Monday 6 July to Sunday 12 July

Tuesday, 7th July 2015

The weather has been gloriously warm with the benefit of hill top breezes.  It is often that the day will end with a sunset that surprises you when you step outside following an invitation for evening tea, as can be seen from the picture to the right.  I think the choice of location was not made by luck, although there may have been some degree of good fortune, but above all else was a skillful choice made by the remarkable Kitezh/Orion Counsel to provide the perfect surroundings for the therapeutic learning and upbringing of the children.  

A British volunteer, Harry,  joined us recently and has been excellent company as my new room mate.  There are now 4 British volunteers and we all joined Sasha for tea at her house so that she as the Counsel’s Head of School could tell us more about the educational objectives of Orion.  With considerable enthusiasm she covered the background, methods and plans for the future of the children’s education.  They hold the British educational system in high regard and had previously sent a delegation to

the UK for a month on a fact finding trip.  Their inspiration for best practice is drawn from international schools and visitors.  The calm and polite manner in which the children conduct themselves is testament to how well the lessons and therapy are planned and carried out.  I was fortunate to be asked to participate in an early stage experiment with a young teenage foster boy who was requested to join me with chopping logs into firewood.  The objective was to provide him with a better appreciation of the importance of work as although clearly a gifted and intelligent young man his attention will drift when asked to do something he would prefer not to participate in.  The hour spent was a relatively short time and even though his English is good the language difference proved difficult to hold his attention (perhaps unsurprisingly as he was doing all the vocabulary work) but nevertheless it was the first attempt of a therapy which I hope they will continue with as I know from my own experience as a father of 3 boys (and of course once a boy myself) how important and rewarding physical work can feel not during but very often once it’s completed.

Yours truely has, of course, also enjoyed the benefits of manual labour offered at Orion.  I believe that not only am I now eligible for City & Guilds certifications in Paklya craftsmanship and Borschavik extermination (admittedly self-acclaimed) but also more recently honing my skills as an Axe Technician (Monty Python fans should hum their favourite song now…)!  


Fun With Good Company… and a Hat

Nadya (my Host) and her pet

rat/parrot (or “par-rat”?)…

Celebrating a 17th Birthday…

Saturday, 11th July 2015

I have left Orion and returned to Moscow to attend to a personal family matter.  Upon receiving some news I felt it would be better for me to be more centrally based rather than in rural Russia should I need to return home.  


I hope to take in some the sights of the City and next week will post an update to this blog to include a few thoughts and pics of Moscow plus also some final thoughts about my visit to Orion and Russia in general.

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