This morning we visited Sveta Paraskava Orphanage in Sofia which cares for children ages 0-3 years old. I was impressed with the toys and colorfully painted walls. I expected things to be rather primitive (and they were to some degree), but definitely pleasantly surprised. I became quick friends this little guy (Metodi) after we played a game of catch. He clung to me for the rest of the day, stroking my hands and arms as I held him.
You know how when you're little, you think there's someone inside the traffic light, controlling the signals? See the guy inside his little nest up there? He IS controlling the traffic lights! Yes, traffic lights are not yet programmed here. He probably has fun seeing if he can ruffle peoples' feathers by making them sit at a red for 25 minutes at a time. I think I would.
This cutie pie (Drago) won me over at the Slaveikov Orphanage for kids 7 to 18 years old. Slaveikov was awful. The kind of hell hole I had drawn out in my mind. Dark, dank, graffitied and reeking of urine, I could not imagine living out my childhood and teens where survival of the fittest is all you sleep, eat and breathe. Thanks to One Heart Bulgaria, the building has all new windows this year. Last year, many windows were broken and kids were sleeping in rooms with snow blowing in during the winter. They also got new doors with locks so that the girls would no longer be molested during the night. Puke.
Sam Payne, the Pied Piper of Sofia, enchants the toddlers at Sveta Parakeva with his plastic little recorder (purchased with a Little Mermaid songbook ten years go.) How does he do it?