Sunday, 5 October 2008

The Shades of Autumn

The months have gone by quickly since I started doing this blog last spring. Now autumn is here, and the leaves on the trees are shades of yellow, gold, orange, and red.

It's a pretty walk through the park
as we come home from the metro.

Many of the fallen leaves are huge. On our way
home from the office, I picked up leaves and
dried them to put in these vases.

The view from our apartment is colorful.

The view keeps changing. We never tire of
looking out our big window.

Looking south from our balcony at sunrise.

Enjoying the nice weather while it lasts.
(Sofia (left) is the receptionist at the
Service Center, and Lena is the executive
secretary for Vlad and David Stapley.)

We really enjoy Anna,
our interpreter for doing humanitarian projects.

Elder & Sister Ireland with the director of
a Rehabilitation Center for Invalids.
They were
very appreciative of the physical therapy
equipment donated by the Church.

Visiting a classroom where handicapped children
(called "invalids" in Russia)
are being taught along with children without
handicaps. Many of the children in this
institution have ICP (Cerebral Palsy).

So many people were on vacation or staying at their dachas during the summer that it was difficult to make appointments with directors about doing humanitarian projects or returning to evaluate the success of projects, take pictures, and get final documents. Now that autumn is here, we are having more opportunities to get out of the office to meet with organizations.

Receiving roses from a doctor.

Russians love flowers. There are flower shops on nearly every block plus the ladies that sell flowers on the street or at the metro stations. On the first day of school, children were walking to school with their parent or grandparent and carrying a bouquet for the teacher. It's a common sight to see people in the metro with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I had this opportunity recently when we went to a closing for a project at a hospital where the poor are treated. The doctors were very enthused about the equipment the Church had donated that makes it possible for them to remove kidney stones without surgery in about 80% of the cases, and this reduces the hospital stay and recovery time considerably. Before we left, the hospital director presented me with the bouquet of roses pictured above. It is our policy to not accept gifts when we do projects, but we had already given the donation; and he seemed to enjoy the giving and I enjoyed receiving.

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