01 August, 2012
Last night we took the 21:00 train to region, arriving this morning at 07:00. Just in case any of you decide to do the same in the future you should know that the AC does NOT work when the train is not moving! Once the train did get going, the AC was kicki’n! Not to worry though, there were hot tea and wafer cookies available on the train. Immediately after arrival we met our facilitator Luda, a great personal friend of ours, at the station and were whisked off to drop our things at the apartment where we will be staying. After getting our permission request notarized we finally went to the orphanage. I must say that it is one of the better ones I have seen, but the DS kids are still confined in an area separate from the others. After a brief interview with the director they brought in our kids. Jessica (RR name Bernadette) is just an incredibly happy, bubbly 15 year old who unfortunately, due to nutrition challenges, is the size of a typical 9 YO. We brought her a singing Barbie doll that she was really happy with until, that is, we gave her the photo album of the rest of the kids. She spent most of the next hour flipping through the pages, pointing to each of the kids, and kissing the pictures. Caleb (RR name Mason) was initially very sedate and not very interactive. He is the size of a small 4 YO. After a few minutes of interaction he started to be more playful and actually played a bit with the toy truck we brought him. Both have the normal institutional delays complicated by the DS but as we have seen with Malachi and Clare, those can definitely be overcome. The Director and the staff members that we met all seem to be caring professionals, which is not what we were told to expect. Starting tomorrow we get to visit every day from 10:00 to 12:00.