Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sweet Orphans, Traffic Light Man, and the Pied Piper

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?  


  1. Mindy,
    Do you only do Beautiful?
    You look as if you were sitting in your living room. But what is a happier setting than surrounded by little children.
    I hope you are able to accomplish all you hope for.
    Is the wounded Glediator with you? Give them all a huge and kiss for me.

  2. Thank you Di!!! Gleddy is home :-( Give him a call. It will make him feel better.

  3. So awesome, sounds unforgetable!

  4. Thank you for taking this journey and for sharing it with all of us!

  5. Hey Mindy, I am sure that you don't remember me from back in high school. I was a year younger than you and I moved to Provo high my junior year.I played basketball with Niki. I remembered thinking that you looked really nice back then, but unfortunately I never got a chance to know you. Anyway.... I just wanted to say hello and that I enjoyed reading your blog. You are very inspirational. Tell the Gledhill's hello for me, would ya?

    Dawnielle (Boudreaux) Haacke