Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blog # 5 "Connect the Dots"

Blog #5 – “connect the dots”

One the advantages of coming back year after year is that you can occasionally see the results of earlier contacts - contacts that at the time seemed somewhat incidental, but later prove to be very significant. 

In the past, Linda shared her gifts and skills as a piano teacher and musician.  She taught numerous young piano students here in Molochansk, and also worked with a piano teacher and singer in the Rhapsody Choir in Tokmak.  Their shared experience and love for music resulted in a lovely friendship, and soon we were helping the teacher find a good student violin for her daughter. Our brother-in-law, who is a violin dealer, provided a fine French instrument. Some Canadian Directors, coming into the Mennonite Centre for their ten weeks of service, brought the violin into Ukraine. Over the years, our friendship with the piano teacher and her family blossomed. We greatly enjoyed our time together, so we began the tradition of sharing a great dinner together before Linda and I would once again return to Canada. 

This year we again shared a lovely, and together we honored Linda’s memory. The piano teacher’s daughter joined us and excitedly told me that she received the award for achieving the highest marks in violin in the Zaporozhye Music School. In the meantime, she has been accepted into the Dnepropetrovsk Conservatory. She said she was surprised to get a better mark than a boy who she claimed was a very good player and who was also accepted into the Dnepropetrovsk Conservatory. “I think my good violin helped” she said. 

Fast forward to Saturday, the 14th of September when  I had breakfast with the Director of the Zaporozhye Music School.  We were discussing the feasibility of organizing a summer music camp for students in Zaporozhye. Trying to apply the well-established Mennonite principles of identifying, connecting and classifying someone from a similar ethnic background or with similar interests , I followed the same pattern.  I asked him if he knew a young violinist who had a French instrument and was recently accepted into the Dnepropetrovsk Conservatory. “Oh yes, I know her,” he said. “ She beat out my son for the highest mark!” Quickly we established we had “like-friends” (facebook jargon) and the talk about a music camp took off.  It expanded to include discussions about the feasibility of working with a group who are already teaching violin and other stringed instruments to children in one of the orphanages. I came away from that meeting, quietly pleased that Linda’s piano master class and brother-in-law’s generosity opened more doors and opportunities which could lead to the establishment of a music camp. It was good to end my time in Ukraine with such an uplifting meeting…and I must say the coffee was good too! 

I am writing this blog in Vienna, but my thoughts are still in Molochansk, where I walked the line of staff members, giving them hugs and kisses and assurances that I will be back next year. My experience this summer has been a time of personal healing. Even though I was far away from my home in Canada, in a strange way, I never really felt that far from my dear Linda. She would be pleased that plans are being developed to have our first music camp next summer in Zaporozhye and possibly in Tokmak. My experience here is that when your arms are full, it is easier to walk through doors that someone else has set to open automatically.


To contribute to the work of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine you can make your donations to “Friends of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine.  All cheques should be mailed to George Dyck, Treasurer, 3675 North Service Rd, Beamsville, Ontario, Canada - L0R 1B1.
If you wish to donate online go to the website, key in “Mennonite Centre Ukraine” and click on the search button. Then click on “View Profile” and then “Donate Now”.
Thank You!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home