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Day 5

Time is moving quickly at the Ministry Center.

We began the day like many others…but at this point we are basically picking up with the orphanage graduates where we left off the day before.   They are becoming like friends to us, we are joking around and exchanging hugs with some.  The mornings are generally filled with quality time and games.  It is interesting that when we do the orphanage camps, the older kids who are near the age of graduation generally shy away from the crafts and games.  But when we do similar activities that are geared only towards graduates, they are intensely involved!

One of the best parts about this camp is having the opportunity to eat lunch with the graduates everyday.  You learn so much chatting with the graduates over Russian borscht, about their lives and goals.   The Russian and American teenagers jokingly lobbed snowballs at each other during the walk back.

As the day went on, we decided to do an early Christmas celebration for the kids (Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th).  The members of our teams worked hard in the kitchen for hours in order to churn out plates and plates of food for the graduates to eat. The teenagers from the Mariners Team spent quite some time frying up bleanies (imagine a French crepe with Slavic influence).  Needless to say, they did not last very long.

The food was followed by a singing of a traditional Russian Christmas song about a tree in a forest. Everybody of all ages joined hands and walked around the Ministry Center together to celebrate the holiday.