Hello family and friends,
In Mykolayiv, southern Ukraine, gardens are planted and fast growing vegetables like radishes are being harvested. Sveta is making tasty salads with radishes, onion and garlic greens, carrots (not from our garden) and mayonnaise.
As we traveled to Dobromel May 18 and19, our train journey crossed central Ukraine. As I looked out over the fields, I was reminded why the flag of Ukraine is yellow across the bottom half and blue across the top half. The many fields of wheat, a brilliant yellow, met the blue skies at the horizon. It is a beautiful site.
Nineteen hours later, we arrived in Lviv, northwestern Ukraine, meeting the morning hustle and bustle. Boarding the bus to Dobromel, our two hour trip enlightened us about the people living in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains. People, mostly women, were hoeing plots of the countryside, surrounded by unplowed fields. I saw more horse-drawn carts than on any of my previous visits. We even saw one horse-drawn plow, preparing the land for more planting.
Four weeks ago we were at the massage therapy clinics in Illichevsk, southwestern Ukraine. Two weeks ago, we visited the Marganets Orphanage in south-central Ukraine. In spite of the diversity of the seaport in Illichevsk, the mining operations in Marganets, and the forestry/logging operations in the Dobromel area, all regions are very agricultural in national production and survival gardens and dachas.
In our February newsletter, we introduced our new teacher for the computer classes that take place in the Dobromel Orphanage library. We sat in on one of the classes and saw some very nice progress from these children after only four months.
Luba, the teacher, has a very personal touch and connects with the children.
In the nearby village of Ternava, the MUCH Board approved money for computers and some other much needed items. This class of five students will excel because of their hands-on use of computers from MUCH contributions. The students thank you!
The younger children at the Ternava school were dressed in their festive Ukrainian costumes to celebrate the Holy Day of the Ascension of Jesus Christ. Western Ukraine has very strong spiritual values.
In Dobromel, the children from the orphanage paraded through the city, merging with another school to celebrate as a community. Western Ukraine is truly a place to experience!
In May, Mark and I had a great time with the children from the school in Marganets. Our meeting with the students of the English class was very interesting for us as well as for the children. Children asked Mark a lot of questions and told him about themselves. For them it was a wonderful fellowship and also practical application of their knowledge of the English language.
One boy proudly told us about his father who was in the war in eastern Ukraine. He is very proud of his father and his father’s heroic accomplishments.
Also in May, we had a wonderful time with children in the orphanage in Dobromel! Children greeted us, running to us with hugs. They interrupted each other asking a lot of questions that I tried to translate for Mark. It was hard to communicate with them because everyone wanted to talk or ask questions. In the end all the children spoke at the same time. I taught them that when one person speaks the other must be silent. But for children it was a difficult task and they quickly forgot about it. I had to constantly remind them of the rule. Mark and Dennis arranged a competition of “who is the strongest.” It was funny and fun that even girls wanted to compete with Mark and with each other.
As usual, we brought photos for the children from our past visit. Every child looked forward to my searching through a large collection of photos to find their photo. Two girls brought their photo-albums, showing us how they cherish all the pictures which we brought them. I congratulated them. When they grow, up, these photos will be wonderful memories about their time spent in the orphanage and about their time with us because many of these photographs depicted children with Mark or me.
Mark and I were impressed with the work in Luba’s computer class. She gave each child individual attention, yet kept an eye on all of them. Within four months, these fifth-grade children learned a lot. She does not neglect even the children who cannot speak. She has a very professional and motherly approach to each child. Teaching comes very natural for Luba!
Yura cannot speak but he understands some things about the computer. We saw him with big joy when he opened the correct window on the computer! The children express great joy when they complete a task on their own. The children express new feelings of self-confidence because of the computer lessons.
We have seen once again the great importance of your investment in the educational programs of MUCH! Thank you very much! God bless you!
Living my dream,
Continue along with the MUCH team as we help a minimum of sixteen children a month with massage therapy, two transportation scholarship students, projects related to education in a village school near Dobromel, and providing clothing for about eighty children per year in Marganets.
Blessings of love and healing,
Mark and Sveta