On June 6 together with 7 students from the correctional boarding school #4 we left for sunny Italy. Our route was going through the places familiar from the last year: Lekko, Milan, Florence. This time the trip was devoted to a family rather than to touring. We came to Italy for a month to provide our children with the opportunity to stay with the Italian families they met last May and kept in touch with since (through mail and telephone).

There was a cultural program as well. We visited picture galleries in Florence, the first Europeanshelter for foundlings (Istituto degli Innocenti), places of interest in Milan, also some junior schools in Lekko province and a secondary school in Florence.

We shared our stories and games with children there, also we prepared Cheburashka show for our friends from Florence and performed it in San Michele a Rovezzano theatre and in Lekko for our hosting families.

We spent a lot of time out-of-doors. 

Our children learned to ride bikes within a couple of days, took a long (15 km!) bike-ride to the valley, were swimming in the swimming-pool, went on a hike to the mountains, rode horses and visited WWF reserve. 

During their 27-day-long stay with Italian families children learned much about Italian culture, enhanced their language, visited many wonderful places and tried different dishes of delicious Italian food.

We are grateful to those who made this trip possible and even traditional.

Our personal thanks to Micelle Bolloniani, who is a President of NGO MIR – Amici de”I bambini di Maria, that invited us to Italy, and our good friend, who organized the trip. We are thankful to all families of Lekko and Florence which received children, to Simonetta Takkinardi for organizing our time in Florence, to Elizabeth Bartolinifor free admission to all Florence museums, to Caterina Bellandi for introducing us to many wonderful local people, to Chechilia Sandroni and Stefano for the excursion to the Istituto degli Innocenti and to clowns Mauro, Eduardo and Cerubino for their joyful visit.