Although it feels like just yesterday that the children arrived, in the blink of an eye the 6 weeks have gone! Tuesday morning our host families met to say goodbye to our “summer children”. Although the sun was beating down on the parking lot and there wasn’t a breath of air, no one seemed to be too hot to hold on tight or to prolong that hug just a little longer.
It is bitter-sweet for the children, as they say goodbye they are also starting the journey home to family and friends.
Although it seemed too short, it was still a great summer with lot’s of memories and good times. Of course the children not only take home memories but most importantly a boost to their immune system and a break from the radiation that they live in back home.
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Yesterday Tracy and Pat Yuille (seen below) held a BBQ for everyone at their home near Lansdowne.
They invited all members of Canadian Aid for Chernobyl because they wanted everyone to meet Tolik and Sveta who they had brought to Canada for a visit from Belarus. Tolik and Sveta host Pat and Tracy when they have traveled to Belarus with CAC and they wanted to return the favour. Here are Tolik and Sveta looking at pictures with Nadia Nielsen of Brockville.
The weather was perfect and everyone had a wonderful time. From the BBQ’d burgers and dogs right through to the campfire sing along!
The children from Belarus really enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time together. Being able to communicate easily is a luxury they don’t all have day to day! Here Ihar and Ivan enjoy a sunny visit.
Of course the adults all enjoy spending some leisure time with the kids as well.
I think some of the kids spent the whole time in the pool! No shortage of fun when there is water involved on a sunny day!
This is exactly why these children come to Canada … fresh air, healthy food and sunshine!
Our summer with the children is off to a great start, and thanks to Tracy & Pat we got to enjoy some of it together. Thanks for the great hospitality!
The day seemed to take forever to arrive, but last night at 11:30 the children landed in Ottawa! It was wonderful to see them coming down the escalator, so wonderful that I forgot to get a picture as they smiled and waved to us. Here is one with the tired kids watching the conveyor belt for their luggage. Just like the “watched pot” a watched conveyor never seems to deliver the right suitcase!
The good news is that the trip went right on schedule with no delays and no lost luggage … it may be a first. We loaded the children up into a series of mini-vans and headed for Brockville where the host families were anxiously waiting. No one seemed to mind that it was the middle of the night. Here Vika, who now lives and works in Canada, is reunited with her little sister Vlada. Can you detect a slight family resemblance?
Some of the families have hosted for many years, here Pat & Tracy Yuille greet Ira who has been coming to their home for 7 years.
Of course we have new host families as well. Here the Arts family spends some time getting to know Hanna with the help of one of our interpreters, Marina.
Despite the heat it looks like it is going to be a great summer!