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Day 11

PictureSome of us learned this morning that Sponge Bob’s best friend is Patrick.  Sponge Bob had a birthday yesterday and guess what - Patrick’s (our Patrick) BIRTHDAY is today. At breakfast we all sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY and presented Patrick with the now Patrick balloon which went with us on the bus to Rybnoe. 
                                       
PictureOrphanage Director Valery Protasov greeted us when we arrived and several children eagerly helped us lug supplies into the orphanage.  Due to the support of MPPC over many years, Rybnoe is one of the most progressive orphanages in Russia.  Valery gave us a tour of the orphanage, and we met many of the staff and caregivers.  Valery has worked very hard to access other sources of funding as well, so that the children's living areas have been remodeled, and they are well clothed and fed.  However, these 120 children, ranging in age from 3 to 19, still have deep emotional needs that are being addressed.  The two psychologists, Oleg and Alla, were eager to hear of our methods of working with children.  A psychologist working with orphans typically has a college education, and provides case management as well as counseling and assessment of children.

PictureWe were able to work with about 60 children, using art therapy and fun therapeutic directives to help them identify and express emotions safely and appropriately.  Each left the room with a journal book, which they can use to draw and write their personal feelings and experiences.  The children responded well to this experience.  We left many art supplies at the orphanage, which the psychologists were very happy to receive.

We were able to work with about 60 children, using art therapy and fun therapeutic directives to help them identify and express emotions safely and appropriately.  Each left the room with a journal book, which they can use to draw and write their personal feelings and experiences.  The children responded well to this experience.  We left many art supplies at the orphanage, which the psychologists were very happy to receive.

PictureElen, the discipler at Rybnoe, was thrilled to get our packet of letters to the kids.  She planned to translate all the letters and get them to the kids before they left for summer camps on June 1.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the supplies for this trip!  We left a mound of supplies:  markers, cute stickers, glue, scissors, yarn and other items.