Letter from Oleg Olexandrovych Chaban, Shirokolanovka Orphanage, September, 2001

How do you do, all our American friends!

We are sorry it took us so long to write a letter. We are very grateful to you for our meeting and for your presents. We got new clothes and shoes to go to the summer camp with your money. There are very many orphans at the orphanage, and one single camp couldn't contain us all so we were divided into groups to go to different camps. I had my holidays at the camp "Chaika". There were very many children from different villages there. First we were mocked at because of the fact we came from the orphanage, but soon we became friends with almost everyone. We stayed for two and a half months there. We took part at the competition called "Marry starts", at funny games, football matches. We won the first prize at the "Marry starts" as well as at football. But when we played against the adults, we had an accident. One adult broke his leg. Afterwards we didn't play football any longer. I like to play football, tennis, basketball and volleyball very much. I like to dance, to sing, and to play musical instruments; I like to perform on the stage.

I have great sympathy for what has happened in America. On that day we held a line-up, and we honored the memory of the killed Americans. We didn't listen to the music, had no fun on that day.

As we were leaving the summer camp we took the addresses and the phone numbers of our friends and we didn't want to leave the camp. We came back to the school and saw we had guests, children from Byelarus. Their bus broke on their way home from the camp. And until the bus got repaired they stayed at our orphanage.

For the money you presented us they bought us paint, whitewash, and they have painted our school and all the dormitories. A new entrance door had been installed at the school.

We had guests on our first day of school, the First School Bell Ring celebration. They took our celebration on video. First the guests greeted us, and then we greeted the guests. We handed our thank-you letters to the guests and the best students were awarded certificates for good work and conduct. The guests brought us presents; copybooks, pens, diaries and they brought us new uniforms. And now I'm sitting and writing in the new uniform.

I'm very grateful to you for your help

With best regards

Oleg Olexandrovych Chaban.

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