In preparation for our presentation to the children this evening, Dan was finally able to assemble the 10 new bikes that we brought for the children at the Chausy Orphanage. He did this with the help of two of the students that he trained last spring when we delivered 15 bicycles. Here is Dan with Vlad and Nikita putting the finishing touches on a bike.
I took the opportunity today to do some more shopping with another of the children, Svetlana. Afterwards we went out for some pizza and ice cream. This was a great time for both Svetlana and myself. Svetlana has been at the orphanage for many years now. When she was younger she was suffering from leukemia, but thanks to a bone marrow transplant donated by her sister (who also lives at the orphanage) she has been quite healthy. Unfortunately, like Kristina, she lives full time at the orphanage so this type of excursion was brand new to her as well.
Tonight we presented the children at the orphanage with their new yearbook. The book is a joint project of a team of five Belarussian students and ten Canadian students from Smith Falls District High School under the direction of Kristi Pedersen. Stephen MacKinnon co-ordinated the bi-country teamwork. Kristina, the Belarussian student yearbook editor prepared her first Powerpoint presentation for the occasion. The students cheered and laughed as the pages of their yearbooks appeared on the screen. Here are Kristina and Stephen during the presentation.
Here is Stephen with his team of 5 students at the orphanage.
The Canadians presented yearbooks to each of the children. The students poured over the many photos in their yearbooks.
It was amazing to watch all of them sitting quietly enjoying every page.
Of course finding those special pictures of themselves and their friends was a real highlight.
Here they are, all holding their yearbooks in the air!
Presentations were also made of the bicycles as well as camping gear. We brought tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, rain ponchos, waterproof knapsacks, flashlights and camp kitchenware. Here is Dave sitting with the display we set up.
There was a lot of excitement when the children were presented with a unicycle by Dan and he promised to spend time with the kids who want to learn to ride it.
The evening ended with a flurry of autograph signing in the yearbooks. The Canadians were mobbed by the children for their signatures.
What a great evening and what a great bunch of kids!