We have some great kids out at the farm. They are all so eager to work , and most of all please us. A little bit of positive affirmation goes a long way, but some times TOO far.
The kids that we have on the farm are a product of an institution, and as such basic logic skill are just not there. I don't think that they have ever understood a reason for anything that they have done, so its difficult for them now to see a need and come up with a solution. The farm is in two sections, one is the boys side and one is the main centre.. this makes it difficult to be always watching what they are up to also they tend to spread out around the property. Let me give you some examples of kids trying to help, barring in mind these are kids ranging in age from 18 to 24 years old.
Hearing the grinder, I wonder over to the boys side to see whats going on , What I find is one of the boys has the small fridge from inside the house out on the driveway, The door is off and the fridge is tipped over, and with the grinder he is cutting a big hole in the bottom of the fridge .. So I ask the obvious "What are you doing" to which he responds "Making a dog house" so I say But the fridge still works!" he responds .. "Its OK I saved all the stuff I took f the back.." He has absolutely no concept of what he has done wrong and he was just wanting to make a good home for the dog .. I look down at him and smile .. My Russian is too bad the say much , and not really sure what would come out if I could speak.. but i think to myself..Where would this boy be if he was not living at the farm.
We were all siting at the table giving a lesson on carving watermelons ..all having a great time and soaking up the attention.. Jengish comes over stands there for a second.. I see him do a head count .. " where is _____" he says .. hum so he goes to investigate .. The boy that was cutting fire wood had left the pile of brush that we needed cut up and had cut down the apple tree and the lilac tree from the front of the farm .. But he was so pleased with himself because he had found much thicker branches to use for fire wood.. But you would have to ask " What would happen if he worked some where else and cut down all their fruit trees ....
Doing a head count, Jengish notices that one of the young men is missing.. upon investigation he finds one up on the roof of the house .. He asked what he is doing up there .. He had found an old can of paint and wanted to see if there was anything in it .. so what does that have to do with being on the roof ? well the can had rusted shut and he needed to pry it open , and did not have a screw driver, but saw the lightning rod and decided that he could use the tip of it to pry the can open.. why not ,, don't we all use a lightning rod on the roof to open a can ?
We have another boy that looks after the ducks .. and is so attentive to them, but is so excited that new babies where coming that he did not have patience , so he was going early into the barn every few days and opening an egg to see how close they were to hatching .. We could not figure out what has happening until the final 3 eggs hatched , at which point he snatched them up, put them in a small box and came running to us all excited to show us that we had new baby ducks .....What can I say .. I was not so nice and started to yell a bit.. fortunately he can't understand English, but pretty sure he understood body language .. because ran back and put the babies back , fortunately the mother duck excepted two of them back .. The mother Pig is due any day .. I told them they better not try to take her babies especially since she weighs about 3 times what he does .. What if he worked for some one else ? where would he be today if not for the farm ?
Today we were in Bishkek. we had an airport run then lunch at Jengishes parents. While there, Jengish gets a call " OK , I am almost done , when will you be here with the money?" Jengish asks "Who are you and what are you talking about ?" He said he is the tractor driver and he is almost finished .. Jengish again tells him he has no idea what he is talking about , then the guy says "here talk to this guy" and one of our boys comes on the phone "Its all OK Jengish I have everything taken care of, you just need to come and pay the man !" Jengish again tries to figure out what is going on, and is told that he hired the tractor for a couple hours... This boy has been told so many times that he does not make the decisions like this, we even put a grease board out there yesterday with a to do list if they wanted to do something , and a spot to put down what they would like to do and await approval.. .. Where would he be if he was not living on the farm ? and I wonder what they did with the tractor .. I guess we will see in the morning when we go to pay him.... Grrrrrrr
These are just a few examples . In fact as you can imagine there is so much more that I can not even share. Its so difficult to get mad at them though , they all try so hard and have the best intentions , but it brings us back to when we had toddlers in the house , they require the same level of supervision some times .. But believe it or not we see marked improvement from when they arrived .. maybe in a few years they will be ready to venture out into the real world, but until then we are so thankful to all of you who have supported the farm where kids like this have a safe place to learn, develop logic skills, and grow into themselves. We also realise that every young person that comes to us will have there own set of challenges so this will be life as we know it I guess.. I have a good friend who always says " If you are going to laugh about it in the future, you might as well laugh now !"