On the 4th of July we went to a parade in the small farm town next to our even smaller farm town. It was nothing fancy, but easy in/easy out no traffic, no trouble, so my kind of event! There were lots of tractors at the parade, a few horses, and floats. Nothing spectacular, but when your trying to impress a 2 and 3 year old, and a 14 year old orphan, it doesn't take much.
Speaking of "orphan", I hate that word now, whenever I use it, I feel like I am talking bad about her. Do any of you other host families feel the same way? When I am out in public and people ask about her, and they do, because as soon as they realize she doesn't speak English, the questions start flying. It makes me uncomfortable. I mean she truly is an orphan, her mom died a year and a half ago, and she has never known her father, and she lives in an orphanage, but she calls it boarding school. So maybe that's why I feel guilty calling it anything but boarding school. Anyway, I hope someday she becomes something bigger in life and loses that title of "orphan". She seems to be very smart, is picking up on English quite well. So well, in fact, that last night I was talking to my sister about her during dinner, while Anya was sitting right next to me, and I felt the need to use our special "ARP" language, just in case she understood what I was saying. Don't get me wrong, we are still using the iphone/ipad for most communications, but Anya is definitely understanding more of what is being said around her.
I was explaining to her one day, why my phone rings non stop during the day, (because I work from home), so then I was telling her that I am nurse, and have a home healthcare company, and either employees or patients are always calling me. She translated back something that I thought said she wanted to be a nurse too. Excited to hear that, I clarified that was in fact what she meant, only to find out that no, she does not want to be a nurse, but a doctor. According to my sister Rachael, who went to Ukraine to interview the orphans for the hosting program, it is rare to find an orphan with such high aspirations for themselves. Most of them aspire to be a hairdresser, or an actress.
We are doing many fun things... as I mentioned before, it seems the simple things are just as much fun as the "fun" things. Simple things being cooking dinner, playing outside with the kids, making raspberry jelly, painting her bedroom, washing the car. "Fun" things she really enjoys are swimming at the pool, going to the children's museum downtown, and riding bikes. (Although she is not a fan of the NHFC rule of wearing a helmet when riding bikes.) She is a pro at it, must have had a bike in her previous home life, and I am certain she never wore a helmet. When I showed her the helmet, she shook her head and said, "No".
One funny thing about Anya, is that whenever she says no, she says "no", but her tone of voice says, "No-Duh!" I think she is just trying to graciously say no, but it comes across the other way. At the pool the other day when I offered her a popsicle, and she said "no", I finally told her (on the translator) that when she says "No", her face says, "how dare you ask such a stupid question". I think it translated correctly, because she thought it was funny.
Well, I gotta go, I have 30 minutes to wake up all 3 kids and get to my cousins house for Anya's first (I think first) time to ride a horse. I will post some pictures on Facebook later today, and come back here and post the link to them so you all can see.