‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Russian Christmas Feast is ON!

If you're up about 2am eastern standard time tonight, and you bend your ear towards southern Siberia, you might just catch the joyful chatter of the kids from Orphanage #5 sitting around their little wobbly dinner tables, laughing and feasting on turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots, bread with butter (a real treat for them), lots of fresh fruit, pies and cakes, honest-to-goodness juice instead of tea, and sweets..all kinds of sweets:)

Yesterday morning I had gotten the news from Vanya, of my earlier post, that the staff never received the money I sent and that there would be no dinner. I should have guessed that relying on a teenage boy for accurate news of an important financial transaction was bound to be a wrong. But I just panicked. I called Western Union, and after an eon of being on hold, I learned it was indeed picked up a few days ago by the person I sent it to. {Sigh of relief.}

I had never heard back from the orphanage staff after sending them the code on December 20th. I had also sent a list of things I expected them to make for the dinner, and specifics on what to do if there were any money left over. (Buy sweets for the staff for pulling off the dinner. They have to work extra hours for free to pull it off) So, I was worried and fairly stressed for a few days, wondering what had happened.

Natasha, the bearer of the good news:)
Cue helpful contact with one of the older girls via russian facebook. Natasha saw me online and wished me a Happy Christmas, so I was able to live chat with her and ask a bundle of questions. (Natasha is also one of the top students at the local school, so it's safe to say she might be a bit more reliable than Vanya..lol.) She explained that there is a problem, still, with the internet. She said they were able to read and print out my emails from Dec 20th, but then the internet 'froze' again and they've had no access since. She also told me that the assistant director received the money, AND she told me that they were already setting up the tables and doing preliminary prep work in the kitchen! Turns out that they will hold the dinner tomorrow (tonight to us here in the US) because some of the kids go home to relatives or friends for the holiday weekend. Having the dinner tomorrow (tonight at 2am!) assures that most of the children will be present.

I have no idea when they'll be able to email photos to me since the internet is such a problem, but I asked Natasha to report back to me about how it went as soon as she can. She is going to stay at a friend's for the holiday weekend, so she said she'd likely write me on Monday.

Wish I had photos to share! Well, I guess I could post a few of the kitchen. Not a very big space to cook for 100 plus, but it seems to work for them! Will post details of the feast as soon as I can!

С Рождеством, дорогие мои!

The stove at the orphanage.
Nastia and the cook's daughter helping to cook last winter.
(Nastia's eyes are closed, but I promise she was awake.)

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