Arrival of Belarus children delayed

The nine host families who are awaiting the arrival of 11 children from Belarus will have to hold on for another week now that the initial date has been pushed back from June 15 to June 22.
“There’s been a delay in the flight arrangements,” noted Susan Affleck, who’s been spearheading the visit as the local rep of the Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims of Belarus.
The children will be in the district for six weeks to receive basic medical aid and get a respite from their home environment, which was contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear accident more than a decade ago.
One of the host families is Cathy Zin and Terry Wilcott of Fort Frances, who said they are anxiously waiting for answers and details on the children’s arrival.
“We already have two children,” Zin replied when asked if their household was ready for its guest. “It shouldn’t be any trouble to accommodate one more.”
“We’ve talked to some friends from Russia to get a sense of what life is like there,” noted Olive Friesen of Emo, who, along with her husband and children, are another host family that can hardly wait for their guests.
Many organizations and individuals also are eager to donate their time and effort to make the children’s stay a pleasant one. Dr. Brent Danylchuk is providing any necessary dental care while Drs. Lidkea, Elliott, and Lidkea have offered to help with any optical needs.
Other planned activities include a picnic at Pither’s Point Park here June 27, hosted by the Rainy River Multicultural Association, and a trip to Sunny Cove Camp on July 18-22 organized by Knox United Church.
Affleck said everyone involved is eagerly anticipating the six-week visit.
“The whole family is looking forward to it,” she enthused. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun learning about another culture.
“We even have a dictionary to overcome the language barrier.”