connect the Internet and network our four computers.  We’re having trouble getting Internet out here.  It’s broadcast from the tall TV tower over Khust.  We worked on it for about an hour and nothing.  We ultimately find out that there is a mountain blocking the signal from that location to Vinogradov.  

Ivan took the modem out to Siloam and it worked just fine….Siloam is just outside the blocking part of the mountain.  So, out here we have good Internet coverage.  But, we were still having trouble initializing and networking our Rosetta Stone.  Ivan was going to come out later in the afternoon after our excursion to try to solve these problems .  I’m so fortunate that Dan Harper is really savvy on networking and configuration issues and persistently stays with issues until they are resolved. 

Then out to the “water park.” The kids really love water and swimming.  There was one medium-sized slide.  Of the adults, Ken and Daniel went into the water. The boys love to swarm all over Dan and took turns climbing on him. 

We came back to the Center and my friend Vasyl Mondich  arrived soon after.  So did Ivan Yurishko, Jr.  Vasyl and I sauntered into town and ate a meal at an outdoor café.  We have known each other since 1992.  We will always be good friends.  We talked about evangelism, humanitarian work and doctrine.  Then we returned to the soup kitchen and Ivan  Jr. was still there with Dan trying to figure out what the problems were. We worked on it for a bit and decided to call it quits.  Dan brought home one of the desktops  to configure it at Siloam. 

We came really tired.  No discussion tonight….I did take some time to upload several days worth ot Travel blogs and download 250 email messages.  I’m done.  Time to crash at 12:15 am.
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krikketgirl on

Following Along

So great to read your updates. Please give our love to everyone! Everything fine here--kids had camp in Indy this week and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading more and--of course--your eventual return! : )

Katherine and all the Rowlands

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