Goodbye.

After a lot of thought I’ve decided to end this blog.  The last 2 months have been very hard for us.  My husband and daughter have both had severe ill health, we’ve had a family death and another has been given months to live so I don’t feel I can keep posting.

This summer was the best of my life.  I would actively encourage every one to search for a local Chernobyl Charity and host with them.  There are loads now so don’t feel you have to host with the first one.  If you go to a few meetings and feel things aren’t right try another.  You need support and sometime who knows all the facts.  Don’t feel pushed into hosting with a certain one.

Good luck and goodbye xx

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Update

Just a quick update.  Life has been busy so not really had time to post.

Fundraising is going well.  Got one big event booked for next year and bother nearly booked! We should have no problem raising the money to get the girls back.

Well I say girls.  Still heard nothing from DHD2.  Didn’t think I would.  She loved being here and we loved her but she missed her dad a lot.  So I think when she returned she was so glad to be with him she moved on.  DHD1 hasn’t stopped talking about us and is desperate to return!  So we’re carrying on.

I’ll post where and when fundraising events are soon.

How can one letter bring so much happiness?!!

After a horrible 2 weeks (personal issues not because of hosting!!) I had the biggest ray of sunshine ever!  A letter from DHD1!!!!

It’s the best thing I’ve had in a long time.  I was worried I’d never hear from either of them again.  I know they said they would but you know what girls are like!!!!  I have friend on Facebook from when I was 4 but until Facebook came along we hadn’t spoken since I was 11 and moved away.  We promised we’d write but never did!  So I half expected it to be the same with the girls but the letter from DHD1’s mum makes me think otherwise now.

DHD1 is fine.  Missing everyone and send love to everyone.  Her mum says she’s talked about us and her holiday every day.  She even said she’d love for us to come and stay with them!!!  If I had the money if fly over today!!! I miss her so much and get mum seems so lovely.  They both want to keep in touch and even asked when our birthdays were so they can write to us then!  Looks like we’ve got more family members!!!! Lol!!

I’ve got a lot on at the moment so I’m waiting until January then I’ll start fundraising to get her back over.  If start today but I’ve got other things going on.  I’m so lucky to have amazing friends who have promised to fundraise for me.  I tell you good friends are worth more than any lottery win!!!!!

I found out this week that all children in Korosten have yearly health checks which involve blood tests for cancer.  Which means DHD1’s bruises are due to lack of vitamins and not anything more serious.

I had a long chat with Dennis at CCLL and he told me the only fruit or vegetables they have is the yearly harvest that happens in September.  Plus they’re advised to separate the cream from the milk and throw away the ‘watery’ part then dilute the cream with boiled water.  This removes 60-70% of the radiation.  This means that they rarely drink milk (and explains why DHD2 was so reluctant to drink it, wish I’d known that before!)  it explains the nail flecks and bruises. 

This also made me realise how little I know about Korosten and what is like living there.  I should of known about the harvest and how no fruit is imported.  I should of known about the yearly health checks the children had.  I should of known about the fear they have of milk.   I’m now determined to find out all these things and what else I don’t know before I host again next year.  So lots of homework for me!!!  I’ll post what I learn.

Before I do my ‘homework’ I’ve got letters to write.  One to DHD1 and one to DHDM1! (DHD Mum 1!)

Catch you later!!

How the Red Forest is taking over Chernobyl

Link to the Daily Mail’s story on the Red Forest claiming back Pryriat

Now I’m not a fan of the Daily Fail but this time they’ve done a good piece on the area.  Is about the forest taking back the land. 

For those that don’t know it’s called the Red Forest as the trees are full of radiation and looked red after the explosion.  The land was levelled to build Chernobyl and the town of Prypriat (Chernobyl is the plant and not the town) in 1970.  16 years later the reactor exploded and started leaking then 27 years later nature took back the land.  I guess it’s a quick circle of life thing!!

