Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ten Years latter .." hit the restart button "

Two boys reunited at the farm after being apart for 10 years. 


If we only knew the life that these boys have lead.  They were friends 10 years ago in the Tokmok orphanage, but both of them had a tough go of it when they aged out of the orphanage.  

An orphanage kid if very vulnerable , and those they are at the greatest risk from are the ones that are supposed to protect them.   What happens is that when a child is out of the orphanage and does not have a strong support network, they become the blame target for the authorities.  I think with the very first time they step out of line they are on the watch list.  Then when the crimes in a region start to build up, they are picked up and charged with all outstanding crimes , that way the police are able to clear a hole log of crimes and pat them selves on the back while the real criminals are out there continuing to commit crimes .  This was the case for both of these boys and many others that we have worked with .. 

Since these boys last met 10 years ago, they have done a combined total of 8 yeas in prison.  Even when one of them was eventually proven to be innocent and released, the police continued to harass he and his brother until finally we were able to get help to intervene. 

Now along with dealing with  the damage done by orphanage life and abandonment issues,  we will also be dealing with what was caused by the prison system and those who are being paid to protect the kids in the first place.  

We pray that some how God is able to restore these boys and show them his Love, Mercy and Grace.

I say it often, but please know that we are so sincere when we say Thank You to everyone who has invested in the farm so that boys like this can have a fresh start at life, this time with the care and nurturing that was kept from them the first time around.  


Thursday, September 21, 2017

lets make it happen

October 1st is seniors day here in Kyrgyzstan, a very special day.   We are planing a big celebration for the seniors we know in and around Tokmok.. Many of them have no family left and would otherwise be alone for the day.  

We have made reservations for 100 seniors at a local restaurant.  Many will have never been to a restaurant before. we will also give them all a gift bag of produce including a small bottle of honey, and produce from the farm.  
 
I am looking for some sponsors that would like to help with this special day.  Just  $5 will give a senior a day that they will remember.  lets make it happen. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Veggie-athon

We have come across a very large need here with one of the orphanages we work with, so we are doing what we can to help .. we are having a Veggie-athon .  let me explain .


Swetly put orphanage is one of the best in the country hands down. They focus mainly on street kids in the city as young as 4 years old. The work very hard to find  and reunite them with their families. those that they are not able to reunite they work with to provide life skills training as well as a trade so they have a future.  along with parties and celebrations we have provided vitamins to them and sponsored operations and dental work for the kids.  

a couple years ago the long turn support of a major sponsor came to a scheduled end. at the same time the director who was well past retirement had some health issues and retired .  Things have been shaky for them since then, but the great workers there remain dedicated to the great care of the kids .  

 


Here is the real kicker , the staff  is about 3 months behind on their pay that the director is 6 months behind.  We have come to know these workers over the years and care for them.. their love for the kids is evident buy them continuing to work with out pay. 

We don't have a lot of non designated funds available so we have been wondering what we can do to help.  Tomorrow the director and some of the kids will be coming out to tour the farm.  We have decided to set up a Veggie-athon.  Here is the way it works.  We have taken a days harvest from the farm and will be setting up a produce stand in Tokmok with it.   We are now looking for individual sponsors  that are willing to match what we raise up to a specified amount   $50, $100, $250 what ever amount you feel led to support. 

Now let me show you what we picked today .. lets start with close to 400 lbs of beautiful peppers , hot and sweet, 


about 500 lbs of tomatoes, 
 

350 lbs of squash, 




To that we added cabbages, pumpkins, and around 600 lbs of beats.   



Whats amazing  is that tomorrow you could walk through the gardens and not even know that we harvested today.  But what is even more amazing is the opportunity that we have to  support and encourage some amazing orphanage workers who desperately need our help. 

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Home on the farm

9 in the hostel, 8 in the guest house, 3 at the yurts and 2 campers.   lots of excitement around the farm. For breakfast we made french toast and sausages. One of the guests was excited to try fresh eggs for the first time, so I went out and grabbed a few peppers from the garden to slice and use as rings around the eggs .. I got about 25 rings from three peppers .


We got the new outhouse up at the second yurt .  Nuric dug the hole for reasons we will not get into, hahaha .  the design turned out great . 


We have continued to visit some of the families we have connections with .. School supplies and vitamins are our focus this round.  




