The sap has finely started to run, and right now I am boiling off the first batch to make maple syrup. I have just 10 days then we will have to pull the plugs to head back to Kyrgyzstan. Firing up the kazan sure helps put me in the Kyrgyzstan mind set
Here is a little update from the economic situation in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is part of the Russian trade federation , along with all of the former Soviet republics, so in many ways they are tied to Russia for food and trade. With the sanctions in place (as they should be ) and the effects on the Russian currency, the Kyrgys som has started to tumble. for example, a short time ago, to send 25000 KG som would cost me almost $500 CDN. Today that was just $310 CDN. The problem lies in that most of their food is imported , and this has resulted in huge inflation rates , as well as broken supply chains means that many things are no longer available. I am able to get a lot more som for a dollar now, but it sure does not go far. The average person who does not receive their pay in dollars is simply faced with being able to buy half as much for twice the price.
Already we are starting to see the effects on families and those more vulnerable. If we just stayed focused on the farm itself we would be ok because I receive the funds in CDN and US dollars . The difficulty for us is the HUGE amount of humanitarian Aid we distribute. With the growing needs and the growing prices this will be difficult to maintain. We are so blessed that as this was starting we had just purchased the food for 250 food hampers for the families growing gardens with us as well as a food drop for the families in the dump. we have also been able to get Vitamins distributed to help supplement the lack of nutritious balanced diets
We have several of our young adults in school and working in the city . So we have started our weekly meal program with them. They Come to our workers house once a week and get a really good meal, and are sent home with leftovers and some staple foods , as well as any financial support is given at this time . Today those that had not received them recently got more vitamins .
At the start of the pandemic in 2020 we found ourselves in a tight financial situation after the winter ... and like then we are facing that now. In 2020 we had funds for a Banya and an addition on the guest house , so we spoke to the donors and were able to use those funds so we could keep the humanitarian aid running through the early days of the pandemic. We were able to get caught up a bit and build the banya over the winter, but it appears that getting caught up with the addition and repairs on the Guest house might have been too ambitious. Originally we had planed to start construction in a couple weeks when we got there, but now we are rethinking that. This will give us a small reserve to once again meet the urgent needs of 2022 while we wait for funds to come in.
An update on Turat and family (Aigoolas son ). They are safe in Warsaw and trying to work when available , along with millions of other refugees. They are trying to figure out options where they can stay together as a family. We will be ready to help them once we know more , but for now we know that they are safe .