Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - Another cold, rainy day but another fun day with the boys. We met Natalie with the boys at McDonalds (all buses go by the McDonald's in Sumy -- seriously) and walked over to the Post Office to get pictures for their passports. All of the pictures came out really nice. Artem and Sasha saw one of their friends from the orphanage on the street. We assume he graduated and hope he is doing fine.
We then treated the boys to yet another fine meal at McDonald's. They must be getting bolder
with us because both Sasha and Austin Milne ordered Chicken wraps, double hamburgers, fries and a drink. Then, when they went back for Ice Cream Sundaes, they both ordered another hamburger as well as the Ice Cream. These boys can eat!!! We're used to our girls eating very little most of the time. Arri figures she's going to have to get good at preparing filler foods like pastas, potatoes, breads, etc. just to keep them full after a meal.
We had some time to kill before taking them back to the school so we walked through their mall. They have nice things in their stores but just a very "maze" type atmosphere. Then it was back on our favorite mode of transportation (buses!) back to the school.
We arrived at the school around 3:00pm so we went into the dormitory waiting room (T.V. room) and watched women's sand volleyball until the boys showed up with their wonderful teachers Maria and Sergei (the music teacher).
They performed a really nice concert singing several classical Ukrainian folk songs and a song they learned at camp when they were younger. Not all of the boys sang so we assumed that singing or playing an instrument is by choice. Sasha plays the flute and sings where Artem does neither.
Maria kicked off the meeting handing out some of the pictures and writings of the boys when they were in first grade. Logan said he wanted to be an airplane when he grows up. The boys were embarrassed but you could feel how much Maria cared for them. She's been their Mother for so many years.
She went on about how the boys will really be missed when we leave but that she is very happy for them because they will have a family. She told the boys to repay "these good people who traveled from the other side of the world" by caring for us and being good. It was very hard to hear her talk as if it's a Mother giving up her children for something she knows is better for them. She told them to please come back and if the school is no longer there, to come stay at her house. It's going to be extremely hard to say good-bye when we leave.
Afterwards, Sergei opened up the gym again and he ref'd a game of basketball. It was the Americans and Artem against Sasha, Austin, Logan, Artem Milne and Sergei's son Bogden (I think that was his name). It was fun and again, we were worn out. I believe that Lucinda was once again our high scorer!
Artem and Sasha got mad at each other during the game and Artem was very upset afterwards. Arri and I can tell that it's something we're going to have to work with and watch over the years.
By the way, we heard from Julie Hatch. They're traveling to Russia during this 10 day period and they couldn't get back over the Russian border so today they made it to Warsaw, Poland and hope to be back in Ukraine tomorrow. I'm sure they'll have a few stories!