Victory Day with Alex in Lugansk

Today we went to a war memorial to celebrate Victory Day.  The orphanage director Yevgen chartered a bus and took probably 25-30 kids, along with 10 or so staff, and then another 10 or so other adults showed up when we arrived.  It was about an hour away and we spent the whole day in this place together eating and playing and remembering.

I was told that we were going to a museum, and that Alex was part of a concert.  So I was surprised when we got off the bus to find what we commonly call a state park or memorial park.  There were trails and hills and places to make a fire and cook...and so we did.  Wish I had known.  All the walking that we had done the last few days left me with blisters, so I was thinking that a casual stroll through a museum wouldn't require anything more than my flip-flops.  I managed well enough, even scaling a fairly steep, rock covered hill with Alex and Dima to get a view from the top.

They fed the kiddos (and themselves - but only after all the kids had eaten) a fantastic grilled pork chop, soup, bread, salad, pickles, cheese, and apple juice meal.  The kids all played great together and really enjoyed being out on the trails and seeing everything.  There were many stone monuments with names marked on them.  The children enjoyed my attempts at pronunciations - but I figure any adults that heard me butcher their memoir shuttered.  The huts you see below were apparently the dwelling place of folks during war time as they defended and fought against the germans in WWII.  It was quite a place to see and such a special thing to be a part of, welcomed into the group for the day of celebration.  I am thankful to have been here and given the chance to see more of this beautiful place.

The children from the orphanage were part of a celebration ceremony where they each recited in turn some part of the story.  Alex and his best friend Andrey lead the group, it was a great end to the day.  The video below hopefully captures their performance - and we will keep as a memoir for him as well.




































to top it all off, a fireworks show right outside my apartment window this evening.  Fun.

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