Monday, August 30, 2010

Ready for school

This mornings shop was a little more then a back to school shop.  Besides finishing up for our two boys, we had two more friends with us.  One of these boys is the one that tried to take his life last summer. They have had a terrible start to life, and now are living in what is not really the ideal situation. Today we brought them with us for the day. More then just shopping, we are trying to get a feel for how they are doing with their living situation. Jengish is here with us as he will be better at reading between the lines.. Intuition is so difficult when crossing a language and cultural barrier.  Our main objective is to make sure that they are safe and well until David and Jayne get here to be able to dig a little deeper into their situation and how we can help... we have enough cans open right now.  They are having a good day and have started to relax a little . They are playing cards with Bekah and the other kids right now. Interesting enough , our two boys had lived with them in one of the orphanages here for about 8 months so they get along well.   We are also getting them moved to a Russian school. They currently are registered in a Kyrgyz school, but up until last fall they had been in a Russian school, so the change was difficult for them.  This has also meant that they had to have a uniform so they could attend.  We also got them a change of cloths and a spot outfit .   After the morning at the bazaar we all went out for lunch. Jengish is really good with the kids, and they are all having a blast.  This goes a long way in building the relationship that is needed to get to the bottom of the family situation. 
  Back at the apartment we have a whole pile of paper and pens etc. We bought them bulk to save money, so the boys were able to pick out what they need (with Altynai's help) So they are all set now.
Tomorrow is the last holiday before school is back in .  We are hoping to spend the day with Acel and Talant.  We have not been able to spend as much time with them as usual, with the new baby, Acel is not able to be with us every day.. we are missing her.
  I spoke with Vlady this morning. He brought us over honey and tomatoes.  We are working on a project with him. We are forming a social co-op. We will rent a spot at the bazaar, and stock it with all the stuff that is made at the different places we help , like the orphanage and invalid home, as well as some of the families we support, like Aigoola's mattresses and blankets.  Everything will be on consignment. The rent for the space will be about $65 a month and the worker who looks after it will make about $80 a month.. We will start by setting the prices about 5% lower then market value, and have 10% of the sale price go back to the operation budget. Once sales are high enough to cover their own expenses, any additional funds raised will go to social charity work in the community.  We will expect to be self sufficient with in about 6 months.  Besides providing a job, it will also give a sales out let for all the different people we work with . They are all excited about this, Last night I had someone come and ask if we would do the same thing in Kazakhstan.  I told them that it would not be me, but they could certainly copy the model once all the bugs are worked out.  Bekah is thinking that she would like to volunteer there maybe one day a week as well. 
Larisa is expected back from Russia  this week, then we will be able to spend a few days with her doing some follow-up to some of the simple dreams she has been working on, as well as visiting the seniors home and invalid home.  We could certainly go on our own, but I always like to arrive with her the first time each visit, It helps to reinforce with everyone that we are here to support her, and that in our absence, we would like her to be treated with the same respect that they show us... after all it is her burden we are here to support.  

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