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Day7

PictureThe adventure continues. As mentioned yesterday, we were involved in some sports competitions with the children and I am experiencing the pain of it today. I have to say that trying to compete against 10 year olds in your 40’s is not recommended -- the things we do in the name of love!
Our morning was full of games, crafts and a rehearsal for the talent show tomorrow. During the craft time the children came alive with the variety of activities and team members to interact with. I really enjoyed watching one of our translators engage in a little soccer match and conversation with an older boy in the hallway. Moments like this stay in your memory of camp upon our return to the US.

Picture The staff must have known that we would need some relaxation at this point in the camp so they had prepared for us an amazing trip to the sauna. The women went with the orphanage Doctor and the director of the Nadezhda Center (the graduate center in Ryazan) where we enjoyed extreme heat (110 degree C) followed by plunging into a very cold tub. The highlight of the sauna time was the home made body scrub made with honey and coffee grounds. I have to say my skin is very smooth and my body is relaxed.

Upon returning from the women’s sauna the men headed out with a few staff members to have a sauna and the women mustered the energy, not from their own might, to set up and spend an hour playing games with the children. The excitement of the children gave us a “second wind” of energy, love, and delight. PictureThe children enjoyed reading the cards sent by students at the school I work at in the US. A few even asked to write notes back to the children in America. I was given the opportunity to have some quality conversations with the teachers about my church back home and the love that we bring to the children. We agreed that we all bring love to the children in the same way.

A lasting memory I have is a beautiful arrangement of flowers made from pipe cleaners by one of the lovely teenage girls. This is as a great reminder of the unique abilities and generosity of the children. We think we come here to serve the children and what ends up happening is they serve us and change our lives.