IKEA Kids

Kids here take summer break very seriously. When they break, they BREAK. They do not want to do  anything  school related. I don’t blame them. It starts to heat up around 11 am.

TLG wants us to organize a summer program in order to get paid. But the problem is, again, the kids don’t want to do anything in the summer that even resembles school. So we have to scramble and beg the school administration to brow beat and rustle kids up or try to coerce the kids that love us the most to come to whatever program we have put together, using up valuable goodwill capital doing so.

This summer, I went to an NGO here in town and asked them if they had a willing group of kids in place already that I could hook up with. Fortunately, this NGO is in touch with the populations in Oz that need social services, old folks homes, orphanages, etc. My contact gave me the run down on one of the group homes and scheduled a visit.

I was a little nervous at first, because of the unfortunate stigma of orphanages in the States. But from what I saw here, the government takes great care of their troubled population. (Except for the gypsies. They roam the streets with seemingly no assistance.) The house was situated on a main road right along with the other private residences. Inside was pleasantly and nicely furnished. Actually, their furniture and household things were much better and modern than anything I had seen in other Georgian homes. From the kitchen to living areas to common rooms, it looked straight out of an IKEA catalogue.

I fell in love with the kids immediately. When initially meeting a new group of kids, I always have a phobia that they will ‘see through me’ and reject me. And although they sized me up at first, they took to me quite rapidly by showing me THEIR rooms and drawings. I was put at ease and knew we would work well together.

DSCN6093

Badri, Mariko, Kristina

Badri

Badri

There are 8 kids at the home between ages of 10 and 16. I saw one of my 1st grade students there, but I had erroneously been told she was an orphan, too. Her mom is the caregiver. I decided to split them up into two groups for their lessons, which worked out great according to ability level. (With the exception of one older boy, Ruslan. He doesn’t know any English. So I will tutor him individually.)

 

Kristina

Kristina

DSCN6092

Badri, Mariko, Kristina

 

DSCN6087

Giorgi, Kristina, Mari, Resi

Resi

Resi

It’s a pleasant surprise to have a small group of attentive students all who want to learn. Today Mariko was perturbed that our time was up. I could not have fallen into a better situation.

***

I’m Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

I See The Kids In The Street,
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See
Their Needs
A Summer’s Disregard,
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man’s Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya’ Know
‘Cause They Got Nowhere
To Go
That’s Why I Want You To
Know

I’m Starting With The Man In
The Mirror

Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson

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