When you go to the site scroll down to the video.  Is just over a minute long but gives you a good idea of what it’s like.

I would recommend staying away from the comments at the bottom!!!!  I didn’t and resisted commenting!  One thing that was raise was why didn’t the explosion level the area like the atom bomb when it was 100 times bigger.  The short answer is the Atom bomb exploded in the air and this was on the ground. So the force went into the ground and sky but the radiation kept leaking.

I do disagree with the numbers of people killed.  Yes it may only be in double figure on the day but in the last 27 years there have been 10,000s killed by cancer and other complications from radiation then there’s all those that will die over the next 20,000 years. 

Oh so quiet.

The house is so quiet.  We’ve gone from a busy house of 5 back to the 3 of us.  It’s strange not having them here.  It’s going to take a while to get used to.

Spoke to them both on the phone.  I arranged a time to call before I left (I recommend this as a, they don’t always answer the phone and b, it’s easier than trying to explain down the phone who you are!) DHD2 was happy to be home.  She’s very much a daddies girl and missed him loads.  I wish I could say the same of DHD1.  She cried and said she missed us over and over.  No amount of ‘but you’re home with mama and papa now’ consoled her. I know why.  In not saying as it’s private to her but I understand fully why she feels this way and once she’s old enough if she still feels the same way I’ll suggest she applies for a visa and comes here.  I’m saving now.

A few days ago I had thoughts of never doing this again.  I didn’t feel I could cope with the goodbyes but DH reminded me of something the Chairman said when we first discussed doing this.  ‘You always get starched to the first ones’ she said.  So I’m guessing she’s right as she just hosted her 16th kid and she’s not gone totally mad! (It’s OK she’d be the first to say she mad!!!! Lol!!) So my plan is to host 2 more girls next year and raise the money to get DHD1&2 the following year.  Or in the mean time I could win the lottery! Hey there a chance!!! OK it would be higher if I remembered to buy a ticket!!! Lol!

So, if you’ve read the blog this far you must have thoughts of hosting?  As someone who’s done it I’d say DO IT!  The heartbreak of goodbye is far outweighed by the joy you get when they’re here and the more that do it the more kids we can help.

To those who say ‘it’s not our problem’ I say it could of been.  I grew up near Selefield, who’s to say someone couldn’t of made the mistake they made at Chernobyl at 1.10am on 26th April 1986?  The plant is still leaking, it could be our children suffering from the leak not theirs.  Please help.  Don’t let this be swept under the international carpet.

I found out something interesting last night.  I was looking up Korosten and I found out it’s a ‘recommend evacuation area’.  This basically means they should leave but no one is going to help them or pay for new homes.  The people of Korosten have no choice but to live in an area of high radiation as they can barely afford to travel let alone move.

Imagine someone came to your home and told you to move, but they weren’t going to give you another home, not help you to move and you certainly weren’t going to get financial help!  What would you do?  Do you have the money to buy a new house? New belongings? What about the cost of travel? Do you have that spare?  That’s what they face.  It explains a lot.

April next year there will be another Chernobyl Awareness week.  If you don’t feel you can host please help out CCLL.org.UK raise awareness.  If you want any more details feel free to contact me too.

Thank you!

There had been loads of tears today.  We were all fine until we got to the airport then the floodgates opened for all four of us girls!! 

Coming home from Gatwick was the worse journey ever.  We had to leave the girls not knowing if we’d ever see them again.  I have to be honest I didn’t turn around after we left them.  I couldn’t.  I knew it would hurt too much.

I know there are people who will say I was being stupid but you try taking two amazing girls into your family for four weeks then leave them not knowing if you’ll ever see them again.  If you can do it and not care/worry about them your not human!

