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Sunday (Kelly)

Sunday (Kelly)
Kelly - Sun Jul 18, 2010 @ 04:33AM
Comments: 2

Greetings from Rivne, Ukraine.  Trip 2010 is off to a good start.  We have a small team this year, with a couple people unable to travel at the last minute due to family emergencies; however, everyone made it safely.  One poor team member traveled from Dulles to Munich with some of us, only for all of us to find out that she had a different flight to Kiev and it left 7 hours after ours.  Fortunately she made it safely and was escorted through the aiport quickly and put in a cab to our hotel directly.  The entire team convened in Rivne on Saturday afternoon.

One of our board members, Allen, was married in Rivne on Saturday.  He met Olga, one of our translators a few years ago, and they held their civil ceremony yesterday.  In a couple weeks, Rusty, from New Hope, who married Daniel and I, will travel to Odessa, Ukraine and officiate their formal church ceremony.  In Ukraine, the church and state don't recognize each other.  You have to hold the civil ceremony in order for a marriage to be official.  The reception was held at Olga's sister's house and we had a fantastic Ukrainian backyard BBQ.  It was a truly unique experience.

Today, a small group of us met with a mother, Lena, about her son Nikita.  Nikita has Down syndrome and is now 17 years old.  A couple years ago, when we first held the Pahinets Day Camp, Nikita arrived for camp; however, Nikita has never been to school.  When Pahinets was founded he was too old to attend and there is still no school that provides services for a child his age.  Some of you may remember that he struggled a bit at camp.  He wasn't used to being around so many people and participating in a school routine; this resulted in some aggressive behaviors presenting themselves.  Two volunteers that year worked one-on-one with Nikita and had remarkable results by the end of the week.  Lena has searched for help/training/education for her son and has had no luck.  A man that had heard about USNOF, put Lena back in touch with us, trying to get her some support.  We had a wonderfully informative conversation over lunch.  We were able to learn more about Nikita's stengths, needs, likes, and discuss the vision for his future.

We've asked to meet with him on Wednesday afternoon to glean some more information and see how USNOF might be able to best help him.

The conference at the OMNI center starts tomorrow.  We'll be presenting Monday through Wednesday and a couple presenters will be holding private consultation sessions with the educators and therapists throughout the week.  More details to follow  We pray that it all goes smoothly and that our time will be used effectively and efficiently. 

It's uncomfortably warm here and we're all still adjusting to the seven hour time change, but overall we're all doing well and excited to get started.  The leisurely start to our trip this year has been very beneficial to adjusting and getting acclimated.  Hopefully it will help give us the strength to get through the week with high energy and good health.

Comments: 2


1. Sherry Deane   |   Tue Jul 20, 2010 @ 01:29AM

It is good to hear that Nikita is doing well and that his Mother is still trying to get help for him. I was on the trip when he came to Pahinets for the first time. He was frightened, not understanding what was happending. He had a wonderful smile.

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