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Day 8

PictureToday was a very bittersweet day here in Russia.  The day was packed with fun and entertaining activities, good food, and amazing fellowship.  But today, Wednesday, was our final day at the orphanage.  We began our morning with the traditional orphanage breakfast of porridge and hard boiled eggs.  After breakfast, our group hosted the final drama performance and Lori and Donna presented their personal stories.  The house was packed full of attentive children for this, our final performance.  Following the presentations, the team put on another popular session of arts-and-crafts and games.  The students made many different crafts such as water globes, jewelry and impressive picture frames to frame their own personal photos with their American friends that we took and printed on site.

Our next adventure was the second “BOYS’ PARTY!”  Throughout the party, the boys pigged out on junk food and sodas while playing a question game.  The party took a strange turn when the boys and Norm, Jeff, and Jiawen began to discuss the detriments of social behaviors such as smoking and alcoholism.  All of the boys were amazingly involved in the conversation and it proved to be a very enriching experience for all.

The final highlight of the day was the talent show; what a spectacular!  The Russian students presented several singing and dancing acts and the Americans presented several comedy and dance acts, followed by a slide show allowing everybody to see the many photos we captured throughout the week.  After the show we spent the remainder of the evening spending personal time with the students as well as beginning our task at packing up all of our belongings and camp supplies.

To cap off the night with the kids, the team followed our nightly tradition of joining each family unit to wish them all a good night and give a hug to every single student.  Tonight’s round of good-nights was exceptionally emotional as we all, us and the kids, realized it would be our final good-night.  The week went by very fast and we will all surely miss one another.  Tomorrow morning we will wake, eat breakfast, present gifts to all the orphans and staff, say our goodbyes and head to Moscow for a day-and-a-half of culture.  Personally, I am not anticipating the morning, as it will be extremely difficult to say goodbye to all of the new people I began to know and to love.