Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Belarussian Odyssey Part V: Monday July 11th

An intorduction: This is CBETA (Svyeta), whom I mentioned in yesterday's entry as the girl who got the Bible my daughter sent over.

I woke up this morning and hung out with the kids. It was very similar to my experience working at The Pathway School as a counselor, except the kids there speak English. This experience, along with teaching special education, served me very well during my stay at the orphanage. We then went to a large room for Make a T-shirt with a Kid Day. I made a t-shirt with Spiderman on it and the kids thought it was awesome. As soon as the others saw it, they all started asking me to make Speederman! (How they pronounce Spiderman) t-shirt designs on theirs. I must have made about 40 t-shirts. It was a lot of fun, but I’m nowhere near ready to make a career of it.

Hanging out, I got to spend more time with Николай (student). We talked about many things: clothes, colors, soccer, anatomy…you name it. I would tell him the English name and he would tell me the Russian/Belarussian equivalent. Елена (student, on the right with her teacher) came and sat with us while we talked. She was naturally intrigued. It occurred to me that she is not as hard as she seems, or as hard as, perhaps, she has to seem. I like her because she has spirit.

Now, her friend Люда is truly a hard case. When we made balloon animals with the kids, she took some from the kids, even smaller kids, and stomped on them. At one point, she took a kids sandal and threw it over a fence. Surprisingly, when Brad and I told her to go get it, she did. I see her as a kid who needs a lot more attention than she is getting, so she gets it by being mean to the kids and yelling at them.

Brad just came back to the room and was talking about faith in Belarus. Brad made a statement that I have confidently added to my List of Sentences that Have Never Been Uttered in Human History: “This is the way they do it in Belarus and it’s so much better than how we do it.”

I also got to take my first shower since arriving here. It felt sooooooo good! I don’t even know how much I wanted one. We had tried to take one yesterday, but the showers were all locked up. We even tried to go down to the women’s area last night, but there was a large, angry Belarussian shotputter/night guard who looked at us sternly and kept tapping the face of her watch. Obviously, it was too late…Obviously, she was unhappy. We decided to give up on the dream of a shower for the night.

We did find some open sinks next to the kitchen, so we at least shaved. Cold water, a slim mirror, and flashlights…quite an international experience. Walking back to the rooms, I offered the quote of the day: “Man, it’s so bad, I don’t even remember the last country I showered in.” Hot water never felt as good as it did the next morning when we finally got to shower.

By the way: dinner tonight was an absolute revelation. Sure, there was the obligatory tomatoes and cucumbers with dill (it must come with EVERY meal), but the coup de’ grace was meat-and-vegetable stuffed cabbages. Absolutely wonderful. I went back to the kitchen to thank the cooks personally. They looked at me at first as if to say, “Why are you here?” but lightened up (just a smidge) when I said, “Большой Спасиба!” I think my accent might have been a little better, too…


The Spaniard said...

Ahhhh Cveta... perhaps the sweatest and most gentle person i know on on this earth...next to Mrs. Morgan.

Cveta is the absolute picture of contentment - yet she lives in an environment that lacks every basic need that we have come to believe we need...I van't imagine her wasting one minute of any of her days worrying about anything!

She personifies Luke 12:22-34

22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The Spaniard said...

BTW - what happened to Part V ????

FishrCutB8 said...

Sveta is truly a child of God. Re: Part V--This is it...it was a typo.