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The first trip for the children from the orphanage since the New Year has come to its end. The trip was organized by the fund "Happy Child" within the scope of our tourist plan.
9 children from the Orthodox orphanage «Nadezhda» and 3 children from the foster families spent several unforgettable days in Lvov and in the village Yablonitsa region. Not only children, but several adults also took part in the trip, having financed their participation themselves. Detailed report about the trip cost can be found at the web-site on the page with - â report 2010.
We began our trip in the gorgeous city of Lvov. Due to the volunteer help Lena provided, we made a stop in the youth hostel Lemberg in the downtown. We got plenty of rest there, cooked for ourselves, and even surfed the Internet. We are very thankful to all the hostel employees, who did not charge for accommodation of several children. In addition, our hostel bill was partly paid by Lena, our volunteer in Lvov.
Dinner at the hostel
Roma from Malaya Belozyorka celebrated his 17th Birthday in Lvov
Sunrise in Lvov. View from the hostel window
The plan of our trip around Lvov was very demanding. But due to the lack of time we were not able to visit all the interesting places of the nearest European Ukrainian city.
Children and adults were amazed by the beauty and unconventional venues of the city with narrow streets and narrow trams running along these streets… A large number of churches and kostels in the city, which look very different from our Orthodox cathedrals. There are many old buildings (of XIV-XVII centuries), decorated with stonecutting interior and exterior designs.
I cannot tell if the children felt the spirit of this city, but I was personally impressed with Lvov’s multinational population and history, formed from many nations. Everywhere there was beauty that flourished, but at times we saw old landmarks of the early history more than 300 years ago, and unfortunately many of those were ruined over time, and were not reconstructed (we saw the places with damaged stucco plasters and sheetrock, and in some places stones eve falling from the building roof tops).
At St. Jury Cathedral
At St. Jury Cathedral
Children went skating at the famous Lvov square Rinok
Stonecutting (Boimov Chapel, 1615).
ÎOne of the most amazing places we visited was the Lychakov Cemetery. Someone might ask: what can be interesting at such a sad place? But this cemetery is completely different from the ones we have in Eastern Ukraine and in Russia. Having visited this place, you get the feeling of the Lvov history and those states to which Lvov belonged to in the middle ages. Looking at the gravestones, burial vaults and chapels (which are perfect examples of art), we could see that people from the previous generations being in grief from the loss of their love ones, but having hope in their eternal spiritual life as well. So one does not have a feeling of hopelessness and despair visiting this place, but has belief in eternal life of all souls.
The excursion around Lychakov Cemetery
The burial vault of Armenian Catholic Bishop
Cemetery of young Poles, killed in the fights with Ukrainian Galichina Army in the years 1918-1919.
Sculpture of Christ at the main entrance
At the local market where the souvenirs are sold, we saw a can filled with Lvov air inside. We laughed at first, but instead of buying that air decided to come here once again in person to breath the true Lvov air.
Air of Lvov :-)
At the second part of the trip, our group went to the town Vorokhta in Ivano-Frankovsk Region located in the center of the Carpathian Mountains. There we stayed in cozy buildings at the outskirts of the village, belonging to the Catholic Charity Organization ‘Karitas Spes’. This is a village located in 9 km. in distance from the famous skiing mountain resort Bukovel.
Here we enjoyed the calm nature, the murmuring babble of the river Prutchik (source of the river Prut), and a wonderful view of the mountains covered with thick coniferous forest.
During one of our walks around Yablonitsa outskirts we found a place with a great view of the highest peaks of Ukraine – the mountains Hoverla and Petros, and also the neighboring mountains Homyak and Sinyak.
At the camping side "Karitas Spes"
A chapel at the "Karitas" camping side
The road to Yablonitsa
These smallest chapels ("caplychkas"), built by the locals, that one can often find in Carpathian villages
These sheep live in Yablonitsa, located at heights more than 1000 meters above sea level
Carpathian winter scenery (view on the mountains Homyak and Sinyak)
Our campsite in the morning...
Preparations for tomorrow skiing
The children spent 2 days at the mountain skiing resort Bukovel. The resort is a wonderful place, but an expensive one as well. We as organizers invested many efforts and time so that the children could enjoy and get the most from their trip. As a result, four skiing school instructors agreed to teach our kids the basic principles of skiing, and we got a discount renting the skies from the facilities in Yablonitsa (just for $5 a day) - not in Bukovel.
Until that very moment, the kids from our group had never tried skiing before. After a few hours of tutoring, some our newly-learned skiers started their first skiing adventure, and even tried to teach their friends what they had learned.
For the reason of very cost (about $15 per person a day), we could not use the lifter and enjoy all the advantages of this sport, but instead we skied at the ski track for beginners at the side of the hill.
Nonetheless, all the children experienced the excitement of skiing, and I am certain they will come back here in many years to come.
Bukovel. Thousands of people come here to enjoy the beautiful mountain sceneries and to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, this is a costly enjoyment
The first skiing experience. The skill of slowing down is most important
We are very thankful to all those who helped us to organize and finance this trip:
- Pavel from Zaporozhye;
- Andrew from Dnepropetrovsk;
- Lena from Lvov;
- nun Agnes (camping «Karitas Spes»);
- educators from the orphanege;
- all those who discounted the prices for our trip;
And, certainly, to Lord Our God, for guiding and protecting us during our long trip!
Let me remind that anyone can help the orphans and children from low-income families living in Zaporozhye to visit the best places of Ukraine. Please get in contact with us è to donate, or become a volunteer. In the year 2010 we are planning more than 10 walking trips to the Crimea and Carpathians, train trips to Kyiv, Lvov and Odessa. The cost per child in these trips ranges from $20 to $80 depending on the distance and the length of a trip.
Giving joy to kids is simple. Shall we make the good together!
Charity Found ‘Happy Child’, www.deti.zp.ua
+3 8 066 513 34 35