Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gladney VP Marshall Williams travels to Czech Republic

Czech Day 3


Today Marshall and I traveled with Lucie and Martine to visit two orphanages today. The first was a orphanage for children 1-3 years old. It was about 30 minutes outside of Brno. It was a very well run orphanage. The walls were painted in bright colors, the caregiver ratio was 1 to 3, and the staff really seemed to be looking out for the best interest of the child. The orphanage director welcomed us and spoke to us about how the orphanage is run and how they assist families in taking care of the children.




We then drove back to Brno and had a quick lunch. After we went to an orphanage for children over 3 years old. Again we were very please with the way the orphanage was run. There were 21 children that live there and they live in 3 "family" units. Each family unit lives on one floor and each floor has a kitchen, living room, and then bedrooms for the children. It was a very neat concept to see.

Marshall and I have learned over the last two days that the Czech goverment is really invested in keeping families together. The government has many programs in place that enable parents to work through the issues they are faced with. Also, we learned that about 500 domestic placements are done each year!

After our visits, Marshall and I picked up our bags from the hotel and headed to the train station. We rode the train back to Prague and will stay here for the night. We fly out early tomorrow morning to Sophia, Bulgaria!

A big thanks goes out to Justin L. He has really helped us get around the last two days and has shown us a new side to Brno!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Czech Day 2

Today Marshall and I met Justin, an American missionary that lives in Brno, who escorted us to our meeting with the officials in charge of adoptions in the Czech Republic. We had a really good meeting and we talked a lot about thier systems for adoptions and they were particularly interested in how we support our families before and after they take placement. Tomorrow we are going to visit two different orphanages one in Brno and one about an hour away.
After our meeting, Justin took us to a lovely little French restuarant run by nuns. It was very very good. I had onion soup and a spinach crepe. Marshall had chicken noodle soup which looked like high class ramen!
After lunch, Justin took us walking through Brno and told us a little bit more about the city. Brno is the home of Mendel who came up with genetics. We ventured up the very steep hill to Spilberk Castle. It's very small but has wonderul views of the city. Justin also let us know that we are so very close to Vienna which I didn't know. Brno is a merchant city it has one of the largest trade shows in Europe and we saw that building from Spilberg as well.

Its been a busy day, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow!