Friday, January 15, 2010

The Orphans of Belarus Videos & Interesting Observations!

The videos above were taken by Ihar. He loves electronics like kids everywhere. His job while we visited the orphanages was to take pictures and videos!

Some things I found interesting while in the land of Belarus:

We took the Atroshkin family shopping again at the Hippo Store. They asked me if I had Belarussian money or did I have the "plastic card" (which I used last year and they found fascinating). We bought 4 boxes of cereal this year and milk along with chips and cokes. So for breakfast the next morning we got cereal (much to my delight). But I didn't relize they heated up the milk they used to put in our cereal. So we had cocoa puffs with hot milk. A little strange but maybe some of you do this here?!

Belarus used to be the Industrial part of the Greater Soviet Republic, so practically everything was and is made in Belarus. Because Belarus is so small, they don't need most of the factories as they operate on a much smaller scale. There are no natural resources in Belarus so all oil, etc. must come from Russia. There are huge pipe lines that run across the crounty that bring it in.

When they cook, they cook very large portions and you eat it until it runs out. They do not have specific food for b'fast, lunch and supper. So you may have mashed potatos and pickles or you also may have "porridge" for b'fast (which we had both). I like mashed potatos and pickles!

They don't have enough refrigerator space, so all leftovers stay on their serving plates and get put out on the balcony. It's cold enough so this works, they just don't use foil or plastic wrap to cover it up.

Belarus lost half of it's population in WWII.

I constantly stayed amused by Rommy and Jeff George (another American who came on the trip who hosted the Atroshkin's younger daugther, Angelina this past summer). They kept looking out the window saying "we're in here, and Belarus is right out there"! Yes, this is how I felt last year when I was by myself and no other English speaking person to talk with. The family wouldn't let you go out alone without someone with us.

This year I wasn't searched by policemen with the exception of New Years Eve night...only I was smart enough not to bring a purse or back pack with me when we went out!! Anzhelika got detained as they searched her.

Anyone want some Chai? That was the constant question more times than I could count each day! And most days, it wasn't asked, just fixed and put in front of me...and did I mention candies, candies, candies, everyday all day long! And who brushes their teeth in Belarus? I even took very colorful toothbrushes for the Atroshkins and Ihar and I think I saw them used once.

Popcorn in Belaurs doesn't have butter or salt. It's a little more like carmel popcorn but not nearly so much carmel. It smells like funnel cakes at a fair. It's actually really good!

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