Nature in Kandalaksha, Russia…
The only way is forward!
Nature in Kandalaksha, Russia
The only way is forward!
Seven-year-olds Kolya and Kostya are the two boys who join the united family of school children from SOS Children's Village Pushkin, Russia. Do they really want to go to school? What are their expectations?
Kolya is a bright, friendly and communicative boy who loves running on the street and playing. As a boy full of energy, he cannot stand on one place; everybody saw that when he was wearing a plaster cast - it did not stop him of running around!
SOS mother assistant Sveta characterises Kolya as a communicative boy, who can play by himself. "He has a gypsy background, but strangely he doesn't enjoy singing and dancing," she denies the clichés.
Let's finish it quickly!
The boy has been in the village for a year, he is smart and attentive, although he doesn't read yet, and he has a very good memory. "If I read something to him, then after three times, he remembers it," Sveta says.
Kolya doesn't think much about school. "I'm not sure what's going to happen there," says the boy who knows numbers up to 20, counts up to ten and knows letters. Although his book knowledge is not the most solid, the boy is not afraid of school.
"We all went to the Aqua Park recently, and I was a little bit afraid of deep water, but it was a good day. I swam in shallow water and I found new friends there!"
Kolya wants to become an astronaut and knows his plans with school. "I want to fly to space and make some photos! That's why I want to go to school and finish it quickly."
It's going to be tough!
Kostya, also a seven-year-old, is completely ready for school. "My grandma* made me a present - portfolio and everything else I will need at school: coloured papers, pencils' box, brushes, workbooks.... only the diary is missing."
He attended preparation school and therefore knows a lot more about what to expect from school life. "It's going to be tough," he reckons. "In the first grade it's difficult, in the second grade it's more difficult and in third even more difficult!"
"I understand how to add but how to subtract is not clear. I know all the letters and can read and I also draw very well," he weighs his cons and pros. "I know numbers up to 199, oh, wait I understand now! After 199 there's 200 the next number!"
The only way is forward
Kostya's dream job is to become a fire fighter. "I am proud of fire fighters," he says with a smile and has his own, a bit childish imagination how he could be a fire fighter already. "When there's a fire somewhere, I could ride very quickly with my bicycle and take some water with me. If the water is not enough, I could get help. A diver would also be a good profession but the problem is that I can't hold my breath for so many minutes as needed."
Although none of the boys really wants to go to school, they are ready for it and as Kostya puts it - there's no way back to kindergarten again, the only way is forward. "I have learned everything one can learn in the kindergarten - so it only makes sense to go to school."
Mother holding blond girl in her arm - CV Borovljany Minsk, Belarus
Kick Off the Week
Have you ever wondered how a mother of seven starts her week? Voila! Here's your chance to take a glance at the beginning of a week at SOS Children's Village Borovljany near Minsk in Belarus.
The school children have left the village and the SOS mothers are gathering to prepare for the week. They are going to an open market. The village's yellow bus is waiting for the mothers at 9 am on a Monday morning.
Since the village is about ten km from Minsk there is a need for a "special" bus for mothers - the regular buses are so overcrowded that it would take a two-hour journey to get to Minsk. Seven mothers with some kids who don't attend school are sitting in the bus with a bunch of empty bags.
The market is waking up like "a lake after the winter", and the mothers dive into it. Some of the boys, Dima and Igor, guard the bus while the other kids join the mothers. The SOS mothers are out for different things in the marketplace: one is looking for a cucumber, one needs dill.
The bags are filling up with meat, fish, parsley, washing-powder, and tooth-paste. Those who have a sweet tooth also buy water-melon and ice cream. While the bags are filling up, the mothers are slowing down their steps in accordance with the weight of the bags.
But what are the boys, Igor and Dima, doing during those hours when their mothers are out on a hunt for food? They are having the time of their lives - they are the bus drivers. Of course, the boys do not actually drive, but they are pretending they do. Do the doors open and close as they did some hours ago? Igor and Dima are testing the doors, blinking the lights, switching the gears up and down, and turning the wheel from right to left.
Finally, after three hours of waiting and driving, Igor and Dima, can see how mothers are approaching the bus from the right and the left with four - five bags. One of the mothers is carrying five bags on her back and obviously seems to be very tired. Igor and Dima run to her and help her carry the bags to the bus.
When all the mothers are back from their "crusade" and the bus is on the way back to the SOS Children's Village, the mood is changing. The excitement from the morning is replaced by tiredness. But it is not simple tiredness - the mothers seem happy and satisfied with themselves. They have given their effort for a good start of the week. Upon arrival at the village, the bus is surrounded with kids who stayed back home - now the mothers may have the comfort of lots of helping hands. The mothers and kids carrying the big bags are disappearing into the houses. Soon you can smell aromas of delicious meals. Another week has just started in SOS Children's Village Borovljany near Minsk.