"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything,
but I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do."

~ Helen Keller

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 3 - The Gift

Today was a pretty quiet day, but as anticipated, the time seems to go by pretty fast though. Much different from yesterday, the weather was not real suitable for outside play. It had been raining all morning and on the way to the orphanage, it started to snow. When I got there everybody was already inside and Vova came out to greet me. I could tell he was waiting for me. Later he asked when we would be leaving on Tuesday, so I think he's counting down the days too.

Anyway, when we got inside, many of the boys were watching the movie that I took yesterday, and so we all sat together watching the move while some passed around the DS. I took a few pictures, and Vova took the bags of chips I brought to the community stash. Everybody seemed happy, but they were all really quiet. One boy, I noticed kept asking to see the camera. I had some issues with it yesterday, so I said he could, as long as I could watch him. While watching him I noticed that he really lit up when he found pictures or videos of himself. This was astonishing. I know that I have always heard before that people are generally interested in themselves, but this felt different. Here, the kids don't really get any special attention. They don't have mom's and dad's going to their school plays to take pictures and videos. They don't have class photos where they can save pictures of themselves and their friends. So watching him view himself on the camera said two things: we care enough about him to take his picture and he knows we will remember each other.

Another very interesting thing happen just as quiet time was starting. There was a little exchange between Vova and myself, he left the room, and then the primary custodian came into the room with a gift: a smoked fish. Yes is sounds very strange to our westernized brains, but this was a very large token of gratification. Fish are a big deal here and many times they use fish as foods for celebration. I tried to explain that I didn't have a kitchen or even a knife and fork to eat it with, but she insisted that I take it. Now, throughout all of this experience the custodians have been very nice and helpful. Their English is very thin so we haven't had the longest of conversations, but either way I feel as though there has been this mutual respect between us. I believe that her giving me this gift today was her way of showing this.

So 3 days left, thanks again for following the saga.


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