Belorussian children to be reunited with host families

Six children from Belarus should be in for an exciting six-week vacation next month when then are reunited with the host families that took them in last summer.
With the youngsters slated to return July 6, the four host families–Cathy Zin and Terry Wilcott, Albert and Linda Beller, David and Heidi Ivall, and Tony and Ivan Gill–are busy preparing for their guests.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” noted Yvonne Gill of Morson, who said her family constantly corresponded with Iryna Slavashevich and Alena Mauchun over the winter.
“I think it’s going to be even better this time–they know where they’re going to and what to expect,” she added. “They were pretty shy the first time they got off the plane [last year] but this time it will be different.”
Although Gill admitted she’s been so busy preparing for one of her children’s graduation that she hasn’t thought a lot about preparations for the girls, she mentioned their room hasn’t been changed at all since they left last August.
The two girls also will get to celebrate their birthdays, which fall on July 16 and Aug. 15, during their stay here.
“I’m really keen to have them back–they’re great,” echoed Albert Beller, who, along with wife, Linda, and his sons, Jeremy, Jordan, Greg, and Braeden, will be welcoming Dzmitry Stryha and Artsion Kandratsic into their Rainy River home again.
“When they visit, it gives us an appreciation of a different culture while at the same time showing us that, apart from superficial differences, we’re really the same,” he reasoned.
Meanwhile, Zin, who lives in Fort Frances with her husband and two sons, Giordan and Austin, admitted not much preparation was needed for Dimitry Fedoruk’s arrival.
“He fits in so well, we don’t have to make many changes,” she explained.
Zin also noted her sons were excited about their young visitor, too.
“I know they’re anxious for him to arrive when I hear them trying to talk like him and use the expressions he does,” she beamed. “Obviously ‘Dima’ is on their minds.”
She added her family is planning on taking Fedoruk to Sault Ste. Marie for their summer vacation. “I think he’d like to see more of Northern Ontario,” she remarked.
The Ivalls will be hosting Veronica Tademkova.
The six youngsters will return home Aug. 20.
Last July, 10 Belorussian children came here for a respite from the harsh environment of their homeland in the wake of Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.