||June 5th, 2008|
This is one of an occasional series of columns from Desiree,
serving an orphanage in the Republic of Uzbekistan, (formerly part of the USSR).
Summer showers are refreshing and this desert ground floods easily, but within minutes after the rain, the water is gone and our yard riddled with various fruits (mostly apricots) that have floated their way down. Thankfully, most of our cherries had been already picked, as I have had the pleasure of making my own cherry and strawberry jams.
Umida had a meet last week and came in 2nd place, racing against only boys aged 12-13. She has another meet tomorrow at a longer distance and now that she has tasted victory, she has her sights on a 1st place finish. Her new coach, I have not met, but U likes him and he spends more time focused on her than the old coach. At the end of the month, she hopes to swim 1500 m and hopes to learn how to flip turn at the wall.
The Q (orphanage) is gearing up for a big event and everyone is still on edge. I am not certain what the event is all about or who will be the invited guests. Yesterday, we played outside mostly. One girl, “O”, has very good eye hand coordination, despite her lazy eye. She can play catch with a medium-sized ball and with considerate aim. “M”, who has limited use of his hands and legs, has learned to swing using his stomach muscles and torso as the pushing weight. I stood in amazement at his new found ability and he begged me to take his picture.
One of my neighbors has decided that I will teach her English. I am thankful for her company, but time-wise, I am so maxed out that I only acquiesced until June. I have been helping her translate some of her research for a conference she has been invited to attend. To my great shock, one of the organizations involved with the conference has “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in the title – at least that’s the way I understood it. I am hoping she brings the document again, so that I can see if that’s what it really stated.
Another shocker is that the national television has been broadcasting a program about dangerous people. I have not seen the program myself, as we do not have television, but supposedly it shows Satan worshippers, evangelical churches, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Hari Krishna’s as working in this country and brain washing its people. The program warns parents to keep their children away from such “sects” adding that the churches are using psychedelic drugs to attract people and showed a picture of vitamins (Kirkland brand) that the churches are passing out to contaminate minds. It even stated that funding for most of this alleged radical activity is coming from California. Who knew?
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