Monday, October 17, 2016

a great window of opportunity

We have been making weekly *trips to the bazaar looking for deals for good quality animals for outrageously low prices, and we have managed to get some great deals . like this pregnant  mother cow and calf that we got for about half the going rate because the farm hands looking after them were always drunk so the owner just wanted to sell quick.  We often have a vet friend there with us to check them before we bring them to the farm. 

We now have a good solid group of people that purchase meet from us.  The butcher comes to the farm once a month and prepares the meat and we deliver it to the city where a small community comes out and buys the meat right from the back of the truck .  We have now sold the last of our beef cows,  

So now when we go to the bazaar to look for deals we have started bringing our butcher rather then the vet .. The butcher knows how much meat we will be able to get from each cow, and we have buyers lined up for the meat , and we know the cost of transportation and food to finish them, so we can quickly calculate the profit.  

Yesterday at the bazaar we got some advance notice of a special sale happening a day early this week. 
 At the end of the season, all the cows that had been sent to the far mountains of Narin for grazing are sold off before winter.  This floods the local market there, so the surplus is sent by train to our bazaar to sell.  They cows will arrive the day before the bazaar to be ready in time to sell the next day. The cows are sold as soon as they arrive, then purchasers stay over night with them to sell in the regular bazaar the next day.  

We have been invited to attend this first influx of cattle.  We have enough money in our cattle fund for one beef cow right now, but if anyone would like to help us take advantage of this day, we are expecting to be able to purchase a cow we can sell for $800 for around $500 .  It might be a good time to purchase a few. 

Another interesting thing we found last week is that the market was packed full of horses that has been brought from Kazakhstan for sale.  the usual prices for horses are about $800 for a colt and up to $1500 for a mature horse.  This week we were looking at colts that we could get for about between $200 and $300.  I am told that this happens once every year or two, and the prices only stay low for a few weeks before they return to normal.  We have some one that can saddle train them over next summer.  This week we may bring him to the bazaar with us as he will know better what is the bast horse. 

Emma would like to get her own horse at some point, and this may be the time, we will see.  The colt could stay at the farm over the winter and get to know Emma and the kids, then it would go to  to the mountain right behind the farm to be trained for the summer .. Emma could still go and spend time with it there as well.  In the fall it could return to the farm fully trained.    

We have had people express interest in purchasing horses or cows for the farm in the past, and often around Christmas .. Perhaps now is the time if you have been thinking about it to act.  There appears to be a great window of opportunity here. 

A friend is coming to town .

My morning commute to the farm has just gotten a whole lot brighter. but no this is not the friend I am referring to . 

The last few days we have had some guests at the farm .  They have been experiencing life on the farm , joining in the daily chores , this morning they learned to milk the cows.  They had such a great time , and they have certainly left a piece of their hearts "On the Farm" .. Today they said their good buys and have headed on their way . 

The roof is on the green house utility shed now.   They are still plugging away. 

We are excited that Joe is on his way back to Kyrgyzstan.  We will be leaving from Montreal later today and will arrive here on Wednesday morning.  

Joe was last in Kyrgyzstan about 4 years ago.  Like our current guests, he too left part of his heart here, and a couple weeks ago, he contacted us to tell us that he NEEDS to come back .. Joe is such an awesome young man and we are over joyed that he will be staying with us for the rest of our stay.    

Joe visiting the village after we brought running water to the village .

Joe and Bekah hamming it up .
In the mountains right behind the farm. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Here is my challenge to you today...

Well we are pretty much done done at Nadia's house .  The work crew has moved on to the Bacute orphanage were they are finishing a building there for storage, laundry and general extra space for the day to day operations of the orphanage.  They will continue to stay at Nadia's house while working in the area, and will be able to finish a few little jobs in the evenings, but basically we are done. 

There is still so much more that is needed here, but Nadia is in and warm for the winter.  The worst part of this restoration is done, and we are pleased to see donations starting to come in from Kyrgyz citizens that want to help.  I think that most people WANT to help, but it is easy to be overwhelmed and think that the problem is too big , so we just don't even start.  Something that has always stuck with me is a friend once said.

"If you start by doing what you can do, then before you know it you will have done what others said can not be done."

 Today we can see that play out here.  When we arrived at the fire site back in March, I had $50 in my pocket .. and we started .. a few weeks later that was $200 and we were able to clean up a bit and get the house protected from the spring showers.. 

