Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another M.A.D. money report.

Today was an exciting and hopefully life changing day for many of the families we know in Central Asia. People there have strong family honour, and bonds, but not in the way we would think of in the west. It is not a common thing for men to take an active part in raising a family for a large part of the society. Men do not spend time with or care for their children.... This is part of the reason that there are so many single parents, and one of the reasons that so many children end up in the orphanages. Our friends there are working to change that. Today they held Family seminars... they had work shops and teaching on FAMILY matters... then they had lots of time with family events... games , challenges... things that would draw families closer together... ways for families to have fun together... including the fathers... The whole time this was going on, we hired a professional photographer/ movie editor ( who just happens to be our very own Sergei) to film the event... He will then put together the video showing the families engaging with each other, and having fun... this will be then given out to these families as a training video for them to share with others... It will also be a reminder to them that Family does matter... Just another small way we are working to make a difference, and to bring HOPE and restore DIGNITY to our friends in Central Asia.... The day was a great success ...over 80 people came out for the day... photo's to follow.... Just one more event sponsored by M.A.D. money.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You take the Good and you take the Bad ....

Many of you sponsor children and seniors through the iam1ru sponsorship program. These funds are used to provide the extras in life for the kids... Most of the time, extras are defined as School clothes and supplies, tutors, dance lessons, special outings, but some times they are stretched to include medicine and glasses... but since the economic crisis, what is deemed as "extras" have started to disturb me.... "Extra" should not have to include basic clothes and food.... but now ever more increasingly it does... Then today I got word that with the first snow in the mountains came a panic call from the orphanage director.... Many people have promised to help them with coal this winter, but so far, the furnace still sits idle.... We now find the budget needs to be stretched just a little further... I made a few calls and have diverted a half load (5 tons) of coal to them. just under $500.. this will hold them for about 6 weeks... hopefully those that had promised to help step up to the plate....and soon..


The baby hospital has just received the new washing machine... pictures to follow... I forgot to leave Vlady a camera, so I will have to send Sergey over.... Tomorrow they will be picking up the soap for them. They are still experiencing a back log of kids there as the system is backing up... the hospital is caring for 5 babies now..with no budget... This appears to be coming in at about $50 a week for formula... some how we have been able to keep up with this, but not sure how... I guess when you consider the options you just make it happen... A new born needs more then flower and water !
I got a bit more disturbing news this morning... The lady that we found on the streets, the mother of a young friend... has been put out of the hospital,, she is infectious with TB, and the hospital does not want to keep her because she had been homeless.. They say she is better now, but we have the xrays to prove otherwise... Dr Tatyana has been calling the hospital to try to get her back in, but they will not take her calls .. If she is not excepted back into the hospital by my morning, I will be calling the Mayors office ..
On an up note.. I have realised that we don't need to do it all, some times all it takes is some one to put there shoulder to the plow and say we are going to get this thing rolling, and it is amazing what can happen... When we started the heating system in the seniors home, we knew we did not have all the funds necessary, but we had the hope.... We told the director we would get things started, but would have to rely on others to be moved and to help us out...
I just found out that this has happened.. our friends have just sent word that they have received sponsorship to be able to see this project completed... Not only that, but they have renovated a meal room at the hospital, and have committed to finding the funding to put in the new floors in the hospital ... This is something that I was hoping to do in the spring... It is such an encouragement when others come along side like this...
more good news, We just sent money over for Tuition for Larisa's daughter, to renovate at the outreach centre in the village, for English lessons for some of the sponsored kids, and to finish the house that was in such bad shape. Oh Ya and to pay part of my Internet bill....
Stay tuned in the next couple days, I will have the finishing touches on this years Christmas challenge... I am sure that many of you are going to want to be a part of this and have a little fun while you are at it....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

M.A.D. Report

As I started to put together the M.A.D. (making a difference) report, I started to realize why I have been so tired... and more so why my friends were so worn out when I left... Here is a video of some of the projects that we did this fall as we prepared for winter in Central Asia...if you are viewing this from F.B. you will need to go to http://www.actofkindness.blogspot.com/ to view the video.



video

Monday, October 26, 2009

Being Flexible



One of the projects that we set out to do was to put a new playground at one of the orphanages. Things some times don't go the way you plan them, and when we got to the orphanage, there was a team from Rockford that was putting a playground in... I must say that they did an incredible job... but I had a donation that was specifically for that... so I contacted the donor to discuss the options.. they included more play ground equipment, or finding another location in another village, or the third option, the one I was thrilled to facilitate.This orphanage had no room for the kids that they could sit on a couch and relax.. they have beautiful beds, they have a class room and they had a room with stools around the outside... We spoke with the director, and she emptied out her office and moved into a small un used room, and gave us a place for this new activity / family room for the kids... We then headed for the Capital where we met up with Jengish and his truck, and picked up a wack of furniture, including a new TV set for them. Just have a look at there new room....


video

Do you sleep through the wind ?


