Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So much happened in one day ...a little more emotional

We left Tokmok at 2:45 am heading for Osh.  There is a seat sale on right now and for $45 return we had an opportunity to go.   We have sent a lot of support there over the last few years , ever since the revolution, but  I did not want those being helped to see the help and think it was just foreign aid,  I wanted them to just see the help that was coming from in their own country , as well the flights were way more expensive, and out of our range.   
It was time to meet personally some of those that have lead the work in the south. It was time as well for them to see us and for us to encourage them to carry on.  

On our way to the airport, we were passed by a fire truck, we both commented that it was the first time we had seen it out and about.  Little did we know that it was on the way to Larissa's village and those she works with .  18 families in total , some are able to go to family or friends , but  over 60 people were left with nothing after their apartment complex burned to the ground.   While we were in the air heading south , our team here was busy with the first response.  Just so much devastation and so few resources, where do you even start. 

whats left of one of the ground floor apartments 

Larisa comforts one of the families .. 

this couple left with  nothing , trying to think what they will do now 

this young boy goes threw what is left of his apartment and finds his moms set of good glasses some how survived the fire.

they just do not know where to start 
One of our friends works in the local government, and they have opened up one of the schools for the families to come to for food and temporary shelter.. But even for the village, this is more of a financial strain then they can bare alone.  I met with her today and we have committed to providing meals for everyone for Monday .. we will cook breakfast for them, prepare a bagged lunch, and then return at supper for a meal.. I am thinking that we should have Vlady prepare ploff and shashleek for them, Its certainly not a time of celebration for them, but who knows how long it will be before the can have a celebration meal again.
As well yesterday Julie met with our people and provided some money for emergency first response, not much , but a start, as well we will sponsor those elderly that are taken to the seniors home, as well as possibly another family to Aigulla's home .   I will meet with Larissa tomorrow and put together more of a comprehensive plan .. but here are some immediate needs
Mattresses and blankets are about $20 a set. tooth past and brushes about $3 each , food for the shelter $150 a day, and we are gathering clothes and shoes... when you evacuate at 2 am, you pretty much need everything.   

So on to Osh .....    We arrived at 7 am , it was a great flight .  here is the baggage area,  the truck pulls in and everyone rummages until they find their bags.

We went to a cafe for lunch, and had a choice of first or second breakfast .. both of which were dinner items... I was looking forward to elevenzies ... thia was not the only similarity to the Lord of the Rings .. Much of the sceniery was similar.

In the centre of the City there is a huge mountain that is full of massive caves and caverns.  in side the maze of rooms and various levels of floors , we came to this room the is closed in with a huge window.

From the top of the mountain we had a great view of the city .. The last photos I had from here , this entire section of the city was a smoldering ruins. 

further up the mountains we came to Solomans temple where he is said to have come to pray. ( in the distance with the flag above it )

When we came down off the mountain , we went to our friend house .  He had taken the day to show us around the city , and to get to meat us personally.  We had brought 4 large bags of cloths with us from the container from Norway.  This man and his fiends do a lot of the same kind of thing that we do in the north , supports  orphanages, the disabled, helps with documents, runs a shelter and a rehab center , and so much more .  so you can imagine how thrilled they were with the clothes.

On our way for lunch we ran into one of the seniors that he works with .. this Babushka has 2 disabled daughters, and a few grand children she supports.  Some one had cheated her out of her home, and with no documents,  they are left in a bad way. 
She brought us home for tea

Here she shared some of her life stories .

We heard a lot of stories. from the people we met,. how life was before the killings and how things are now.  The friend driving us shared how he had moved his family to an inner room so that the bullets would not get to them... His wife was as her sisters, but he had the kids.  for hours they could hear the shooting and felt the shakes as the house was being littered with bullets.. the saw the flashes of light and smelled the smoke as their neighbours house was torched, and heard the screams as they were shot at as they ran out.  He said they just hunkered down and prayed .. When things calmed down on the second day , they tried to call his wife.  The person answering the phone was almost uncontrollable as she told them that the the wife had been killed by a brick...   It was devastating for them as the continued to hide out in there little room.  The next day he tried to drive to retrieve his wife's remains. ,    he could only make it a couple bocks then his car was shot up.. the final shot hitting the gas tank, fortunately the tank did not explode, and he was able to get out of the car before it caught fire and burned.    When he got back home , he called the family again to say that he was delayed in coming for his wife's body... when the phone connected, it was his wife answering the phone.. It turned out something had gone screwy with the phones, and the first time was a wrong number and the person who answered it had a sister with the same name who had just died.  he said we were happy, of course we felt sad for the person with his wifes name that died, but that they were very relieved... Then he said " OF course I am telling you now this calmly , but then we were a little more emotional "  He has stayed and worked to help the thousands get their lives back, but all these years latter and still life is hard for them ... we had this conversation standing in the middle of a construction site as his neighbors house was being rebuild ... this time of bricks.

As we walked around the city with he and his daughter, we came across this, so Bekah and Cody took his daughter for a treat.
10 pm we boarded the plane for the 35 minute flight back to Bishkek. . and by 1 am we were back in Tokmok.

It was a long day, and I felt bad to be away when I knew so much was happening back in the village, but it did show me something .. I saw first hand that even when a crisis hits,  life does go on.  And I pray that some how our 60 + refuges will find the strength to go on too. 

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