Some times just starting is enough to encourage others to do the same .. because as another friend says We > I .  

I have wondered what it is that  holds us back .. if it fear, our is it some form of depression or a defeatist attitude that says we can not make a difference ? or is it apathy.  I really don't know .. but here is my challenge to you today ... 

 What ever it is that may be holding you back from what is you know deep down you want to or should be doing .. take the plunge,   just start ,  and before you know it, incredible things may just happen. 

and the greatest transformation of all 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Making our needs known.

If you have been watching everything happening here over the last while, you will see some incredible things happening, three new barns built, two greenhouses, gardens in, livestock increases.  The hospital clinic, burnt out home rebuilt, medical, dental and Eye surgeries, food deliveries, outings with kids, tuition's and scholarships, and the list goes on an on.    People will often say "I don't know how you do it", or "how you keep it all strait" .. Truth is .. it is not easy.   On top of all this we have monthly salaries,  electricity bills and up keep on the properties and vehicles.   Throw in bank transfer fees and bank holds.  It can all get a bit overwhelming at times.  

All those things that we have tackled have all been sponsored by some incredible sponsors.  Time to time there are additional expenses not expected,  some times the projects do not come in on budget and other times there are emergency situations that do not have time to be posted here on the blog.  It is times like these that we draw from the general fund.   For me, the stress comes when the general fund is shallow.. everything is more difficult and I start to worry about the what if's and the month end bills .. They always seem to get met but still not with out a little stress. 

We are coming once again to a place that we need a little  help with the general fund.  We have a few weeks before the month end bills, and at this point we will be short with out some general fund help.  Please consider at this time helping us out.  

Making our needs known , and waiting for the peace to follow ! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More then you could Ask or imagin.

When times are difficult and things do not go as you would like them to, HOPE is able to pull you forward,  Hope is able to pull you through it, and Hope will find you rejoicing on the other side. 

It was just over six months ago that I arrived at the home of Nadia.  Her house had just burned and she lost her only son.  At 78 years old she was once again a homeless orphan.  Nadia was now living in a little outbuilding with no heat, and not even been able to have a bath since the fire.  The talk was if we could just simply take away this burned out dabree because it was painful and depressing for her to look at the mess. 

With about $50 in my pocket,  I turned to her with a smile on my face and said "Don't worry we can fix this "  In hind sight I would question where that statement would come from.  I think any sane person would look at that mess and say that it was a right off .. but I just kept telling myself we could do this .. Jengish and I carefully walked through and counted.. new roof $800, about 8 new beams $250 , New windows and doors .. $600 and so on .. a quick estimate was $2500 US we could have her back in .  That night I shared this need on the blog, and the burden was picked up by our friends from the Light House in Espanola .. a place that knows something about what HOPE can do.  The next day I had the commitment from them to raise the funds .  We went back again with our contractor.  I think any one else would have told me I was crazy but Kodor is an incredible contractor and confirmed what Jengish and I hoped.  

The next day we brought the kids from the farm in to put up a temporary roof and start cleaning out the garbage and ashes.  

Today, this is not the house that I could have even imagined .. new roof, walls , floors, windows, electrical  and porch.  

We have even picked out some new furniture that will be custom made and be ready at the end of the week, the kitchen cupboards are in and the locks are on the doors .  

We will do one more clean up day with the boys this weekend, as soon as the truck is repaired (another story ) then will move her in . 

Nadia is a different person now then the lady we found a few months ago .HOPE will do that to you.   She has a new home and a new outlook on life .. OH and the budget ?  we are actually about $75 under budget on this one .. I am sure we will find something special to do with that.   Exceedingly and abundantly more then Nadia could have ever asked or imagined..again   HOPE will do that to you! 

 So as all my family and friends back in Canada celebrate Thanks giving this weekend , I ask "What am I thankful for ? "

I am thankful for HOPE , and all that comes from it .. I am thankful for exceedingly and abundantly more then we could ask or imagine .. not just in the produce and abundance on the farm, but the abundance of the hearts of all of you who make this all possible ..

Together we can make a difference.  I HOPE !

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Miss Goosey 05/15/2015 - 10/09/2016

Miss Goosey  05/15/2015 - 10/09/2016 

It is will great sorrow that we share news of the passing of Goosey.

