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russian version

November 2, 1993, p. 4

American Slides Are Not Play Houses on Little Chicken Feet
By U. Dreizin
Translated by Ron Pope

It has to be seen. Bright, dark red, twisting slides, a little swinging bridge, little stairs--this is how the children's playground equipment from the [American] firm Burke looks. It has been set up at the K. Lubknekht Children's Home on Sokolova-Sokolenka Street. It is a pleasant surprise to see how well they have thought out every element of the structure--the care they have taken to ensure the children's comfort and safety. Here everything has been taken into account from the materials, including durable plastics and metals covered with a special resin on which it is impossible to slip, to the hidden fasteners and the absence of sharp corners against which the children might fall. In general, this little American marvel looks wonderful, especially in comparison with our typical peeling play houses on little chicken feet, sand boxes, and Swedish walls [mazes]. How many times have we asked: "Why do we have worse?" Why in a city with such mighty factories is there not the ability to produce similar equipment? Is there a lack of imagination or intellect, or maybe we have been overcome by laziness?

But we won't dwell on our sorrows. In general, these Americans are strange people. They have given as a gift eleven and a half thousand dollars worth of play equipment, shipped it [to Russia], and set it up in the course of two weeks. Along the way they dealt with problems in transporting the foundation materials for the play equipment. And all of this as if it was no big deal for them. Plus, they paid the staff at the Children's Home for helping them dig the holes for the foundation, and after they had finished their assembly work, they put the area around the playground back in order. All of this was done without any charge.

After this, it is understandable why the Director of the orphanage, Inessa Ezhkova, did not miss any words of gratitude in thanking the firm Serendipity which was acting through the American Home in Vladimir, its president Ronald Pope, and the builders Duane Lester and Andrei Koretski.

A major request to the teenagers and their parents living near the K. Lubknekht Children's Home: help protect the American gift--don't take away the joy of the orphans. This truly would be a sin.

P.S. A second set of playground equipment from the U.S. will be set up at the home for deaf children on Surikova Street.

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