Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today in Lviv

Above, top to bottom: Roman reaches for another block of wood to lacquer for an icon the Faith and Light center will eventually sell to raise money for activities, like going to the circus later this month; Roman, a member of Faith and Light, a Catholic community for the mentally disabled, shows the icon he is working on at the moment; Brett, standing second from right, is introduced to the finer side of wood working and icon making by Natalia, the coordinator of the Faith and Light Center in Sihiv(Sih-heev), a suburb of Lviv, Ukraine on the morning of February 11th, 2009. In the bottom photo, from left to right: Bogdan, who asked me if I was shopping for women, Petro, who is very quiet and was in charge of the stretching exercises today; Roman, whose best friend is also a Faith and Light member and who is inappropriately and gratifyingly loud, Brett, and Natalia.

"Are you ready for this?" I whisper over my shoulder.
"I guess," Brett says, shrugging. 
I gently push the door open to the Faith and Light Center and peek my head in. 
There are some 25 coordinators and members of Faith and Light, the university sponsored Catholic day program for the mentally disabled, gathered in a circle with chairs. Moments ago, I heard one of them, I guessed Anton or Roman, reading a book aloud in Ukrainian. Now everyone is looking at me.
Before Brett and I can find a seat, everyone breaks into the welcome song and soon the whole room is clapping. I don't really know what the song means, but I feel 6 years old again. 


fifi said...

The top picture made me lean forward and say "ooohhh.." The colors of the icons are so striking against the wood. Now I really want an icon...

C Rudz said...

I love reading your blog!! I'm so glad you're posting again, I'll make sure to check back more regularly (you were letting me down for a while...)

Tim Malone said...

Michael, I find it so much fun to hear that you have established a following in a place such as this. You are doing God's work over there. And know that here in the states I am enjoying a stiff drink of my own involving Russian Standard vodka straight from the motherland, and look forward to what kind of post will come out of my own thoughts. Hopefully I can avoid a bad case of bloggareah!