First I went with my dad from Russia and I am helping to my Russian dad like put bucket in the wail. [The water used in Emily’s house in Russia came from a well several houses away. It was drawn out with a hand crank and wooden bucket, just like you would see in a picture in a fairytale.] Also I help with cowse [cows] like milk from milk at cow. [Emily learned how to milk cows at a very young age, probably about five.] I thought I never learn how to milk to cow milk.
And I help my grandma and grandpa with water, milk food. I helping to feeding them because they sick. I love so much my grandma and grandpa. My dad [Russian] burn his arm very bad and he came to orphinige and saw me. I remember that he a good father. I milk cawse avry day and drink milk almost avry day. My sisters same, drink milk. I have [had] a farm and they have lots of cawse and my Russian dad work there.
I walk far away to get water live maybe, [She thinks maybe it was far. It was a long time ago and she was little and remembers it to be far. I have seen the house and the well. In reality, it was several houses away.] for my grandma and grandpa because very sick. My grandma have problems with bronchiedis and get very sick all the time. [Really, it was probably tuberculosis, which is common in such Russian villages. Also, all of our daughters have tested positive for exposure to tuberculosis.]
My Russian dad burn arm like in the stove when he put wood in the top of it and he got arm on fire and Grandpa help him to water his arm on top of it and he got arm on fire.
My dad was in the farm goats and chickens and pigs. When pigs get bigger and older, then we cook them and eat meat. And also we fried them. My Russian dad has a big farm to feed all of it people. My sisters and me ask for food all the time, and they gave us lots of food and sometimes honey because we not have any enoghue money to survive. I am learn in the farm how to get milk and different [things] like get from wail water.
I help my Russian dad because we need to get be survive. Kids need understand that they need shelter, food, water homes and also families.
I have friend in the farm. Sometimes my neighbor come over to spend time with us. Sometimes we did pig old barbecue [had a barbecue with a mature pig] and eat them, like fired them a lot. Sometimes neighbor take over meat to people like different kind neighbors [not different “kind” neighbors, but different kinds of neighbors.] make sure they eat also.
We took baths like in the bucket all the time. I never thought my grandma going to be sick. I thought she going to die soon and make me feel so angry and upset. But she so sick and she died soon. Because I thought that she took bad medication from Oksana, mama. [Emily always believed that her mother, Oksana, poisoned her grandmother (her father’s mother) with medication. It took years to convince her that the details of her grandmother’s death were more consistent with tuberculosis than poisoning.] She never die from medication in Russia. She die when she old and sickness, bad.
I like my family in the Amarica. People been helping me all the time when I am get so angry when I hurt myself or run away when I am not safe at all.
In Russia I did bad stuff. In Russia they cook lots of meat. Again thank you for governmant helping me like not to hurt others or myself.
In Russia now kids not going to [be] adopted anymore because it’s law. [Russia has begun to move from a system of large orphanages to small group homes as they try to improve their social system and care for their own children. Emily is very concerned that children like her will not be adopted.]
Emily’s blog this week was very revealing to me. Recurring themes in Emily’s blogs are shelter, food, water, homes and families. This blog is no different in that respect. The street that her family lived on was called Sofkhoznay, which means “community farm.” It appears that this was a commune in which the farm part of the commune survived after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is interesting that one moment Emily remembers feasts of barbecued pig and lots of milk. The next she is talking about begging, with neighbors giving her food and sometimes honey because they didn’t have enough to survive. According to the social worker who removed the children from the home, Emily, her three sisters and one brother were all but starved to death when they removed them from the home. It is likely that the share of food allotted to Emily’s family was often sold or traded for vodka. In talking to Emily after receiving this, it led me to understand some things about Sarah and her habits/behaviors. I talked to Sarah and this was the subject of a blog I posted last week. The article sheds even more light on this one of Emily’s. I encourage you to read it.
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