Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Zhenya's story

I posted, some time back, a reminiscence about our college students in Karaganda, and dwelt particularly on our beloved Zhenya. I said at the time that she had sent us her life story. I just got permission from her to tell that story to you -- or rather, to let her tell it, in her own English, as she e-mailed it to Dessie.

Young people like our Zhenya -- this is why we can't stay away from Kazakhstan.


Hello, Dear Dessi!

In the first place, I am so sorry that I could not answer your letter so long. I am really sorry for this.

In the second place, Dessie, thank you very much for every thing you have done for us. It is time now for me to admire you. Really you are a fine woman with a great heart, where you can find a place for all of us. Thanks, that in spite of the fact that you are loaded with work and you have a family, you can have time to write letters to us.

Recently I met Damir: we were walking, that we decided to call in an Internet-café; to check up e-mail. There we read your last letter to Damir. Now I can myself answer your question. So you will know more about me. This is my small, but full and interesting story of my life.

I have not lived with my parents since I was five. My mother was an alcoholic. That is why she was deprived the rights of her children. But we were not taken to an orphanage, because we had been guardian to by my stepfather ( he is a father of my younger brother and sister). ...continue reading...But it happened that parents of my stepfather did not want to take care of me, because I was not a native granddaughter to them. And my stepfather were taking only my brother to them, and I was staying with my mother. My mother was often drinking. She did not take care of me at all. Only a neighbour did. Her name is Lyuda.

Then she began to take me to her home for a week, then she took me more than for a week. Then she moved and took me with her. My mother agreed me to live with Lyuda. I think my mother was likely to by content. Thus I had been living with aunt Lyuda for 7 years. During this period my mother inquired after me only 3-4 times. I even did not know how my mother, stepfather, brother and little sister lived. And they did not know how I did. But sometimes I saw my brother at school as we studied at the same school, but in different day time.

Gradually aunt Lyuda changed her attitude to me. She became rude with me and cruel, did not let me see my family.

Periodically she beat me and did not let me go to school. I was afraid of her very much. That is why I could not make up my mind to leave her, because I knew my native parents did not need me. I would not study there and would do something unknown if I had come back to them.

Aunt Lyuda had a daughter Lena. She was elder than me and got married at young age. As she was rude and cruel with me, I stopped going to school. I began to trade in pies at the age of 11. In the mornings and during all day I also traded in alcoholic drinks.

But once when I went to her work, she was in a bad mood and she beat me hard, then she threw me out and said she need me no more. But she did not think I would really go away.

I left the house and went to her daughter Lena, where I had been living for 6 months, because I have no more place to live in. Then Lena drew all my documents up for taking me to an orphanage, I asked her myself to do that. I wanted to study, and by this time she had two little children.

So I found myself in the orphanage in August 11, 1998. I’d been living there for 5 years, than I left it and entered Teacher's college. On Faculty of Preschool Education.

When I lived in the orphanage, my mother was killed by my stepfather. He was put in prison, brother and sister were taken to different orphanages. I also have an aunt. She is my mother's sister. But I don't do any contacts with her as she is afraid that I will live at the expense of her and ask her for help.

My brother is leaving the orphanage this year, and my little sister will still study for a long time more.

This is the story of my life. Now I answer your another question. At the college I study these subjects: education science, psychology, English and Kazakh languages, speech development methodology, the children literature, maths. There are the first-year subjects.

On the second year I study: defect logy, a special course, economics, philosophy, art methodic, physical education theory, political science. That is all.

Dear Dessie! I miss you very much and want to see you. I am so glad you will be able to come here soon. I am looking forward to our meeting. Dessie, you know, I often remember our conversation. It helped me so much because we could be so closer to each other. And it is cool we can mail letters to each other.

Dear Dessie! I am so grateful to God for meeting such a fine [wo]man as you. Thank you very much for everything. I will not be tired of thanking you a lot of time. But you deserve more.

Last days my studies take all my free time, so I could not answer your first letter. I promise I will improve myself.

Dessie, I am finishing my letter. I am waiting for your letter and I will answer it at once, I promise. Give my best regards to everybody, please.

I kiss you and embrace you strongly.

From Zhenya with Love!

If you would like to be a part of helping Zhenya fulfill her dreams, e-mail me at, or go to


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