Today we had 20 beds to make and 20 sets of sheets to wash , along with towels and everything that goes along with that many guests.  After everyone checked out and paid we sat down with Sibera to discuss her school tuition. then where able to give her the funds to pay it.  It was a really good lesson for them to see the connection between guests at the guest house, all the work involved and the benefits of that work,   In this case her tuition was paid.  I want them to never think that the guest house is a "Business " that we are running on the side to make some money and have free labor, but that this is a great way for the farm to work toward self sustainability and with it a better standard of living for every one.  They love the extra food when guests are there , they love the activities like the horseback riding and picnics, and this week they loved when the guests brought them all to the hot springs, and then today , Siberia got her years tuition covered ..  and from the guest side of things It is so great for them to be instantly part of a big family. 



Last night some of the guests shared there experience .. They had spent a few days at the farm then went on a sight seeing tour of Kyrgyzstan .. they absolutely loved the beauty and everything they saw, but when it came to supper time they said they looked around at all the other tourists and they were siting all proper like at there individual tables and eating there restaurant style meals, and they said that they started to feel sorry for them because they were not experiencing the joy and fellowship of the  family table that they were a part of at the farm.. On their way back to the farm, when they reached the Tokmok sign they said " Oh good we are almost home"  they told me that they could never have imagined how in just a few days they would feel so at home on the farm...


"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Busy day.

Busy day out at the farm today. 


It was all hands on deck to make the tomato sauce.  Everyone was busy but it was nice to see all the smiles and how content every one is. 


flower gardens are doing great .. We are ready to start harvesting the seed pods for planting in the green house next spring . 


The new piano arrived and was carried up into the house today. 




We have started building the new outhouse for the second yurt.  It is designed to have the same lines as a yurt.






Saturday, September 02, 2017

Getting ready for back to school.

As we are in full swing of back to school shopping for kids, we came across this old photo from when we first started doing this.  who would have ever known then were life would have lead these two boys who we still have contact with..  



It makes me think and wonder what the furure will hold for all the kids that we are helping out get ready for school this year . 









   Last week we got Kolya and Marat moved back to Bishkek and ready for school .. we took them out for a nice dinner with Bekah who is also going back to school .. this time as a teacher 



One of our friends in Millbrook Ontario makes beautiful sweater sets for our kids .. Dustan loves his. 


As we are rearranging things, we have sent a load of goats off to market. we still have 5 back at the main farm, but we are trying to make things a little easier for our workers at the ranch and the goats just don't like to behave them selves and tend to lead the sheep astray.   


Nick said it was time to thin out the beats a bit.  I thought that would leave us with a bunch of little beats, I said "don't through them out even though they are small, I can make pickled beats with them."  I had to laugh when I saw the what hey came back in fro the field with .. We are going to have to get busy pickling. 



We have had a lot of kids need help with back to school this year. We still have another 340 kids that could use help from two different orphanages .. that is  almost $2000 so I have not even considered that at this time as we simply don't have the funds, but if someone out there wants to take that on we would be pleased to facilitate it .  

Monday, August 21, 2017

A very busy day .. but a lot of fun !


Breakfast at the yurt camp

Last night we had the yurt all set up and ready for the kids from one of the orphanages.  They got in late after a big day in Bishkek.  


some of the kids settling in for the night 

after breakfast they all went for a walk in the mountains 

the first craft was a foam boat 

everyone made one and decorated it 

then went to the water trough to try them out 


next up was a game of frisby Kuk-baru  a knock off of the goat pull game but no horses and frisbys instead 



lots of fun and burned off a little more energy 

the next craft consisted of 15 little items that the kids put in a bottle with seeds, then on the lid they tied a list of the items to find .. the cool thing is that the list is in Kyrgyz Russian and English 




it kept the kids busy for a long time 

then for lunch we had hotdogs on the fire 

at the same time we had the horses for horse back rides .. 

I only had 10 hot dog sticks made u so we were busy restocking them, and the horses kept the pressure off the food 

I think Yuri had about eight of them 

After the horses and lunch Vladic did some allusions for the kids 

then it was back inside for another craft 

It was nice to see Nuric take such interest in his 

everyone loved this soo much 

Next we took the kids fishing to catch supper 

every one caught a fish 

We have gotten so much use from the Berkeley fishing equipment that was donated to us by Berkeley last year 

then it was back to the farm to have a shore lunch and to pick corn 

Isar was the cook today .. He did a great job 

then sat down and ate with the kids . 
  At the end of the day we walked down to the corner to check out the playground that the farm is sponsoring for kids in the village .  

This is the only playground in the village ,and the kids loved it , It was neat to see word spread and kids come running out to see . 

At one point we counted 14 kids on the slide at once.

I have a small catalog  that has a hole bunch of other cool playground equipment ranging in price from $100 to $1000 .  the prices all include instillation and delivery . so the hope is that this is the center piece and slowly we are able to build and expand the playground around it .  So when things slow down here I will post the information in case someone else wants to sponsor a new piece ..