Add a comment
On the 15-18th of March, 2011 twenty children from Volnynsk Orphanage and Third Orphanage were on the Southern Coast of Crimea, they climbed Demergi Mountain and Ayu-Dag Mountain, also visited The Glade of Fairy Tales in Yalta.
On the 15-18th of March, orphans from Volnynsk Orphanage and Zaporozhye rehabilitation center- orphanage (formerly Third Orphanage) spent four unforgettable days on the Southern Coast of Crimea. This time the agenda included hikes, cultural programs and excursions of the most interesting places of Crimea. This organized trip was possible only because of support from our American friend and donor Joel. Moreover, Joel found time to come to Ukraine and take a part in this trip and not alone but with his charming daugther Rachel.
The American guests were informed about our full tourist program but they didnt expect that within such a short time it would be possible to visit so many interesting places!
On this trip we stayed in Alushta, in two comfortable cottages with hospitable owners where the price was very reasonable. Owners Elena and Ivan tried to please the guests in every way. During the stay they were so taken by problems of orphans that they could not help but cry as the children were leaving.
The first day we had a little bit of rest after our trip to Crimea, we had breakfast and then went to Luchistoye village above Alushta from where we started the ascent of Southern Demergi Mountain (which is 1239 meters above sea level). The weather that day favoured young travelers, the sun was shining, snowdrops and other unknown plants made us happy as we were climbing. We expected to see a lot of snow in the mountains but found only a small amount at the top.
As we were climbing down through Ghosts Valley we admired fanciful stone figures, Chatyrdag bathed in sunshine and the view of Alushta from above. Continuing down the children saw a horse with her foal, and goats jumping from rock to rock. By the end of our trip the children who did not venture into conquering the top of the mountain fixed very tasty millet soup on the bonfire. Towards the evening we being very tired and filled with great impressions, came back to Alushta.
The second day we went on an excursion of the main city of the Southern Coast of Crimea- Yalta. We went there by trolley coach that seemed very exotic for our American guests. The children visited the very interesting Yalta Zoo where they were impressed most by monkeys, which acted like professional actors. Then we visited The Glade of Fairy Tales where the children enjoyed unique works of art made of wood, metal and concrete. Perhaps seeing the professionaly made fairy tale heros will urge the children to create art. The visit of the Zoo and The Glade of Fairy Tales took us a long time and unfortunately we were unable to go up to the highest waterfall in Crimea, Uchan-Su (98 meters above sea level). Instead we had a walk along the seashore in Yalta and some caretakers even swam in the Black Sea which was about +9 C that evening.
The third day of our trip we went to Partenit from where we started climbing up Ayu-Dag Mountain (which is known as Bear Mountain). To add some mystery and intrigue to our ascent, the whole Ayu- Dag was covered with fog. On our way we passed the ruins of Saint Konstantin and Helena church, also we were surprised to find a small monastery that is situated on the slope very close to the seashore (unfortunately there was no time to go there). As historians say there were some settlements,castles and monasteries on the mountain before, as time passed by water dissapeared and the place has become abandoned. Making it to almost the top within 2 hours we decided to have a picnic. The children fried bread with lard on the bonfire, they had cookies and juice.
Those who wished to warm up wrestled with each other playing. Three boys ventured into `fighting` with me, at the beginning I was able to hold them back, but should just have given up.
At first we planned to walk at the foot of the mountain, to reach camp (Artek) and Gurzuf on our way back. But for some children it would be too difficult of a task and us not making it to Artek, should have gone to the highway to go back to Alushta. Full dinner and a hot shower followed with a good sleep almost completely renewed our strengths. On the 18th of March it was the time to say good bye to our good-tempered owners and to Crimea. Under the guidance of the caretakers the children made thank-you posters for Joel and Rachel, also for the owners of the cottages. We made it to Zaporozhye by the evening of the 18th. As the caretakers said when returning to the orphanages the children were sharing their stories and impressions of the trip with each other and their teachers for a long time .
We are sure that such trips taking children from usual routine, help to develop their interest in discovering something new, being able to communicate with nature, teach them to deal with trip difficulties and making comradeship with each other. Unlike sweet gifts and TV`s from sponsors such trips favour the physical, intellectual and spiritual development of a child, give children what cannot be lost, sold or spoiled. We want to thank Joel and his family one more time for their financial support of the trip.
We also thank caretakers Tatyana and Natalya, our trip leader Anton, interpreter Julia and the hospitable owners of the cottages and everyone who made this trip possible for the children.
We ask everyone who enjoys travelling, hiking and backpacking to help us to organize future trips with orphans and children from poor families. Let`s give them the happiness of travel!
You can find out about financial details of such trips on our website.
Everyone can make donations on travel for our children!