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The Beach

August 21, 2011

It’s been a week and half now since the kids left and my well-intentioned plan to update the blog after each event was abandoned after just a few days. So let me bring you up to speed on all we did during the three weeks.

Beach Day
Two days after the shopping day, we met at Richmond Beach in Edmonds and enjoyed marvelous weather and a chance to get to know one another a bit better. Beryl Moon coordinated the event and I’m so glad she did. The setting could not have been more perfect- a saltwater beach with lots of room to roam and explore. Right away, the main attraction became the hundreds of little crabs crawling in an among the rocks on the shore. Each of the orphans was given a pail and shovel, intended for sand castles, but instead they were mostly used to collect dozens upon dozens of crabs. Nadia told me she planned to take hers ‘home’ with her, and looked rather disappointed when I explained that her host parent, Laurie, was not likely to agree. I was right. We enjoyed sack lunches under the shelter on the beach and I listened and watched as the kids shared the contents of their ‘family’s’ lunch with one another. “Look at this sandwhich!,” Yulia exclaimed with so much enthusiasm, as she peeled back the bread to reveal to her friend all the layers of meat, cheese, lettuce and more. Little Vasya, meanwhile, sloshed back another yogurt smoothy and continued to eat for what seemed like half an hour straight. Then back onto the beach where the kids eventually decided to brave the frigid Puget Sound waters. I’ve never met a Ukrainian orphan that wouldn’t jump at the chance to go swimming, and these kids were no different, although the temperature of the water deterred them from swimming for very long. I enjoyed watching Marianna, the oldest, come out of her shell as she joined in with jumprope and beach ball games. We also discovered that she really enjoys being around young children, and seems to have a natural way with them. All in all, a really great, unforgettable day at the beach!

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