I heard a really good illustration yesterday.. It was the story of a young farm hand that when asked what qualifications he had, he answered "I sleep through the wind"... The farmer wondered what he meant by that, but gave him the job. A few months later he understood...


There was a terrible wind storm one night.. The farmer and his wife woke up to the noise and right away jumped out of bed to batten down the hatches.. but when they got out to the barn, they found everything secured... the animals were in, the machinery was secure and tied down, the windows were closed and boards up.... everything was secure, and the farm hand was asleep.... They then understood... he had done his job.. there was nothing more he could do, so when the storm blew in, he could sleep soundly...


As the storms begin to blow this winter in Central Asia, I wonder if we will be able to sleep the night .


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back at it .... The work continues

Project started... Aizada's home has been saved.. Vlady and the Boys have started the concrete work. I had given Vlady enough money to buy the materials before I left, and today I was able to transfer the money for there pay. Check Spelling


As you know , We always like to see "exceedingly and abundantly more then anyone could ask or imagine" .. So I have been asking myself how that will show itself in this project... I just found out that Aizada will need to pay $250 for this years nursing school if she wants to write her exams at the end of the year... How cool would that be if we were able to find someone that would partner with her on that .... talk about restoring dignity and bringing hope to a family ... Not only have her home re built, coal for the fire, but to have someone stand beside her as she faces her future.... Oh don't get me going..... If were not for opportunities like this to see lives transformed, I don't think I could carry on.... this is the kind of Simple dreams that fuel my fire....

Since we started this project, a couple other desperate situations have come to our attention.... many in similar situations ... The most of them require minimal material costs, but just need the labor... I have spoken with the Boys, and they want to help... With this , I have already had someone sponsor another 2 weeks work for them when this job is finished... , it I will get some photo's of the other projects and get the materials list and will let you know when they are posted over on iam1ru . but in the mean time if you are interested in supporting this work team, don't wait, just let me know and I will discuss the possibilities with you more....

I also heard today that the first load of coal (10 tons) has been ordered. it will be dropped in three separate villages, then bagged in 100 lb bags for delivery as needed through the winter. This will meat about half of the winter needs for those that we are supporting, as well as a small reserve for emergencies as they come up... I hope to be able to place the next order in a few weeks as the donations come in for this... The going rate for this coal right now is about $1100 and in a few weeks could reach as high as $1500, but Vlady has been able to get us a locked in price of $800 good for the next 30 days, another great opportunity to let someone know they are not alone...
I can remember about 10 years back while we were in our wilderness training, we had run out of food, money, and wood for our stove in the middle of the winter... I was out of work, and our car had died,,, it was the perfect storm.. then a strange little man showed up at our door... he had a half cord of wood in the back of his truck for us, and then to top it off, he had a box of groceries, and in the box was a card with $50 in it... Suddenly, we had hope, and even more important, we knew were not alone ..., I have never forgotten that, and as I now many times find myself being that strange man that shows up at the door, I can empathise, how they are feeling... I did not understand at the time.. I had to just trust....

I sent the kids to get a photo of the completed hospital , A funny thing happens in Central Asia when you pull out a camera... everyone scrambles to get in front of it, then just as you are about to take the photo, the smiles turn to scowls... it must be a Russian thing... I say this because since they finished the hospital project.. the nurses and the Dr are so excited that they can hardly contain themselves but you would never know it from the photo...
maybe I will have to send Sergey back to get some more photo's for me......until then you will have to trust me... the rooms look great...hahaha

Friday, October 23, 2009

from a different angle

I have friends in Central Asia that often title their blog... "From David's Perspective", and when I was falling behind in the past Jayne has made some guest posts here...
I have been catching up on my interneting today, and came across a recent post of theirs, and thought it was interesting to see from their angle...
I miss them and so appreciate everything that they bring to the table... they both have so much to offer, and they hold nothing back...

The Faces of Last Week

Almost every day we look into the faces of children, teens, middle aged folks and elderly and wonder what their story might be. In many cases, we know and we long to be able to help them in some way. Occasionally, we can. Sadly, many times the needs far overwhelm our resources.

So much happened this past week, we asked ourselves last night, "have we been here only one week." Time is going so quickly and we are counting on God's direction for these days. It is late this Monday evening, and I wanted to make sure to post from last week's experiences before the fullness of this week crowds out the opportunity.

The Faces of Last Week and a Bit of a Story for Each One

This precious newborn's story is just beginning. I met him at the baby hospital in town. It is the hospital where children are left - to be later placed for adoption or headed for the baby orphanage.
As I held another baby, just days old, I wondered what his story will be. I couldn't help think of his mother, who I learned was just 16 years old. She couldn't care for him and walked away. I talked with the doctor there and asked her if anyone talked or counseled these birth moms. I already knew the answer...no. She is very open to staff training next spring for her staff on talking with birth moms...I wonder just how this 16 year old mother is doing today....no one to talk to about her loss and pain.

One late morning last week, we were on a hunt for two young run aways from the orphanage. We stopped along a number of fields and trails asking where the boys might be. This little one caught our attention and is just such a beautiful picture of true Kyrgyzstan.


