taken away

Today I didn’t have the second lesson so I went downstairs to sit with the student on duty (there is a “student on duty” every day who gets excused from all of their classes to take the daily attendance, run errands for the teachers/Director, and ring the bell every hour announcing the beginning and end of each lesson). One little girl who is in my 4th grade class came up to me and said she was going to Drochia, so I asked her what she was going to do there and she responded, “school”. This confused me a bit since she attends our school, so I asked what she meant. She then said her mother was going back to Moscow and so her, her brother in the 2nd grade, and her sister in the 8th grade are moving to Drochia and they will never return to Varatic. This immediately made my heart melt because she is such a capable little girl and she is always smiling and has such a big heart. However, one of my students pointed out that this will be much better for the kids. You see, they are basically being raised by their sister in the 8th grade, and there is another toddler at home. The word on the street is that the father ran off to Moscow when the mother was pregnant with the youngest and he now has another child there, and the mother also goes there to work most of the time, leaving the children alone in Moldova, only to be checked on every so often by their relatives that live in the village. Now (supposedly) the mother is an alcoholic and is also 7 months pregnant again and has been home for a short while but is off to Moscow today, which is why the children were taken by someone from the Mayor’s office (local or state, I’m not sure) to Drochia to be put in an orphanage. Every teacher was sad about this and blaming the mother, but the student is right- the kids will be better off there. They will have food to eat (instead of having to steal from the neighbors because they don’t have any) and they will be clean and have clean clothes. And I spoke with a volunteer that lives there and he said the facility is nice and the children will really be well taken care of, and there is a very good school there. My heart still goes out for those kids (even if the 2nd grade boy was very rei – bad – and even whipped his you-know-what out during lessons… but he really doesn’t know any different because he doesn’t have anyone to teach him), and I just want to take them home with me. Unfortunately I can’t do that (although Moldova did just open up adoptions to the USA), so the best thing I could do was tell the 4th grader to never forget these words (thank you, The Help): You are beautiful. You are kind. You are talented. And study English!!

… and then I gave them an Automobiles magazine and a Cowboys and Indians magazine to put in their small backpacks which was all they were taking with them to the orphanage.

I am so thankful for my family and that I volunteered to be part of a team that will put on camps at the orphanages in Moldova.

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