Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2001 08:08:57 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nataliya Yaroshenko
Subject: from Natasha

Chapter 7

In the evening I went to our camp's doctor. That doctor, an old tall man, was very thoughtful and understanding. I got the first help from him but he sent me to a hospital that is a few stations farther if to go by electric train.

It was a small, nice town that seemed more beautifully in the spring morning rays of the sun. I liked little cozy stores and the huge amount of different things that they sold there. I was surprised with the politeness of the shop-assistances. It was really unusual for me. I didn't buy anything, I just walked back from the hospital to the railroad station and wanted to see a lot. That morning I first touched a coconut. How I would like to have it, to find out what it was! Now I want to digress myself (for a short time) from telling about my returning to the camp.

Several days ago, here, in Bialystok I finally got a coconut. I bought it (it is cheap here, $ 0,25), brought into my room and thought a lot what to do with this strange creature. I shook it and felt that it had some juice. I went out and washed it. I wanted to have that juice! I couldn't get it. I took the knife and tortured the coconut as I could. My coconut felt well, but I had two little wounds on my left hand.

I stopped to do it to save myself from the next wounds. I almost gave up and thought to keep the coconut to look at it. But I doubted that I could just look calmly at it... Then I decided to go out in the corridor and to ask the refugee people how to open that coconut. No one knew. Only one little girl told that her parents once got it and they ate it after her father had opened the coconut. And she told that the coconut was very tasty. But her Dad was sleeping.

Then I went to the Belarus young couple to help me. They had never had the coconut either but they made two little holes with the hand screwdriver and we had the juice. It was sweet and pleasant. But they couldn't help me any more. I went to my room. I beat with it at the cement window-sill, at the radiator... If I had a hammer, but I am a refugee so I don't have a hammer!

I couldn't stand it any more and threw it at the floor with all my might and ... broke it! I went out to wash it and tried to eat the thing inside. It was hard. Not for my teeth. I went to one family and asked for a grater. I liked this nut so much! It was so tasty, so delicious! I couldn't stop myself. I had only about an hour's interval and ...finished it. A little latter I felt sick. It seemed I overate this nut that was very fat. I couldn't eat the supper and the breakfast. Only next afternoon I felt better and began to eat. I don't want any coconut now... :-) Maybe for some time

After the train I was ready to cover 3 km to get to the camp. First I thought to walk in the forest in parallel with the road but changed my mind as people told me there were a lot of wild dogs and other beasts in those forests. On the way to the camp I still dreamt to take Zina with me and to go for a walk around the forest not far from the camp. I didn't know then that I would have that chance in about half an hour. After turning to the right from the road I lost my way. I didn't turn to the left on time and went to the deep forest. Alone.

I walked, walked, hoping to see my camp. I didn't know that I walked the wrong way. I admired the forest. It seemed to me that all the trees were so friendly to me. I liked the way dry little twigs cracked under my feet. I liked the twitters of the birds, the whispering of the upper parts of the trees that swayed under the light wind. It all reminded me light and tender music of the strings in the symphonic orchestra...

Suddenly a thought burst into my mind Why am I tired but there is no camp? I looked at my watch and saw that I could return to the station from the camp two times for that time that took me to come there. To my horror I noticed that I was walking not by the wide wood ground road. It was a narrow path deep in the forest! Only then I understood that I lost my way. I stopped. I remembered about the wild dogs, about beasts. I looked around and...

Oh, no, I couldn't believe that wonderful forest could hurt me. I still felt its friendly breathing. I only wanted to return back the same way to go out to the road and went back.

I was so exhausted when safely got the road but I decided not to look for the way by myself any more. A little later I saw a little group of black men not far from me. I understood that they were going to the camp. I asked them in English and they showed me the short way. I couldn't go with them. Those young men were walking too fast. They haven't gone for a walk far to the forest. It turned out that the camp was so close with that road...

The guide men asked me what had happened. I think my face told him something :-). I told. Later my doctor told me that they would take me (and anybody else who would need) to the hospital by the camp's car next time. Though it was the first and the last time that I lost my way going to the camp.

============== to be continued...

chapters: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

children's war pictures One girl brought me a picture where a soldier is seen from the tank and smiles. And in front of him is the house in the fire. I asked her why the soldier is smiling. She answered that when Russian soldiers killed their people and fired - they smiled or laughed. This girl is 8 years old. And one girl brought me a picture of a girl watering the flowers and above her flies the plane and throws the bombs. A lot of bombs but the girl doesn't see... The bombs are above her falling down. And the sun is shining, the flowers are so beautiful. One girl draws some dead people and little children among them.