These two young men captured our hearts months ago.

We eagerly arrived at the orphanage to find out they have been moved to another one. Our hearts sank, because the one they were in was wonderful. We didn't know about the other one. We set out to see them at the new orphanage. Upon arriving we were told they had run away - which reallyt means - running home, back to their village. It took us a few days to find them, but we did. We have no idea of their future, but we wanted just a moment to pour love and caring into their young lives. They know we will be back.


Arafat, on the left, continues to heal following his cleft palette surgery last spring. We stopped in his village to check on him and had the opportunity to see the whole family together. Next spring, we understand, he will have a follow up surgery and another followed down the road.



Most of our time is spent with children, but there is a special place we go to visit another group of friends - the seniors home, where homeless elderly live. We stopped in last week to check on these precious people we met last spring. The house cat is loved by everyone, but stays mostly with this babuska.


An Afternoon of Skating - A Moment in Memory

Saturday afternoon we accompanied John Wright and others in taking children from the villages to the skating rink. Not only were these children from poor villages, but five of them lived around the dump, surviving on what could be found to sell. When you look into the faces of these children, it is hard to imagine on this wonderful day, that they will return to live in desperate situations. We love them all...


He lives in a village that up to last year, had no water source. He is the middle son of about 6 or 7 children and whenever we are in his village, we love to see him.


Every child is special but this young lady and her sister pictured below, have a heart breaking story and is one who we want to get to know more. We understand that last year, their 36 year old mother died of an infection that could have been treated with $12.00 of medication, but they had no money. Her father works very long hours and these two precious children are raising themselves.

Larisa is holding this precious little one..
the names are so hard to remember. She is six and will always be a "little person." Because she couldn't skate, David and I spent a lot of time walking around with her, buying her juice, and smiling at her. Occasionally, we would get a small smile back. We pray for God's protection over these little ones.


I started this blog last night - Monday night and couldn't finish it because of Internet issues. I just got home a little while ago from a wonderful day of training of social workers and potential foster families...just so very thankful for this journey David and I are walking on together with our special friends, Lynn, Ruby, John Wright, John and Christa..and the list continues...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Home is not here !

I appear to be having a hard time with the whole jet leg and culture shock this trip.. I can hardly bring myself to sit down and start organizing my thoughts and experiences... So many thoughts and images have been playing on my emotions. I just got an email from my friend Ed...He drops me nuggets from time to time from his years of experience ..This is what he wrote me today..
Strange isn't it? "Home" is not home ... and "home" is not Home. Now you really realize that your "home" is not here ...The second I read that, I understood not just what he meant , but how I have been feeling... Struggling to hang onto a home in Canada, and build a home in Central Asia . In Canada we have so much, but comparatively speaking, we do nothing.. we just struggle to maintain... In Central Asia , we have nothing, yet we continue to impact thousands ...
I am in Canada now struggling to write the storey of a young girl named Aizada who lost her father 6 months ago, and 3 months ago, her mothers brain tumor left her mother almost blind... her House is ready to collapse , in fact one or two more rains, and they will be homeless... In Central Asia, I would be there myself if I had to , rebuilding the walls of her life... money or no money, I would find a way to help... and here I am now in Canada , and I can hardly get the energy to tell the storey... I guess I know that I have 50 more just like this one... where do you start....
I had a little snap back to reality today... I spoke with Altynai... she excitedly told me about some of the projects like the hospital renovations that have been completed this week... she then shared that her brothers are on there way tomorrow to Aizada's house... They know that I am out of money right now, but they understand the need, and know that I have a burden for her and want to help...
Altynai's family loves their new apartment, but they understand what Ed is talking about... because there "home" is not here either.....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

So I am home now... we got back to Norwood just in time to have a short nap then to visit with my family .. It was so nice to see everyone, but I must say that it was difficult... everyone was saying ...so is it good to be home.. It is getting so hard to be gracious anymore... the truth is that it was good to be home.... but now I am back in Canada....
I am a little jet legged, but tomorrow I will sart catching up with photo's and sharing some of the incredible stories, and heartbreaking needs from the last few days....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On My way

I had a few friends over for supper last night.. about 30... the finished packing by 12:00.. It is now 3:00 and I am on my way to the airport ....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

great day turned sad

Today started out great , we had 12 students from the university in the capital come to help with the renovations at the Hospital.. they were such a big help, they have put us back on schedule for this project. They even brought toys for the kids at the orphanage... so we made a trip over there for lunch with the kids... we ordered Somsa's and juice.. two local favorites. I offered to help with their travel expenses, but they were very clear that they wanted to do this, and that they were also prepared to cover their own costs... this was amazing... not only a financial blessing, but it confirms again with me that there is so much good in the people here... For many , they just need to have an opportunity to help those around them.
while this was going on, we had our lady from the street to the Hospital for tests, and our concerns were confirmed... so tomorrow she will be admitted to the hospital.... and I would be surprised if she ever came out... Now my thoughts start to turn to my young friend and how he is going to feel when he finds out his mother has died.... I know that there is nothing else we can do, but for some reason my mind always goes to What if I, or only if I ... I know that I did what I could , but still it is hard... you just can not help everyone.. some times you are just to late... I have payed for her continued care, but that will not be long.
I then received a phone call from another friend... He had a young lady in his office.. she is sick with a kidney problem... she can go to Almaty Kazakhstan for treatments for free, but for some reason she can not get in to the country for 6 weeks, so she will need her first treatments here for a cost of almost $800 each... That is big money and big dreams... especially the day before I leave... with the finances back to almost nothing... I have so many projects to have wrapped up and covered financially , including 10 tons of coal being delivered around the valley tomorrow... .Even tomorrow I will be leaving here at 7:30 for a meeting with the Dr's in the capital to bring them 20 shunts and the surgical instruments that they had asked for in the spring... as I think of this, I wonder if they have any pull with the dialysis department.... may be I can pull some strings....
From there I will be picking up a computer then heading back to the Baby hospital for final inspection of this project, present the computer, let them know that the washing machine is on it's way, and the room will be renovated with hot water in the next 2 Weeks... then I will be meting the city government officials for there photo op's... I have been desperately trying to avoid this and had even recruited our friends here to take my place next week, but that's not going to happen.. I don't even have anything to where other then a t shirt... Julie says, just try to be wearing one without stains... Altynai told me it would not hurt if I got a hair cut.... I guess I am just not excited about this... I know we have helped many, and that for years to come, people will benefit from the work that was accomplished over the last few weeks, amazing connections have been made, yet when I find a friends Mom on the side of the road, why can't we save her?
Tonight I had supper with Altynai, helped her understand an essay she had to write for school, then I had to say good bye... This is always so unbelievably hard... This is a land of such uncertainty... I never take for granted the tremendous honor it is to come here, The hurtles every time can be so incredibly difficult to get over... finances , visa's, not to mention scheduling and responsibilities... they all are part of the uncertainty ... But what is more uncertain is what tomorrow holds in store for those I care so much about... I have had a lot of heat to heart Father daughter talks with Altynai over the last couple weeks, she is surrounded on every side by some of the most incredible people I have ever known , all of whom would do anything to help her... , I have regular contact with her through skype, yet tonight I am sad.
Then to top it off, internet is stupid tonight, so..... no Photo for you!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taking Responsibility for what you know !


Awesome day today... we started off with a trip to the Hospital to check on things there... We are falling a bit behind, and it was not looking like we would be finished before I leave.. then I got a call from the Humanitarian University in Bishkek.. they have a team of 11 students that had heard about our work, and would like to come out tomorrow and spend the day painting... this should be the boost we need to get back on track .


We met up with the city director of child services there.. she was glad to see us and also glad to see my friends with me... They are so pleased with the renovations... Exceedingly and abundantly more then they could ask or imagine.


Our friends connected with the director of the hospital, and will be coming back out to do some training for helping mothers that have relinquished kids for adoption as .


the next stop was to the invalid home... what a celebration... not only were they celebrating the new room, but this is the very FIRST hot water in the building... everyone was excited.. the Dr's and nurses even had a concert planed for us ... then after giving our friends a tour of the last couple projects there, they prepared a wonderful celebration meal for us.. I was feeling a little guilty because I could not imagine that everyone was sharing in this celebration feast, then I found out that the workers had brought the food from home because they wanted to do something special for us.


It starts to get uncomfortable having so many giving speeches about how thankful they are for the help, and the HOPE that we are bringing to them... I keep telling them that I am the blessed one because I get to bring the help, but the real hero's here are the workers that help every day, and the sponsors that make the sacrifice.. I also shared how my faith has increased by being around them... I was open and honest, I shared how difficult it was for me the first time I came.. this was a place with out hope... I did not know how I could ever come back.. I did not think that I could ever make a difference the needs were so big... But I had a very small amount of faith, and a week later, we started the first renovation..then as the support continued to come in my faith was increased, and the feeling of desperation began to lift... and now today, they do all the work, they have a brightness about them... I then said that I so wish I could do even more... they without missing a beet, and hardly waiting for the translation, one of the men said very as a mater of fact... well then ask for more.... He had the faith...... You know that we are likely into the thousands of people that support the work here in Central Asia... all working together to make a difference, but this project has been a special one for me... It is like the movie the awakening... the men here are coming to life .. they are being physically , emotionally and intellectually healed... Had we done the entire home at once, the impact would never been as great.. now this has become a source of therapy for the men to do the work themselves... we are even looking at the possibility of putting together a work team that we can have do minor renovations and painting at some of our other projects like the seniors home... I never in my wildest dreams would have thought it possible... but what amazes me the most is that 95 percent of the funding for this project comes from a single source... From an amazing family that first heard about this place and actually asked me if I could go back and do a project there... I would have likely missed it if they had not suggested it... What this has confirmed to me is that we are all in this together... Those of you reading this blog have the same responsibility to help those we come into contact with as I do... We are responsible for what we know... sorry about that..... that reminds me of something that happened a little later in the day.


I was on my way to visit with a gentleman who was having some substance abuse problems... on the way, we found the mother of a young boy that we sponsor at one of the orphanages... in fact I began my day dropping the TV off there and got a hug from him.... any ways... she was not looking well, so we put her into the car and took her to Dr Tatyana... she had a full physical, and some minor tests, and it was clear that without help, she would not last more then a few more weeks... and most definitely not make it through this winter on the streets... it struck me... all day every day people walk right past this poor lady ... don't they see her dying.. I can not imagine how lonely that would be or how worthless you would fell.... So after Dr Tatyana, We took her to some apartments that I knew were cheep... I sent my driver in so that they would stay that way... he came back in a few minutes and said that he found a one room for $12 a month... so I sent him back with the money to rent it for 6 months... He said to me don't you want to come in and see it for yourself ? I told him that I was going home in 2 days... I can imagine what we are getting for $12, and I did not want to be responsible for what I know.....At least this way I can know that I did not put her back onto the street ... I sent over a mattress and a blanket for her tonight... but that is All she has... but at least this night she will not be sleeping in the sewer... that I do know.
video

Monday, October 12, 2009

Onother day in the city

This morning I met with Vlady to give him some more money to try to fill the pit over at the hospital... once we got started there, it was evident that so much more was urgently needed.

We also met up with Larisa, her daughter has had some stress and allergy issues, so we are getting her the help she needs.. while in the city, she will also pick up the bowls, spoons, cups, pots... basically everything else that is needed for the new room we will be opening tomorrow...

Then we picked up Acel and Aigoola... they came with us to the city to buy more materials for mattresses, as well as for blankets... we will now start making our own blankets now. Also Acel has a list of more kids that need shoes before winter, so will fill that order.

After dropping them off, Sergey and I went to by furnishings for the Orphanage... they have no living room there, and we are so excited to be able to set up a comfortable room for them. We bought a couch and chairs, as well as a TV stand, and a large TV for them... We then went over to Kyles office for a meeting with friends that are helping with an orphanage in the city... It is the best run orphanage I have seen, and they just found out that there primary supporters have had to pull out, and will be giving them one year to replace the commitment..,. While there, a lady came to his office for a meeting with his assistant, after she came in, He shared with me the difficult situation she is facing... She has two several disabled children. They need operations to repair there legs.. with the operation, they will be able to walk... Kyle had been able to help with that, but they live 15 hours away, and it will be a $100 trip each way for the family... suddenly this story was starting to sound familiar... that's when I put 2 and 2 together, and realized that this is the lady that Talant had asked for help for and we sent her on to Kyle....
From his office I met up with Jengish... Sergey picked the others up and headed back.. and Jengish and I went and picked up the furniture... on the way I took this photo as they passed us... just struck me as funny...
We then went to the rehab centre... they had a donation for us to take to the orphanage and to the students at the University... 175 jars of tomato salad...similar to chili sauce, and 38 large tubs of fresh honey. Then we headed back to town.
We delivered our pay load, then went for a quick supper and visit with Lynne and Ruby...It is great to see them. They brought an incredible blessing to the work here. They managed to get their hands on 20 shunts for the operations, as well as many of the instruments the Cleft pallet Dr was looking for....
When I got back to the apartment at 9:00, I had a meeting with a Friend of mine here... He has always been a big help and an all round great guy... he has a young family, and is very active helping people in the neighboring villages... He has a business plan that he wanted to discuss with me. He has managed to get a high end camera, and will be funding his work as a photographer... He was looking for a business loan of $200... rather then lending the money, It will jut be easier to hire him to do some more work for me and to help me catch up in the next couple days....
On my way home from the city, I got a few phone calls.. If you remember a few weeks ago, I brought boots and coats to a small orphanage... well a photo from that day has managed to make it into the local paper, as well as a storey about some of the projects that we have been helping with here...I can distinctly remember a conversation with the Mayors office... they asked what they could do to help us.. and I said .. keep me out of the press.... I guess that got lost in the translation..
Tomorrow is the ribbon cutting for the new dinning room at the invalid home .. we will see what happens there...lol

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We just got in from visiting Talas at the hospital again... He was a little groggy when we got there, But as we sat and "talked" to him he began to come around... we asked him what he needed, then told him we would be back in a few minutes... We went to a store to buy some food for him and some cleaning supplies... we also bought some food for his father...
While we were out his father went back into the room to talk now that he had come around... when we got back, Talas was even more awake, and we were able to have very good visit... He is still in a lot of pain, and not moving, but he can, and his vision is OK, he could recall his phone number, and could even follow what I was saying in English, and even respond in a little broken English, so he appears to not have any brain damage ...
He then shared with me that his father did not want him to be hanging around the village" family " and did not know he had been. As soon as Talas woke up his father came into the room and asked him who this big English guy is that had been coming and helping.. Talas just said to him
DAD HE IS MY BROTHER.... he said his father just smiled and nodded and said "It is good that you have this family...
When I left the room, his father was waiting to talk to me... he was looking down, and put his hand out to shake my hand.. instead, I gave him a hug... he just melted in my arms.. I told him that he had raised a wonderful young man.. and that Talas was very special to our family... when he pulled it together, he asked me to please come back to see him again before I leave... We then asked him if we could go talk to his son one more time before we go... this time he came in and joined us...

Words are not enough



















Saturday, October 10, 2009

Internet is slow and I am tired, so I am afraid this is not going to be a night for photo's but I will do a photo update soon....

We started very early with Altynai and her younger siblings hear for Breakfast and the day, so that Sergey and Anya could "fine tune" the parents after last night...We ate quickly then headed to the hospital for the 9:00 meeting with the Dr... He came in , took Apirie's blood pressure, and with out even getting out a stethoscope, told her this is serious, and from now on, she is to play no sports, have limited walking, not have any strenuous or stress full work, not be around large groups of people be very care full not to get a cold, and to get lots of bed rest... 15 minutes later, we were walking he into Dr Tatiana's office... right away, she was hooked up to the EKG machine, and was getting a full once over... The diagnoses is that everything is fine, and she had had a panic attack... Dr Tatyana took the time to explain the physical side of it, and with out going into much detail, she did EVERYTHING right ... her bed side manor was incredible... she treated , she taught , and she took the time to counsel, then she finished with asking for help from above... then she said that during the check up, she noticed that Aiperi was starting to get a goiter from a lack of Iodine... she then said to wait here and she would run and get some... 5 minutes later she was back from the pharmacy.... then it was a fight to get her to even take the money for the meds.... This being Thanksgiving weekend , I can't help but be thankful for a good report, good friends here that help my kids, and good people like Dr Tatyana that have become such an incredible part of the big team here.
We then went shopping for winter cloths for a dozen kids that needed a variety of items...
While there, Torat kept himself busy keeping his eye on me in the market, and collecting and carrying all the bags.... One thing they have in the markets here is good leather jackets at a good price... I have never said anything, but I have always wanted a nice leather jacket... I keep looking but they never have my size... especially here in Central Asia... then I could not take it any longer, so when all the shopping was done, I told Torat that I wanted to buy him a good leather jacket... He was excited and went right to one place, tried one on asked something , then we began a search all over the bazaar.... after repeating this several times... I asked him to explain to me what kind he would like.... what he described was the first one that we looked at.. So I said did you not like the first one... Acel told me that he loved the jacket, but did not like the price..
I told him that I knew the price of the jackets when I told him I wanted to buy him one... .. I also explained that he is getting older, he is expected to take on a lot more responsibilities, and he has risen to the occasion... he has proven himself to be responsible... and that this is something that will last him a long time, and in the long run would be cheaper then buying a cheep one every fall that just falls apart before the winter ws over... Besides some times, I want to do more then just meet a need, but he is very special to me and I wanted to do something special for him... so he agreed and we went back to the first one... I thought his face would tear in two, his smile was so big...In fact it was so big it helped with the pain as I handed over the money....$30......
We then headed to meat up with Laurisa and her crew.. she had about 20 kids from the dump and the streets in her village... along with there bas and David and Jayne and there crew, we headed to the capital to go skating... I also had Kyle and his family meat us there... he has helped a lot with Laurisa and the kids she supports... everyone was so excited.... over and over they weer coming over to thank us for bringing them there... that has such an incredible time....
I stood at the boards, and actually 3 or 4 times I lost it... finally I had to leave the rink...
Standing there watching these kids have such a good time.. they were all dressed up ... where they got the cloths I have no idea... but as they skated past, I could only see there faces in and around the garbage... another skated past with the biggest smile you could possibly imagine, and all I could see was him crouched over a small fire of plastic trying to warm his hands as Jengish and I talked with him... three more kids skated past and all I could see was them standing there when we found out there mother just died because they did not have the $12 for meds... I have 5 days left, and so much to do.... I could not let myself get close to any more of these kids... I will have to leave that for the next trip.... Just as I was feeling over whelmed, a friend of Jengish's who was there said to me I recognise that girl... when I look at her , all I see is the little girl in the dump from your blog.... is she the same girl ?...
when we came out of the arena, we stalled the kids while one car went ahead to let the restaurant know we were on the way.. after all we were 40.... It was easy to keep every one distracted.... I had a hockey bag that was packed buy a good friend of ours and theirs from the US... as well were a bunch of dolls that were knit by the Hastings knitters... I put the bag in the middle of the parking lot, and started handing out toys..... once everyone had something they could trade with each other and with the stuff left in the bag.... in the bag I had a few cheep school note books i had bought and not delivered yet... they were worth about 75 cents total... one girl about 13 got so excited when she saw them... she reached past a large dole worth about 75 dollars to get the note books... she then turned to me and asked ... are you sure I can have these.. she almost started to cry and said that now she could stay in school... her last book was almost full... I told her to take a toy as well.. but she held the note books and said we had given her so much already... I wonder on this Thanksgiving weekend... how many of the kids at home would be moved to tears by a 75 cent note pad...
We then loaded the kids onto the bas and told them we were going out for supper... this was a surprise to them.. Laurisa had not told them because she was thinking that by the time I paid for everyone to get there , and the skating, that we would be way over budget... .. after all it was $100 for 40 people to skate...
Once again, the staff at the restaurant were amazing... again they cleared a section just for us... the kids were so well behaved and were so excited to be able to choose something from the menu. Again, I wish I had it in me to go around table to table to give them each the attention they deserve... but I just could not.. maybe it is my cold, maybe it was the pressers of some other issues with our families here like the drinking parents, the runaway kids, the middle of the night in the hospital with Altynai, or the balancing act as we are trying to wrap up all the projects, the men at the centre, so much ... and all could do was not cry all night with these kids.... one thing i know for sure is that there is no way I am going to be on that bus as they bring these kids back to the dump and open the door... I guess that is it... its the thought of returning them to reality that is getting to me... they seem OK with it, but I'm not...
we have such a long way to go here... we have come so far, but we have a long way to go....
We waved good buy to the kids, then Altynai , Torat and I headed to the hospital with Acel and Talant to see Talas.... He is not doing well he is in to much pain for them to let him come out of sedation... he is in a miserable little room, it had 5 beds in it... they were all touching... his across the top and two on each side... all full... there was less then a one foot walk up the centre, and there was a small puddle of old puke tracked up and down the samll path... At that moment, I was so happy he was sedated... We also met with Talas's Dad... he says that we have enough drugs to keep him under for two more days then we will have to buy more... it looks like if he does not come out of this soon, it will cost almost $40 a day for the care and the pain killers and drugs to keep him sedated... We will go back and see him again tomorrow... I have not said much, but there is no way I can allow him to suffer... Again I don't know how I am going to justify this... I am not going to help the four others in his room that are in the same condition, or worse, but he is a friend and I know him.... and that appeared to be the difference... I have taken the time to get to know him...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Please remember Aipery

One of my 16 favorites I spent time with today has just been rushed to the hospital with a heart problem... Aipery is so dear to us, many of you sent her birthday greetings in the spring... I just got back from the hospital... they have her sedated and will not be doing anything until morning...
I on the other hand will be about my fathers business all night ... First light I will get our friend who is the heart Dr and go back to the hospital with Turat.

Please remember Aiperi today !

One of my 16 favorites I spent time with today has just been rushed to the hospital with a heart problem... Aiperi is so dear to us... I just got back from the hospital... they have her sedated and will not be doing anything until morning...
I on the other hand will be about my fathers business all night ... First light I will get our friend who is the heart Dr and go back to the hospital with Torat.

On the way to a better life....

After leaving the Seniors home, we made our way over to another little mountain village where Aigoola and her family live... there are a few others we are very active with as well... The only father influence that they have is from our friends.. Some times it is difficult for a Mom.. even the best kids some times struggle....so we had a special supper there tonight .. Aiperie and a friend of hers from school who is having a hard time came home as well... Sergey , Talant, David and I were all there basically all the man figures in their lives...We had a nice supper , then in a Kyrgyz tradition, you sit around and someone tells a story.. So it was my turn to tell a storey... I shared how sometimes you can feel like you are living in a fish bowl, with all the rules , yet others seem to be having such a good time without living up to those rules... but actually the purpose of the bowl is not to keep the fish in, but to protect them from what is outside the bowl, and to create a habitat for the fish so that is does not need to worry about so many things... I also shared that un like the fish, they have a free will.. they can come and go any tie they want, but I just want them to know that if they are ever outside the bowl... unlike the fish, they are not trapped there... all they have to do is call out to their father, and we will be there for them... they are never alone, and nothing they every do will separate them from that love....of course I embellished it a lot, but For the first time ever... not one child talked fidgeted, or even moved ... they all listened intently... The new friends eye's just welled up... she had not experienced the love we were talking about before... Torat who had been so quiet and had not been saying much melted back into our old Torat... He has come home with me, and will spend the weekend with us... shopping , skating, out for supper, and to visit to several of our families homes on Sunday....

Later tonight we went for a second supper...( it is the only way we are going to fit the rest of the trip in before I have to go home.. in fact soon we will have to start with three suppers a day) over to Altynai's house ... When I got there , super was ready, all the kids were excited and at the table, and Altynai had supper ready.. missing was the parents... I knew right away what the problem was... As Altynai sat at the table I asked if everything was ok... I saw her looking to the "what would he like to hear" side of her brain, but then she stopped and answered that her parents were drunk when they got home.... I reassured her that somehow things are going to get better, and that I knew this already, and that Sergey would be coming over in the morning to tune up the father... so the younger ones will; be coming for breakfast early tomorrow morning with Altynai , and we will keep them distracted...
I sat at the table with my back to the bed rooms.... I could see two reflections every time the father went from the bed room to the bath room... one was in the window in front of me and the other was in the faces of all the kids .... they were concerned that he would embarrass them... I assured them quietly that it was ok, and that they were not responsible for their parents actions.... and we just carried on like there was nothing going on.. Finlay at one point, the older brother quietly got up from the table and as the father paddled past for the last time, he gently but meaningfully took him by his arm and his belt, and walked him strait out the front door, and locked it behind him....
Then he came back and we continued like nothing had happened.... I was so pleased to see the older brother take this stand.. I think it is the first time... it just shows that they are beginning to realise that as a family they do not need to put up with , or be dragged down by this behavior...
The little ones a few minutes later climbed up onto my lap and closed there eyes as we all had a good snuggle... Altynai came over sat down leaned in with the rest and said thank you for being a real father for us... I told her that a lot of people love them, and my father loves them,and that we are not going to give up on their real parents... that one day her father will be a real father to them again... but until that day, it was an honor for me to be a part of their lives....
That's 16 special kids today... all my favorites... all deserving so much more , but all on there way to a better life... I believe....I believe ... I believe....

Great news

I want to start off with some great news.... Last night I received word that not one but two people wanted to help with the laundry room for the hospital, so I will be talking to Vlady tomorrow, and we will begin right away on the work there... I will get the hot water put in, then on Monday will pick up a washing machine for them.

As we started out today, we came across this chicken that is so ugly that it was trying to ring it's own neck...... We went out to the village ... it was the first time that David and Jayne had seen Arofat since the operation ... everyone was so glad to see them
While in the village, we went over to the invalid home to see how things were going... They have the new benches finished ... they were just drying
and in the kitchen they were busy building cupboards and tiling behind the sink. We have been asked to come back on Tuesday to meet with the director, and have tea in the new dinning room...
From there we popped over to the next village and found our two runaways... the sister asked us if we were there to make them go back to the home... we assured them that was not our job, and that we were there to let the boys know that they were loved, and no mater how all this shakes down we will still be there for them... We told them that they probably will end up back at the orphanage, but if and when that time comes, to call our friends, and if not us, then they would be there with them to help them ...
after a little visit and some reassurances from David, we were off .. but not first without getting shoe and clothing sizes so we could arrange for some new cloths for them tomorrow,,


then it was a heart felt good bye.... and off to the seniors home to check out the new heating system
this is Jengishes babushka that we had found on the streets in the spring.. she is doing well..... even her kitten is doing well... now the kitty visits everyone....... I a have had Altynai's brothers her for a week now... they have been busy painting and cleaning ... tomorrow they will start at the hospital.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

I promised I would get some photos up from the hospital... probably the ones you want to see the most are of the new babies....... We were talking with the Dr .. she has been there for 20 years and is the one that names all the babies... It was on the tip of my tung to say... oh you could name one after me, but then I stopped and thought... Like this is not hard enough for me at the end of the day..... just imagine if one of these orphans was names after you, how hard that would be .....
Vlady has been cracking the whip, and now with all the political attention, they have picked up the pace even more... We will be moving the painting crew in the day after tomorrow..... I went to See the room where the laundry is done... first the water is heated in this pail, then they are put into this pot and stirred with a stick because even the agitator is broken And we stand here like a pair of fools smiling for the camera.... do you have any idea what kind of emotions you feel when you see something like this.... If we were not already 2 1/2 times over budget on this thing, I would sure love to go over the top and give them hot running water and a new washing machine... who knows maybe we will anyways....we will see if there is an extra $400 left over by the end of the week... I can assure you it will not be coming home with me .
Tonight we cooked supper for the kids at the orphanage... when I got there, the kids all came running over for a hug calling my name... Even 4 new ones knew who I was, and it was like they had known me all along even though I had never seen them before when I asked, they said that they had seen my mug before... I was curious about this... for one where had they seen my mug, and also I have never heard this term used here before...
Then at supper it donned on me.... My face is on all the mugs.... actually it is Santa clause, but it is close enough for them. Tomorrow is the busy day... we have about 8 stops to make on our once around the valley... I will update you tomorrow....

Run Forest Run


I loved the photo before we even took it...
To me it is more then just a kid on a horse... it is Kyrgyzstan..... This young boy is out gathering the cows from the mountains.... what a young Kyrgyz boy should be doing... it's just right ... I have watched the young kids on there horses here... by this age, they become one with the horse... it is like they communicate with the horse with their thoughts.... When I knew what my two runaways were doing, somewhere deep down inside I could hear the voice..."Run Forest Run"... ..My Mom volunteers in the prisons in Canada, and she often tells me that when she finds young native men there, they just do not cope well... that there is something different in their make up... they simple pace the cell like a caged panther in the zoo... for some reason it is just more cruel.... when I see the young Kyrgyz in the orphanages, in many ways I feel the same.... they don't belong here... they belong off in the mountains somewhere...one with their horse..