Tuesday, May 26, 2015

By Design

Early this morning , Jengish and Emma went to the bazaar to get the couches and chairs, and to put the deposit on the bunk beds arriving on Thursday .  While they were doing that Kamala came with Julie and I to the farm to help put down the new floor, and get lunch ready for the kids.  We had 15 kids who do not have homes as of next week, and they came to see the farm and discuss moving in.

We explained that this is a working farm, Not an orphanage or a school, but will be a place of employment and a safe place to live.  They will be expected to work, but will have lots of time to learn and have some fun.  

The boys side was finished just in time, and they helped us to move in the new couch and chairs.  The roms look amazing , I will do some before and after pictures soon.  
We then went over to Podgorna farm across the field. 

We explained to them how the rotating work schedules  would be set up so that everyone had a turn doing each area.. gardening, working with the animals, the bees, cooking and cleaning, they will all do it all .  We also explained how one farm the produce was all for donation to the seniors home, orphanages, the homeless shelter and families in need. The Podgorna farm would be used to grow produce for canning as Salsa sauce, tomato sauce, pickles, zucchini relish, honey and goat cheese , all to be sold to support the running of the farm .  This farm also has a guest quarters where we will be able to rent buy the night as a bed and breakfast for tourists and those wanting to experience life on the farm.

We then headed back to the boys side to have lunch  We had chicken cooked on the fire by the boys, and Kolya and I made a bunch of salads last night for today .

We all gathered upstairs in the barn for a nice meal together.

 We did not ask for any specific numbers as to who would like to come.  though all seemed to be very interested. We want them to have a bit more time now to thin about it and make the decision on their own rather then being caught up in the moment .    

The kids were happy to see Sergey today as well. They have known him a long time too,  We talked about many of the different outings we have done with them over the years .. Birthday parties, to the circus, fishing and the hot springs, to the movies and seven years of pie in the face Christmas parties.   Over the years as we did things with these kids and built trust and a relationship with these kids  we never knew or had any idea that they may come to live with us one day, and at the same time while everyone worked so hard to get the farm up and running, none of us knew that these would be the kids that would be coming to us .. 

I am so very proud of Emma and Jengish.  They have followed their hearts, and hung onto a vision that was given many years ago.  With so much hard work, and perseverance, and stepping out with their assignment when the resources seemed so far from significant, today we saw the big picture.

One thing for sure,  none of this is a coincidence  I would have to say it has to be, with out a doubt,  by design. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

10 days to go.

Lots on the go out at the farm today.  We went out around lunch time.  We brought some pots and pans and extra plates from our apartment to the farm.  We will be away for the summer and don't have any large teams while we are away, so we can bring stuff to use at the farm until we get back. 

Jengish and Emma had gone strait to the farm with three kids to do some weeding.  All three we had known from the Tokmok orphanage when they were younger and in the system.  Now they are growing up. It was nice to have them together again.  When we got there the goats were out to trim the new lawn .  

the lawn was nice, but the flowers on the other side of the fence always look better 

Caught in the act in the raspberry patch 

Young Kolya was happy to be able to learn some construction.  He was working on the ceiling on the boys room and the boys living room 

Julie and I went over to Podgorna, the girls home.  We had some more cleaning up to do.  In the Kitchen there was a piece of paper on the wall covering up a mess, and there were some water leaks that needed to be fixed  

here is the wall before it was cleaned scraped and treated for the water damage .

The first coat of paint Bekah put on made a huge difference , but after the second coat from Emma later in the day it looks terrific .

We found an old cupboard in the pantry that was rough, but fit nicely beside the stove to make a counter .  After scrubbing and disinfecting it, Bekah gave it a coat of paint as well .. Its going to be perfect for the spot.

Then it was on to the girls bed room.  It had one wall wall papered, but we found the rest of the paper out in the garage.  It looked like it had been there for a long time and some rolls were damaged, but we were able to trim it up and get enough to finish the room .    It looks so nice and warm.  Tomorrow the carpets will be back from the car wash where they are cleaning them, and we will be all set for the beds.   We still need to make the sheets and the blankets for them we need about $400 for the material , and Aigoola will make them if we have time left when a donation comes in.  

 Julie got the pantry all cleaned out and got all the stuff from our apartment set there and organized .  We made a nice meal for everyone today , I found some small fresh baby potatoes, and a corned beef roast for a good price at the bazaar while we were there so it was nice to have a sit down meal with all the farm hands and renovators.

Lots more weeding was done today, headed up by Jengish and Asylbek.  The cucumbers are now big enough to poke their heads through the plastic, and get a cup of cow poop each .  

 While at the bazaar we were able to get 250 tomato plants, and 100 peppers, and 50 beets that were started .  Asylbek went around and replaced all the plants that did not take root the first time around. and the beets replacing a small weeding mishap..hahaha don't ask, but alls good now.

We had another batch of baby bunnies today.  Mother and babies doing well. Yesterdays babies were off to a rough start, and we had to move mother and babies to a closed cage that forced her to stay right with them,  Jengish even had to pull her fur for the babies himself., she just had no idea what to do, but by today she and her babies are also doing great. All 10 babies are healthy and strong.

We have a week and a half before we head back to the US and then to Canada, and a couple days later the kids finish school and arrive.  So the pressure is really on now, and unfortunately at this point we are still shy the funds needed .  In case you would like to help, here is an idea of what we are in need of. 

$500 for all the beds, 
$400 for all the blankets, sheets pillows 
$250 for personal hygiene and toiletries and work clothes. 
$200 for dishes, cups, pots and pans., and a couple hot plates., 
$150 to make two large tables with benches .
$150 for couches and chairs for the boys farm. 
$400 to stock the cupboards and pantry

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Under the mountain

The Farm is located in this small village at the bass of this mountain . it is were two Valleys meet. One valley leads to the hot springs and the other leads to the waterfalls . we are about 20 minutes to either.  The boys farm is on this road, and the the farm for the girls is on the next road back called Podgornia street, or "Under the Mountain" st.  

the road into town 

A bunch of eager faces out to say hi to me today 
a couple are long haired ,

they are so cute , and loved the attention
 well actually not everyone had a good attitude .. this guy seems to have a a bit of a chip on his shoulder about something. I think its funny how you can see attitude even in the animals  
"don't mess with me !" 
 Emma and I were the Podgorna most of the day today.  We took out the carpets to get them all cleaned, then washed and bleached every surface , ceiling , walls and floors. then all the curtains and the furniture. We have one room that needs a bit of paint, the kitchen needs a leak fixed and repair damage from a few years of a slow leak, and one room was only half wall papered, but we found the paper in a closet to finish it so we will get that done this week as well.  this Tuesday we will have the kids out to the farm, and will have a better idea how many will be moving in with us from this group, and the beds will arrive on Thursday.  We still have a lot to get ready before they move in the next week. We will use things from our apartment for now until we can afford to get what we need for the farm.  

 Back at the boys farm , the ceiling is just about finished. then we will paint the walls and put down some vinyl  flooring ,  As I type this we are taking up our living room carpet to take out to there room as well.  Emma and Jengish will give up a carpet as well. It will be close, but it has to be done By Thursday as well  when their beds arrive. 

If all the furniture is in place by Thursday, that will give us a week to get the kitchen stocked with plates and utensils, and do an opening grocery stock up with food in the pantry. As soon as we can find some money that has gone missing in the banks here, Aigula will make blankets, and we will get towels and toiletries for all the kids as well.  

This room will be for Aigoola and any of her girls that come to stay 
this will be the girls dorm room for up to six girls 

this is the guest room for the bed and breakfast. it will have a double bed
and three singles 


this is the dinning room inside ,
we have a garage and a huge car port
that will become the summer kitchen
and dinning room for everyone  
the living room 
 The grass is starting to take.  soon we will be able to start letting the animals graze on it 

Everything is comming up so well here. It is starting to look like a story book garden 

all the way to the back, everything is doing great 

the strawberries were not suposed to have berries this summer, but we are amazed how they are so thick with berries, It looks like we will have a great crop. 
We are hoping the banks smarten up and release funds early next week, then we will be able to bring a dozen cows to the mountain barn, and 20 more milk goats to the farm.  

I will be great when the kids come as we see a long time vision come into being, but I have to admit we will be glad to see them come .. this has been so much work for all our friends and helpers who have been getting everything up and running and holding everything together until the kids get here . 

Friday, May 22, 2015

think on these !

A few years ago I was visiting the children s treatment center. They brought me to a room were there were about five or six older boys. I was told that these are the kids that are from the different orphanages that were there because they had nervous breakdowns.  They were timing out of the orphanages soon, and their bodies were shutting down from the stress of the unknown.  The stress for these kids in the last year is unbearable, they are so unprepared for life on their own, and with many times no family support network at all.    

Today Jengish picked up the supplies for the ceiling in the living room and the bed room out at the farm, then headed out to put them up.  Emma and I went to the furniture store to see about beds for the kids .  We ordered 6 bunk beds for the kids, and two bunk beds the are double on the bottom and single on the top , they are for the staff bed room and for the guest bed room.  Because we have purchased a lot of beds from them for the hospital, he knows us well, and gave us a very god deal .   normally the beds are $275 plus the mattresses, and for this order they will make them for just $200 a set including the mattress and set up out at the farm.  and for the double bed set just $40 more.  

