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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
All in all a great visit enjoyed by all.