Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Winter in Molochansk

2017, Blog 1

Mennonite Centre funds numerous projects in local institutions, including the Tokmak Music and Dance School.  As a result we became the fortunate recipients of invitations to their student recital.  On Saturday we witnessed a variety of dance teams, from
children aged 6 to young adults, performing in the Tokmak Palace of Culture.  Although the auditorium remained cool enough for us to keep on our parkas throughout the performances, the colorful pageantry and skillful choreography were delightful.  
Perhaps the “charming” award for the afternoon would go to little Masha, singing a solo.  She is the 4-year old daughter of music school director, Sergei & Irina Lokotkov.  

On Sunday in the Molochansk church we witnessed the child dedication of Sonya, Olga Simeonovna’s great-granddaughter.  Olya,
Sonya’s mother, has grown up in the church and has been active in church programs until her studies and marriage took her to Melitopol where she and her husband currently reside.   

Monday started off with a visit to the Sanatorium School and its director, Lydia.  She has worked at this school for 50 years.  The students treat her like a grandmother.  We were pleased to inform her that another donation from the Calgary Menno Simons Christian School was available.
She was grateful for the sports equipment and the new windows that had been installed on the second floor, keeping the classrooms warm for the 101 students that are currently in attendance.  Typically students from age 6 to 17 stay at the school for a month at a time receiving various medical treatments and therapies while continuing with their schoolwork.

In the afternoon we attended the funeral of Valya Kavun age 54 who died of colon cancer.  Valya was formerly employed by the Mennonite Centre to prepare meals for patients in the Respite Centre at the Molochansk hospital.  Funerals are conducted on the yard of the deceased person followed by the long walking procession to the cemetery.  In sub-zero temperatures like today an outdoor event like this becomes uncomfortable. 


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