Now my head is a little clearer.  I’ve gained so much from them.  They don’t want things like kids here do.  They need things and are grateful for them.  My friend gave them 2 CDs each yesterday.  Neither of them had ever owned any music!  DHD2’s brother has an old PC and he downloads old songs but DHD1 has only ever listen to the radio!  She knows Justin Bieber (neither are fans! In fact ‘you’re Mrs Bieber’ became a regular insult!! Lol!) She’s never had her own music to play.  They were over the moon to get these CDs!  Kids in the UK would look at it and moan they already had those ones.

I am a firm believer things happen for a reason.  I’ve had a lot of set backs in my life but I look at each one as being a way to change my life’s direction.  Now I believe these girls came to help me open my eyes and see what I need to do next.

I want to know what Korosten NEEDS not like here where kids want the latest Xbox (Sorry DH for stealing your metaphor!!!) I want to know what the Doctors, schools, kids etc all need and then I want to talk to local schools, doctors, hospitals, dentist, businesses and groups and make sure everyone knows what’s going on over there and how this radiation is affecting lives.  Is not just the radiation leaking but the plant was a major employer so now it’s shut there’s no jobs.  Children are going without medical care because there’s no money to pay for it! Yes everyone knows about Putin and Stephen Fry’s letter about Gay Rights but what’s the point of gay rights if over the border in the Ukraine kids are dying of preventable disease in the 21st century!??! 

Chernobyl Children’s Life Line has been working for 20 years to help these children and the local areas but who knows about the work they’ve done our what needs to be done?? 

Yes I know charity begins at home but I don’t have much money and I can help!  By having those two girls here for 4 weeks they’re lives have been extended by 2 to 10 YEARS!! That’s just by having them here.  So the Swindon Link of CCLL have helped 18 children this summer.  You get a few host in EVERY village and town and think about how many kids you could help? 

Add to that all the out of date medicine, bandages, dressings, test tubes, needles etc that get throw out in your local hospital, doctors surgery, even employers first aid kits that are throw out every year.  I remember years ago my employer throwing out carrier bags of it off date bandages because you can’t use them past their use by date because they ‘may not be sterile’.  Trust me in Korosten where they routinely remove teeth without any pain relief or anaesthetic they don’t care about use by dates!!  So why not ship them over?

I’m hoping I can talk some local groups into ‘pairing up’ with schools, doctors etc over there and sending books, pens, medical supplies.  But first I need to talk to someone who knows what’s needed over there.  Then I know exactly who needs what and where.

In the mean time I have a promise to keep.  I was begged to promise that DHD1 would see us again.  That’s a promise I’m going to keep.  It cost at least £500 for one returnee.  Both girls want to come back so that’s £1000 minimum I need to raise.  So I’m going to think about fund raising.  If any one has any ideas or better still donations!!! Please contact me.  I have two beautiful girls who need to come back not only for their health but for everyone mental health as they’re part of my family as well as their own!

If I can’t make Korosten a better place to live, I’m damn sure I’m going to make their lives better!!!

I have to. They’ve opened my eyes and sent me on my ‘next road’. For which I say thank you girls, from the bottom of my heart…

THANK YOU

This is it..

.. Time for goodbyes 😥

I can’t believe the time has gone so fast.  For weeks seems like no time.

We’ve had tears.  They don’t want to go home, we don’t want them to go! I just keep reminding them they’re family is really missing them and wants them home.

5 days ago DHD1 showed me her bruises.  I didn’t realise how bad things were.  I’ve watched her since and the slightest knock and she gets a big colourful bruise.  I’m very concerned.  If I’d seen it sooner is of got her to a doctor over here.  I’ve spooked to the chairman and she says to tell their leader so she can make sure ant medical checks that are needed are done when they get home.  I’ve got a very nasty feeling I know what it is but I’m hoping it’s a simple vitamin deficiency.  When she came her nails were very weak and covered in calcium deficiency flicks so I think she’s missing a lot of vitamins. With any luck that’s all this is too.

The next few days are going to be very hard but we’ll get there.  Thanks to these two amazing girls I am so much more prepared for next time.  Time to prepare for the next lot I guess!