Daily Archives: March 29, 2007

Hockey Night in Belarus!

We got to attend a Hockey game in Mogilev with the children still left at the orphanage during March break. We took about 25 in total.

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It was amazing to see how the children respond to Vitalli, the Orphanage Director. As we walked up to the Ice Palace the kids were holding his hands, obviously he really connects with the kids.

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These little guys were so excited to get to go.

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This little guy named Zhenya is just the most affectionate kid. He loves when the Canadians come by and especially when we play games with him. Jennifer Hopson gave him a new frisbee that he carries everywhere. The children were each given a bottle of Coke and an bag of chips … this was exciting stuff!

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It was a junior tournament and although the Belarussian goalie was excellent they still lost 16 -1 to a team from Siberia in Russia. They were like a well oiled team that just overwhelmed the Bellarussian team.

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I saw some members of the Belarussian team outside in the parking lot and they were laughing and playing around … obviously not too distressed with the loss!

The kids from the Orphanage had a blast and I’m sure were all playing hockey in their dreams later that night.

Eric

Sasha Update

Many of my friends and colleagues take their spring vacations in the sunny south at all-inclusive resorts with sun-drenched beaches and swim up bars. What they haven’t yet realized is that for a little more money they too could spend that time in a radiation contaminated region of Belarus with mud-drenched roads and subsidized vodka! They may not get home with sun darkened skin but the warm afterglow from heartfelt appreciation will last long after a tan has faded away.

A group of us went to visit Sasha today at his home on the collective farm at Golacheva, a small town near Chausy, population 60. Sasha is the 12 year old boy that Canadian Aid for Chernobyl and the Shriners brought to Canada for treatment of his severe brittle bone disease.

The road to Sasha’s house is very rough and in previous years was impassable due to the mud. The early spring has dried everything up and we are able to drive right to his house.

I promise to post a more comprehensive report, including video, once I am home but for now let me whet your appetite with a few pictures.

Although Sasha was not feeling well due to a sore throat and cold, he was very happy to see us and it wasn’t long before Dave Shaw coaxed one of his famous laughs out of him. Here he is looking through a photo album of his trip to Canada that we brought with us. His Mom, Lena is on the left and his neice Dasha is on the right.

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In this picture he is wearing his pilot hat and flipping through a picture book on airplanes that we also brought. Behind him you can see a small TV that has his new Playstation that Dave had brought him earlier. Much to his delight, Dave brought him a few more games.

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This is a picture of a basket that his father made using wire and plastic strapping used in industry to wrap pallets etc. Sasha’s dad was very busy working preparing the garden but he never stopped thanking us for everything that has been done for his son. He is a terrific, hard working dad!

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Here is a shot of Sasha’s father and uncle taking a short break and showing us around the garden and barnyard. They have a very clean barn with a cow, 2 calves, 2 pigs as well as chickens and turkeys.

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This is Sasha’s horse that is used around the barnyard and garden. It is an excellent horse that stood quietly waiting while we talked.

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All in all a great visit enjoyed by all.

Eric

Tractor Stuff!

Today began very early as we had to be at the orphanage by 7:00 AM to see the new parts for the tractor arrive from Minsk and be unloaded. Here is a short video:

April 11/07 Note – now that I am home I have managed to upload this video and it should play fine!

Eric

PS: It was a very painful process so I think I will stick to still pictures till I get home!

If you can’t see the video you need Flash Player 8, click here to get it. Reboot your computer once it is installed