The last of the malankas (eight girls in total) is six year old Віра (Vera). Vera is Miri's 'little buddy,' she is also a little ray of sunshine. The picture above is of Vera in action: she is absolutely full of smiles, always laughing. Once this girl gets going with the giggles, it is tough to calm her down...

Vera is one of the most high functioning malankas. She has strong motor skills, a large vocabulary, and is very talkative. Able to communicate with all three of us in addition to those around her, Vera is inquisitive, full of questions. She seems to know what is going on with the rest of the girls in her group, whether we are in their classroom or playing in the park outside and shares this information with us (though our Ukrainian is of course, limited).

We did not see much of Vera for the first two or three weeks of our work at the Internat. According to the documents, both of her parents have passed away, so we are unsure where she was - she appeared out of nowhere (we are generally not provided with updates on the girls' whereabouts if we do not see certain girls for a period of time).

Friendly and full of enthusiasm, Vera is content with her environment. She looooves spending time on the teeter totter and hanging upside down on the monkey bars with Znyjana. She prefers the park to the classroom, and is a positive influence with her fellow malankas.

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