Guardian Angel Family

Today I went with Neil Matheson to visit the family that a group from my work sponsors in the Guardian Angel Program. Leana is about 33 and was damaged during the birth process. She can walk slowly, is able to feed herself with help but otherwise is non-communicative and requires someone to change and toilet her. Fortunately her parents, Valentina and Lonya, are totally dedicated to her care and look after her in a very loving home. Since my visit last year she seems stronger and healthier. Valentina says that this is due to our help with vitamins and the money we left has allowed her to buy more fruit and vegetables. This is a true success story in this program.

In this picture you can see Valentina, Leana, Valentina’s daughter-in-law , her grand-daughter and Lonya.


Here they are with Valentina holding a picture of our group from Shorewood. They are very appreciative and she gave the picture a big kiss and said “spaseba balshoy” thank you very much!


Here Valentina is holding pictures of her two children when they were little, Leana is on the left.


This family is so appreciative of everything we have done for them. They begged us to stay for a cup of tea, although we had other stops to make it was impossible to say no. We agreed to stay for 5 minutes for “tea”. Within 30 seconds a table was set up and covered with food. Our driver referred to this as a Belarussian 5 minutes!


Since it was the day before Easter I was given a gift of a small loaf of Easter bread.


Valentina hugged and kissed us all the way out the door and asked us to come for a visit everytime we are in Belarus.

I cannot resist including this picture that I snapped at the orphanage shortly afterwards. This is Nikita, he is a cute little guy at the orphanage who is NEVER without his teddy bear. I have seen it while playing outside, while skating in Mogilev and absolutely anywhere you see him. Although it is extremely cute it is also a little distressing knowing that he needs it because of the instability he has had in his life.


In the evening I had one of our drivers and an interpreter take my family and I to Mogilev for dinner. It was a really nice Italian restaurant, we had Caesar Salad and Pizza with Gelato for dessert. It was nice to be able to have a conversation with my family with the help of our interpreter and not have to resort to charades and the English/Russian dictionary.

Here is Sveta, Sasha, Me and Natasha our interpreter. Our driver Valodya took the picture.


Tomorrow is Easter and Sveta’s Birthday and I have a funny feeling that I will eat even more than usual. I may have to buy some new clothes when I get back to Canada!