Thursday, September 09, 2010

Social co-op to open soon

The last couple days have been fun , sad, stressful, exhilarating, interesting, just a little bit of everything.
We had some specific needs that had been met, so we got the blessing of letting people know... One of them was our young friend Torat, when we told him that we had his scholarship to study in Ukraine, he smiled... Sergey pressed him a bit, and he said he did not believe us. I think it will take a little time to sink in.   We also received the full funding to get the container sent to the south. Sergey was all set to leave tomorrow, but when we met with the mayors office yesterday, they warned us that there are roomers of more unrest in the south this weekend, so we called down and had that confirmed, so it will likely be Tuesday or Wednesday before Sergey goes.   It  may end up that he is away for the beginning of the visit of a friend of ours and our son Benjamin who are coming in a little over a week .  I got a call from one of our drivers that his van is fixed and ready so he is back to work now.  That was a pay it forward.. he  back to work, and we have a weeks credit with him, so that will come in handy when the guests arrive.
   This morning Vlady and I went to the Bazaar... it was bazaar.  But we actually accomplished a lot.  We found , negotiated , and rented a container there. It is in a great spot. You go through the front gates, and walk strait, and you come to our container. It has a cover over the walk, and good solid doors that we can just open and be ready to sell.  We don't have to  re set everything up each time .   The store will be called TOKMOK SOCIAL CO-OP.. the kids want to call it BIG JOHN's SOCIAL CO-OP, but that does not really fit with the idea of a low profile. hahaha...   The idea is that all the orphanages and institutions that we work with along with the families that we are helping can bring their arts and crafts there and we will sell them things for them on consignment.   We will have things like the felt slippers and nativity yurts from Swetly Pute orphanage, maybe some mats and chair covers from Red river, the honey and preserves from the rehab centre, The men in the invalid home have been busy painting for us, our neighbour, Babushka Maria can make us socks and slippers.. We even have a group of old Kyrgyz Artizans that will be making traditional authentic carpets and susanna's . and of course we will have Aigoola's mattresses and blankets as well.   We have a good relationship with the T shirt factory as well, so we will be able to have a good assortment of quality stitched Kyrgyzstan T shirts for sale as well.  The whole thing is being set up in such a way that once it is up and running, my only obligation will be to guarantee the $15 a month rental of the container.
   We then went over to talk to a wood worker that is going to go over and make shelving units for us.  Monday Vlady will register the business, and by the end of next week, we should be open for business.
Back at the apartment, we finished cleaning out our back balcony that was used as storage and we made a small office there as well.  A nice quiet place for the girls to study , away from the distractions of the family.
   Speaking of the family, we had a family meeting tonight.  It is really difficult to parent when there is such a cultural and language barrier.  We know that what we have is a temporary situation, and in the next week we need to begin something a little more permanent.  We wanted to make sure the Boys knew the plans that we had so nothing was a surprise for them. The last thing we want is for them to think that we do not want them. So we had a good talk and explained that they would be moving in with Sergey and Anya as well.  We wanted to hear their input.  They said that they really liked Sergey and Anya, and that they knew that they were safe with them.  It just seemed to be so mater of fact.  After, we just felt so sad for them that life could have so many ups and downs that something like this is just part of life, and your thoughts revolve around , do you feel safe.   They are doing so well from what we can tell.. it has been hard. Their parents left the home we brought them to, and have moved back to town and are living on the streets here. Every now and then they are coming across the kids and wanting them to come with them.  It must be so hard for the kids to walk past their own parents living like that.   The older brother staarted working with Jengish this week out at the rehab centre, and he absolutely loves it their.  In fact he gets off work this weekend, and he is coming to town to find the parents and to try to get them to come to the centre. Maybe with him there, the father will agree to enter the program.  In a couple months the centre will be ready to start a women's rehab centre, so their mother will be able to go as well.    
  Well my turn on the internet is up, so I will write more later.


TheHappyNeills said...

Great news about the co-op! Exciting!

I'll be praying for the boys.

(p.s. I think on the blog site, the "comment" link is the same color as the background, at least on my computer it is. Also the "Create a Link" option. I had to highlight the whole area to find where I could click to leave a comment. But I'm not tech-savvy so maybe it's just on my end!!)

Allison said...

Exciting news about the Co-op. What a great opportunity. Any way we would be able to purchase items and have them sent back to the States. My little Josie just outgrew her last pair of felt slippers and is heartbroken. I'm trying to find her bigger pairs but so far no luck.
Good luck and I can't wait to see pictures!