Primus inter pares

25 international students of the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University paid a visit to an orphanage in the Tverskaya Oblast’ – Rodnichok.

By Poonam Bhar (Malaysia), 5th year student of Medical facultyPoonam Bhar

I just held back my tears…

On the 13th of October, last Sunday, around 25 students of the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University paid a visit to an orphanage in the Tverskaya Oblast’ – Rodnichok. We left from Frunzenskaya at 8.30 in the morning. Along with us, we brought clothes, toys, books, chocolates and so on.

The journey took around 3 hours. On the way we had lots of fun interacting and getting to know each other since we were all of different nationalities. We arrived at around 11.30- 11.45 p.m. and were given a very warm welcome by the children at the orphanage. A quick ice- breaking session, and we all spread out to spend time with our favourite age groups of kids. The guys engages in playing football with local boys and the girls spent time with the older girls and younger kids.

I went to meet with the younger children - 3-5 years of age. It was lunch time so, some of us sat with them wanting to assist and feed them. Those kids were so independent, they ate their food without any mess or fuss. So much discipline has been instilled. After lunch, these kids were sent to have an afternoon nap. We obviously had trouble putting them to sleep since they just had lunch. I was putting this 3 year old child, Tanya, to sleep. She came to the orphanage around 2 months back. While putting her to sleep, she said, “я хочу маму” (I want my mother). I just held back my tears and told her to sleep and that we will meet her later. These kids say things like that all the time and we really can’t do much, and that’s really disheartening.

After that, I joined some of them for tea and spoke about our experiences with the kids. After 20 minutes or so, we took a walk to the famous Kalyazin bell tower which was just 8 minutes away by foot. We had a photography session there and one of us actually went for a swim in the cold water. We then went back to the orphanage and mingled around a little more. We also had a football game or two between the girls and boys. We had a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, we had to leave to escape the traffic in the city. At 4 p.m., we left Rodnichok, sad. But we were left with amazing memories and warm hugs of the young children. We will come back, soon! 

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16.10.2013

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