Goosey passed away this afternoon surrounded by her family and friends.  Loved by many , survived by her 27 children. along with her eleven sisters and two brothers.  But to Goosey, she was just another one of the kids on the farm..  

She will be missed .

Internment will be under the old Christmas tree on the farm .. one of her favorite places to hang out.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

All cleaned up and ready for the next guests.

Julie and I are out at the farm for a few days while Aigula is having a much deserved holiday .  We have treated her and her sister to a weekend at the hot springs where she can enjoy the lovely fall weather and go for nice long walks. 

Nick is home on weekends and works during the day, and tonight he is helping with homework .. 

At the fire house, we are starting work on the balcony.  I brought the old windows we took out  to the farm, and the boys are cleaning and painting them. they will be perfect for the balcony. 

Olga came and picked up more prenatal vitamins that she will be connecting with women who need them at the center 

The team is gone now, so we have been getting cleaned up and ready for the next guests at the guest house .  Marat cleaned up the tool shop today , or as the biys call it " The toy room" 

we did some more work on the gift shop / craft room.  Shelves are up, the baseboard is on and a small table for heating the lard is set up. Just need to put trim around the new windows.

The table turned out great , and the sink is in. 

Julie and the girls worked on the guest house today .. finished all the laundry and made the beds and washed the floors .  

 I love the new light that Miles restored and put up in the living room . 

Friday, October 07, 2016

Moving into the new barn

the fences are up and the goats are moved to their new home. The guys did a great job . 

as you can see we could still use some tine to finish the sides of the upper level, but the roof is on and the hay is in .  When a sponsor is found we hope to get this closed in before winter. 

Today at the produce drop at Olga's center we had tomatoes and peppers, and everyone got a pumpkin .  We had lots of little ones that I thought would be easier for them to carry .

And just because I love this picture, I am going to share it again.. I just love the way that everyone is so engaged with Ruslan as he pulls in this lunker 

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Goodness and Mercy shall follow them !

 We had a simply amazing couple of weeks here with our friends from Espanola and a few more from Southern Ontario.   This group have been long time supporters of what we do in Kyrgyzstan, not just financially, but great encouragers  as well.  It was such a blessing for us to share first hand with them the joys and the heart aces we experience here every day.  

The team helped around the farm every morning , and everyday after lunch we were out in the community bringing HOPE to those around us. 

The team brought with them Fire uniforms that were donated by my home town  fire department. This was such a great blessing , and will save many lives here in the years to come .  

The team had raised money to resptore the burned out home of a local senio

We used a paint sprayer, and after the initial cleaning, everything , ceiling walls and floors were sealed with an oil paint.. then new walls were framed inside the house

Before leaving the team told her that they were buying her her winter coal, as well as a new couch set.

One of the days the team helped us deliver over 50 food packages to those in need. 

One of the jobs around the farm was to build shelves in the root cellar 

At the hospital where they had sponsored the next phase of the project, they spend an afternoon dry-walling and mudding .  I think the contractor was overwhelmed with the speed and ability of this group. 

they visited several different orphanages and were able to bring some fun and excitement everywhere they went. 


One day they finished with a medical clinic with Dr Tatyana at Olga's center. 

One of the highlights was a day that we took two different groups fishing. 


 One of the days we had a party at the farm with the team and some other guests from the city.  There were a total of 65 people there for supper that night. in total they were from 12 different countries.  We also had a couple eagle hunters and some horses for people to ride.

The team helped with lots of canning at the farm this week as well 

Helping Emma make soap 

winter is beging to set in and we see it creeping down the mountains 

lunch at the farm 

a new calf .. funds donated by a visitor to the farm one day 

new flooring and shelving in the new gift shop .

cutting a hole out for a window in the gift shop over looking the orchard

One day we had bubbles the clown join us for a tour around the valley .. to the orphanage seniors home and the mens home. 

One afternoon we loaded up everyone at the farm into a rag tag convoy of old Russian 4x4's and headed deep into the mountains where we had a shashleek supper .

when the team first arrived Sam shared how Goodness and mercy should follow us where ever we go.  This was so true with this team.  This morning we dropped them at the airport, and a few hours later some of the work they did began showing up in the news as an encouragement to others .  here are some of the headlines that followed them ...