Link to 11/27 Photos
11-27-2004 Journal
Link to 11/28 Journal
Link to 11/26 Journal
The Older Kids Orphanage
After our second visit today with the two of you our driver picked us up with one of the interpreters and we drove out
of town for about 15 minutes.  We then turned onto a somewhat obscured rough road which untangled itself for about
20 minutes through snow covered countryside dotted with small crude homes roofed with corrugated tin.  We had to
drive slowly in our modest Opel sedan because in between the two ruts formed by the previous car’s tires the icy
snow in the middle was scraping along the bottom of the car.

The orphanage is a converted resort that seemed to be constructed back in the 1950s.  It was quite a large
compound which made sense as we had learned it was home to 400 children who were either orphans or had been
abandoned by their parents.  Many of the buildings were abandoned but we pulled up to a larger dormitory type of
building where there were probably 75 children milling about.  

When we got out of the car a group of kids immediately formed around us.  Their faces were smiling and inquisitive as
they practiced their English, “Hello!”, “How are you?”, “Where are you from?”, “ What is your name?”.  At this time our
travel partners Tim and Jenn pulled up in another car and experienced the same greeting.

We all then walked inside because Jenn had brought a big stack of mail from the children’s American sponsors.  Our
adoption agency, WPA, runs a program where families sponsor children from this orphanage by putting about $250
per year in a sort of college fund for the child for when they graduate from the orphanage.  They also correspond with
each other and send pictures and gifts…hence the letters.  Jenn obviously enjoyed handing out the letters as the
children were very excited to receive them.

After the letters we started handing out candy which was absolutely crazy.  By this time there were well over 100 kids
and they just swarmed your Dad with his plastic tub of chocolates.  Somehow he managed to get them to form a line
and he was able to hand the chocolates out one-by-one which lasted a few minutes until a free-for-all ensued.  I
finally just set the candies down on a bench and the more aggressive kids lunged at them forming a squirming dog
pile of laughing children.  I was a little concerned for their safety so I was trying to pull kids off the top only to get
sucked into the mealy myself…it was really fun.

Your mom in the mean time was bonding with a few of the kids who were fascinated with her digital camera and the
fact that it could shoot short video segments.  The young videographers were in fact able to capture your father
getting absolutely pummeled in a snowball fight.

The children were wonderful and appeared full of life.  The older ones seemed to have a good sense of their futures
and we did not leave there until we sponsored a 13 year old boy and his 12 year old brother.