Message from the Boarding School and Orphanage of Shirokolanovka,
November 13, 2005
Letter to Bettsy Madison Doll Williams, Missoula, Montana,
from Maria Honcharenko, assistant director of the orphanage, Shirokolanovka,
Ukraine, former German village of Landau, Beresan Distric
It has been only a short time since we parted, and it is already
November outside my
window. We received your wonderful letters where you so nicely describe
favorite season. I can imagine how beautiful it is at your place
Our autumn did not please us very much here. There was summer warmth
until the end
of October, no rain at all. Instead the orphanage grounds pleased
us with abundant
flowers. The children liked to water them every day so they could
each other with water. Then came sudden night frosts and the leaves
green. Rains set in. Cold steppe winds, low heavy clouds and huge
flocks of black
crows added to the sorrow in our hearts. The only thought that keeps
us warm is
that this season is short, and we only have to wait until Christmas.
And then time
will turn to spring, to revival of life, and there will be lots
of happy days ahead,
especially when our American friends visit us.
Our life is rich in various events, both nice and sad. This year
somewhat to repair the older boys' dorm. We completely renovated
the bedroom, which
needed emergency repairs; we built a furnace facility nearby and
heating in the dorm. Now children down there will be warm in winter.
grateful to you that we will not be worried about how cold winter
will be and
whether we will have enough fire wood.
We purchased TV sets for all three dormitories; we bought them
with the money from
our American friends. Now our children watch the news and learn
about their country
and the world. We also bought materials for sewing, woodworking
workshops; now the children have materials to work with. One part
of the money is
still left; we save it in case of an emergency.
In autumn we managed to make a roof for the newly constructed Rosa
storage building and get the outer walls plastered. Our teachers
together with the
older boys did all the work. This was a good life experience for
them. It would
never have been possible without money from our American friends.
We also bought books on teaching and subscribed to education magazines.
teacher meeting we decided that all these materials be assigned
to the teachers'
room so that all the teachers could make use of these materials.
Our staff is very thankful to all of our American friends. If not
for you, we would
not have many things. Our teachers discussed this issue during the
meeting. If you take away from the orphanage all the things that
have been purchased
with your money and all the gifts you have brought when you visit
and sent in the
boxes, we would be as ragged as when you first saw us. We are blessed
to have such
generous people like you.
We are doing well at home. The kitchen garden is cleaned and dug.
were plentiful, and I made sauerkraut. I make plans for next year's
garden, and I
have already started to fulfill them - I planted a patch of winter
onions. In addition, I had the courage to buy and plant roses beside
Roses are very delicate flowers, and I believe roses are supposed
to grow around
beautiful houses. I decided that when my roses grow up and are in
bloom, I would
look at them and remember our beautiful American friends.
Fourteen boxes you sent arrived. This is a very exciting moment
when the boxes
come. We are grateful for all the gifts we receive from you. Your
gifts mean our
children will have special holidays. I am grateful to the Lord for
blessing us with
good friends who care in their hearts for forgotten children.
My sincerest regards and best wishes to everyone. We hope all good
your way in the New Year, that you are blessed with good health