My back is sort of against the wall here , the kids come in about two weeks, and it will take almost that to make the beds, so I had to order them now.  I gave them $200 deposit, but we are still in need of the other $1500 by next Thursday when they are ready.   We have money from two different sources that can  help with this until we find a sponsor,  one we were expecting last Friday and one today, both have diapered in the banking system some where .  This is becoming a common occurrence here .  A couple weeks ago we found a transfer that the banks held on to for two weeks before finally admitting that they had it .  It is always more noticeable at the end of a trip.. we are busy trying to get things warped up,  and have to do so much juggling while we wait on banks to do their jobs, maybe if we paid them they would do a little better ... OH WAIT we do pay.. we pay to send , and to receive  .. more then they deserve .. It is just so stressful.  but for now I will try to finish my rant and shake it off.   
Here is what I will focuses on ,   whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, these I will think on ... In a couple weeks, 10 to 15 heads will lay down on pillows, on new sheets, in new beds, and they will know that they are not alone. They will know that they too have a future, and a home, and the worry and stress of the last year is over.   

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Two weeks left and so much to do.

 We are getting ready to get 20 dairy goats for the farm.  actually 10 full grown mother goats with kids.   Jengish hunted around and found a farm with lots of really good healthy goats and they have agreed to sell to us.   We have a sponsor that is sending money through for this, so as soon as it makes it here we will go and get them, then we will be into cheese production right away .  

 We are also waiting on a donation for cows to clear the bank. we will have 10 beef cows and 2  dairy cows with calves . one Dairy cow will live out at the farm for milk and all the rest will spend the summer at the cow barn in the mountains and return to the farm in the winter for fattening. 

We also have some money to finish the renovations and start the furnishing of the rooms coming in soon.  We have a couple weeks left before we head back to Canada, and want to get as much as we can set up before we go.  We have a supplier that will make the beds, and Aigoola will make all the mattresses and blankets and sheets for the beds. 

Tomorrow we go to the school to see the kids who will be finishing in a few weeks and are timing out of the orphanage system.  Most have minor disabilities , and all have no family or home to go to when they finish school.. this is it , they are on there own.  Just imagine how nervous and afraid they are, and how relieved they will be to know that they can come to live on the farm with us.  

They can come and work and live on the farm, or we can help them to find employment and a life off the farm , but either way they will have help moving on to the next stage of their lives. 

Speaking of help moving forward ,  Our friend Aselbek is heading up the farm side of things as well as will be the director of the boys side of the farm.  He would like to get a car and has saved a bit to get a small very cheep car. This will be great , it will give him a little more independence and at the same time will be great to have another driver for around the farm, especially when we are back in Canada.  His big need right now is to learn to drive and get a licence.  the cost of that is about $250 .  I know that if I dont push this a bit then he will likely start driving with out one, so I would like to some how cover this for him.  It will be important for him to have a licence for the fall when we get a tractor as well.  

Aselbek out with us to check on the crops 

with a fresh batch of bread that he made 

three years ago after coming out of treatment at the addiction center , he was doing great and had a job and a place to stay , then was hit by a car .  Jengishes number was found on him , and we were contacted to see if we could help . He had a fractured skull and a broken collar bone .  By the time Jengish got to the city, many of you had stepped up to cover his surgeries.  He has come such a long way, and now is an important part of our team .and his  progress continues 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Off to the jailo

I try to choose one or two pictures each day for the blog, but as I am sure you see, sometimes its hard to choose , besides how could I ever use words to describe the day yesterday ..  We took a group of guests to the farm, then we all went up to the jailo ( cow barn) to make the final preparations to bring the cows and pick up the bees.   This will all happen soon.  The hold up has been that the water has been high this year and the river has washed the road out.  So today we will just go and visit and have a picnic with the family there. 
this is a picture of the Baurana tower from across the field 
this is the valley and mountain  cut that we go up 

the road was washed out so we had to walk from here 

Vlady was waiting for us when we arrived 

gathering at the river bank waiting for the horse 

Bekah was first to show everyone how its done .. she rode the river like a pro

when she got off she told me she wanted to be the first before the horse got tired and fed up with the river 
Aigoola was the first to make it over on foot, but on the way back shedid not fare so well ,, she got washed down and lost her shoes.  it is a lot deeper and faster then it looks 

Julie was one of the ones that decided that they would cross on foot , 
finally we all crossed the river and continued on foot 

this is the barn waiting for the cows to arrive. this time next week there will be 14 cows here. 

the bees are ready for their journey as soon as the water level goes down
we had a nice rotisserie lamb waiting for us 
the kids love Jengish
We have one little goose that was born with something wrong .  The vet thinks that it may be vitamin deficiency, I think it may be more like CP. but what ever it is, it has no balance and spends most of its time lying on its back and is very unstable on its feet.  
Bekah has takem over its care .  in fact it now even sleeps with her.  She has been to the vets and got the supplements for it .

Goosy at 2 days old 

hanging out in Julies pocket 

sometimes Bekah even forgets he is with her, but he sure is content.  If she even puts him down now he freaks out .