What a wonderful afternoon - officially, Senior's Day. Blue, cloudless skies, temperature in the low thirties, glorious chestnut trees in full leaf showing off their blossoms. Benches and chairs set up on our shaded front yard. Seniors coming from all directions, some hobbling painfully, none wanting to miss the event to come. Children from the Molochansk Music School have prepared a concert in their honor to be given outdoors.
In Ukraine school begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 12:30. Children then have the option of attending music or sports schools in the afternoon. These are still a legacy of the communist past and at that time were financed by the state. Now these receive minimal support. Parents pay a little and teachers receive a small salary. In winter children come bundled up, because they can't afford to heat the building. Last year there was a threat to close this school, but so far it has survived. Thus, children can take piano lessons, dance classes or band instruction and have the opportunity for constructive afternoon activities.
The band begins to play. Recently they competed in Zaporozhye and received second place honors. They told us that this award was made possible because they now have four good trumpets, thanks to donations from Mennonite Educational Institute and King's Music in Abbotsford, B.C. Dancers appear in their bright, colorful garb. From time to time FOMCU has donated funds for fabric so that costumes can be sown. It is a delight to help this organization survive and succeed. Children are given skills that enhance their lives and the lives of others. Seniors are given great joy.