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Day 2

Hello from Russia!  This is our third day at Ribnoe Orphanage.  It was a very challenging day of bitter cold, coupled with various relay competitions.  The physical activities helped to warm us as the oldsters and the youngsters competed for top honors in the on site gymnasium.  We Americans consider minus 14 degrees a tad cold, so we were huddled around the breakfast table fully adorned in our down jackets, winter hats and chattering teeth. The question of the day soon became,  “How many Americans can you pile on top of a 18" space heater at one time?” 

We finished our competition and broke for lunch…. Yes, you guessed right…borscht for lunch with brown bread, sausage and cheese.  Delicious!  We have been enjoying Russian soups everyday at lunch.  They are warming, filling and wonderful.  After lunch we assembled for board games such as UNO, Snakes and Ladders, Checkers, etc.  It sure is fun being a kid again! Our little ones are loving and warm and huggable.  They are very open to our plentiful invitations for love and affection.

After our lunch, some of us retired to a family room in order to practice our given parts in a play entitled "|You Are Special",  a book written by Max Lucado.  Our main characters were to be portrayed by Julie, Jeff and John.

Later, after our daily break for snacks, we all poured into the crafts room and began a creative expedition into the worlds of beadwork, paints and coloring.  Many of us exchanged our newly produced goods with one another, took pictures and thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of creative fun.

Soon we were called to dinner, and turning once again, we marched through the icy halls of Ribnoe and into an even icier dining hall.  In the hall we were met with hot tea, bowls of bulgar and chicken, plates of sliced sausage and cheese, bowls of apples and a platter of  pastries. Please note that if you have never experienced Russian Ketchup you are missing out on a wonderful experience!  Even though  it pours  at about the same snail's pace as our American brands, it is far superior in both flavor and texture.  That's a Da  to Russian Ketchup and a Neyt to Heinz 57 Varieties.

After dinner many of the older children went out into the neighborhood to go Christmas Caroling.  While the majority were gone, we performed our skit for the younger crowd of about 15 - 20 children.  Once questioned the children were able to successfully identify the character of Jesus as the carpenter in the story.  They agreed that they enjoyed it and would like to have us perform the play again some time. Next we were all led by Jennifer through a great game of "Simon Says" and "Four Corners". 

Evening prayers in each family room was next on the agenda.  We visited each room, took turns leading the prayers and gave cherished hugs good night to one and all. The end of the day came with a light hearted de-briefing in the men's family room.  We were all very giddy and laughing and filled with joy over the awakening joy in the children as they turn to us for  love and affection.  We all agreed that the children are welcoming us into their little lives, and that they really enjoy having us in Ribnoe for their holiday. We closed in prayer and gratitude for the blessings of the day.

Good night to you all....we will all sleep tight, and not let the bed-bugs bite! Let's see what tomorrow holds in store.....