On our way to Anna’s apartment this morning Dave and I bumped into Svetlana and her daughter Oxana. 7 or 8 years ago, with help from Don and Shirley Green we were able to send Oxana to Moscow for life saving surgery to remove a brain tumour. Thanks to the Greens, Oxana is alive and healthy today. It was great to run into them and see how well Oxana is doing.
At Anna’s apartment the boys wasted no time in getting to work. Although we already have several local tradesmen working, some of our delegates wanted to help. Here Jon, Dan and Colin are working on dry-walling the ceiling in the hallway. They will also be installing composite flooring in the living room and bedroom.
We also had some of our musicians arrive late last night. Here David, Chris and Chad check out the music room at the Chausy Orphanage where David and Chad will be giving guitar and drum lessons over the next week. This is an exciting initiative to help take the music program to the next level.
We were given an impromptu concert by Artyom and Kristina.
and the Canadians were very appreciative!
While we are waiting for our containers to arrive, some of the first time delegates took the opportunity to go on a tour of the region which included a portion of the exclusion zone. This is the area that no one can live in because the radiation levels are too high. Most of the buildings have been torn down and buried but there are still a few left.
Here a radiation warning sign sits behind a plaque that marks the location of a village before the Chernobyl disaster. The plaque states that this was the location of a village called Choodyani where 137 families totaling 323 people once lived.
This next picture is of a memorial to a series of villages that were all closed, buried and the families moved to another region due to Chernobyl.
Of course the visit is not too long as the radiation levels in this area are high. It is hard to describe the feeling you get when traveling through a region that is often referred to as the “dead zone”, but it is definitely a sober reminder as to why we are here!