Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two Worlds Connected Today

While we are here, sometimes we feel that we are in two different worlds. There is the world of orphanages, seniors' home for homeless elderly, the invalid home –those encased in hopelessness. And , there is the other world, our university world, where we are with awesome young people weekly who dream of a productive future and are motivated by hope. Two vastly different worlds for us connected today!

The Wish and The Need
While in Kyrgyzstan last September, we met with one of the faculty members at IUCA. We had a wish and Natalia Tsukanova had a plan. Our wish was to teach English to children living in orphanages. Natalia, the teaching methods professor, needed a place to create a practicum for her education students. Today my wish came true and her need was fulfilled. Seven students from IUCA traveled a very short distance to a local orphanage to meet the director and make plans for an eight week practicum.

From left to right: Elimara, the orphanage director, the IUCA students and far right is Natalia Tsukanova, the IUCA professor.

It would be my guess that most of these students didn’t even know that there was an orphanage within 15 minutes (walking) from their campus. It would be my guess that most of these students have not had any contact with children who have suffered abuse and neglect and are permanently separated from families. It is my absolute certainty that these young people will be changed by what they experience in the coming weeks.

As the students and children introduced themselves to each other and the children showed off their art work and sang a song, I noticed a number of them tearing up. As we walked out, I said to one of them, you will grow to love these children. She responded, “I already do.”

IUCA students and children from this local orphanage met today in preparation for their English classes to begin this weekend.

 Both my professor friend, Natalia and I look forward to what will happen in the lives of these students One of the students asked me if she could come and visit the children on her school break. It is awesome to know that IUCA is touching the lives of wounded children in this community as these two worlds connect!

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