Monday, September 3, 2012

Heritage Camp

If I had to pick my favorite activity of the summer, hands down it would be the weekend we spent at Heritage Camp.  It was put on by Isabelle's Eastern European/Central Asian adoption group and included families who had adopted from Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, and more!  The children were divided by age group and were kept busy all weekend learning about their birth countries, playing cultural games, eating ethnic food, and making new friends.  It was amazing!  

Isabelle and Madeleine in their camp t-shirts ready for the day!

Even though the focus was on Eastern European culture, the organizers made sure to include all the birth countries of the children represented.  I love how the Ethiopia and Kazakhstan flags are hanging right next to each other.

Maddy was in the very small preschool group.  How lucky the only other member was also a little sister adopted from Ethiopia!

They became fast friends!

Bulgarian dance class...

Isabelle's group headed over to the field to learn how to play hockey - a major sport in Kazakhstan.

These two were ready for a serious game!

Isabelle even scored a goal!

Maddy and her group played a much tamer game of soccer.

During arts and crafts time the girls decorated country pendants...

...and used them as accessories.

Isabelle learned how to make Kazakh doughnuts...

...and we listened to Gypsy Jazz.

Guess who loved that?

Since it was an Olympic-themed weekend the children competed in the Nomad Olympics - stick horse races...

...and archery.

I was even able to attend a Kazakh cooking class for adults.  We made Kazakh noodles which were later served at dinner.  Delicious!

Look how huge just a small piece of dough became!

The weekend ended with a parade of nations closing ceremony.  Isabelle was so proud to hold the flag of Kazakhstan.

The Ethiopian contingent!

We love our girls' birth countries and are so lucky this camp exists!  What a fantastic way to learn more about where Isabelle was born and teach her about her culture and country traditions.  Not to mention it was GREAT for her to be around other children with the same family make-up as ours!  Unforgettable!

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