Crisis Center Update and More Fun with the Kids!

Things are starting to wrap up quickly here.  Five more Canadians will leave by midnight tonight and a few more tomorrow.  In the meantime there are lot’s of loose ends to tie up.  Several of us met this morning at the site of the “Dream Mountains Crisis Center for Women and Children” to check on the progress being made there.  This is the building in which the center will be located.  It already houses the office of the local Social Services group so that psychologists and other staff will be available.  It is being created similar to an Interval House concept and will be the first of it’s kind in the Republic of Belarus.

The entrance is the blue door that Dave is standing in and the space includes the one window to the left and three to the right as well as the five corresponding windows on the opposite side of the building.

The contractors have divided up the space into the necessary rooms and have completed the dry-walling.  This is the front living area with nice large windows to let in the light.

The back section is broken up into 3 bedrooms and a kitchen with a laundry room at the front.  We also picked colour and materials for flooring as well as met to discuss the cabinets and furniture for the kitchen.  We are hoping to have the official opening in September when Dave returns.

Several of the Canadians went back to the office that we were helping to clean and repair for the invalid adult organization and put a couple of coats of paint on the walls.  It might not have been my first choice of colour, but you can certainly see how it will clean up the space and make it clean and bright.

Dan and I spent about 4 hours this afternoon with the kids at the orphanage and in spite of the cold and the rain we had a great time.  Most of the kids were out and trying out the activities that we left with them.  Dan was helping them learn how to ride the unicycle.  This is something that takes a lot of time and practice and several of these kids were working really hard at it.

Lot’s of failed attempts but no one has gotten hurt as mostly it just shoots out from under the rider and leaves them standing.

We took it back to the hockey rink to allow them to hold onto the net to try to get started and get the feel of it.

Pat Yuille and a friend built 4 sets of a game called “washers” and shipped them over in the containers.  Today the kids brought them out and took turns playing games.

Of course we put up the “Slack-line” and there was a constant stream of kids lined up for a turn.  Even the girls got involved and tried it out this time.

The kids really seemed to connect with Dan and he had a large group around him at all times, even though he doesn’t speak Russian, they managed to get along just fine!

Getting ready to say goodbye to some of the Canadians and then off to Mogilev in the morning to try to finish up delivering the family parcels with Jon Schuler.

Eric McKenzie