Thursday, October 30, 2014

22 "Food Shares from the farm" sold to date 78 to go ..

22 food shares sold to date .. 

We are so excited about this, food shares from the farm will provide fresh produce delivered weekly the entire growing season to so many in need,  orphanages, seniors home, families in need, students, and the homeless.... to read more or see who will be receiving food shares , go to this link   100 share total will be sold for $60 each .  

Food shares benefit in other ways as well. 

- provide food and salaries for young adults who have just come out of the orphanage system and require more support and training so they are not living on the streets.  On the farm they will receive skills training, and become part of the family. 

- provide a safe home to re-start a life after successfully completing a rehab program 

- Guys from the farm will be community minded, and  provide labor support for those in need free of charge .. seniors, single moms, or any one struggling to do it alone. 

- . people have begun asking  to come to the farm, simply to visit and hold the animals and take some pictures, as well we have found great benefit to bringing the animals to the orphanages and seniors home for a visit .. there is nothing like snuggling with a cute little bunny to relax a person.. young and old , Men women , they all love the time spent with the animals.

We have sold 22 shares and have 78 to go, but  there are other ways you can support the farm and all those it helps.  As I said, food shares will go to food and salaries, and expenses directly related to growing crops.  We rely on separate designated donations to renovate , and expand the animal base of the farm.  You can go to this link to see what some of those needs might be.   

Maybe you would like to purchase food shares from the farm, or any other designated item as a Christmas present or Birthday present, or any other special event.   If you would like a Card sent from us to the recipient, just let me know and we would be pleased to mail a personalized card with a photo from the farm with a special thanks from all of us . 

Getting ready for the team

We have a great team coming in a few days , we are getting excited .. Dave was here last year and is coming back with his son and a couple friends.  This will be such a blessing for the people of Kyrgyzstan.  some of the things on their list to do ,  Movie days at the seniors home and Mens home , along with some great donations, the next day they will be purchasing coal for the seniors and many of those in need  ( we will still need another 15 tons to cover everyone before winter , it would be great if the donations come in so we can do everyone at once , then I can stop worrying and stop hounding you all ) , The team will be setting up our emergency food garage for the winter , and delivering food to about 20 families , They are sponsoring a day with bubbles the clown , visiting and bringing joy to over 500 people through out the day.  One day we will spend in Bishkek taking children from another orphanage bowling and out for supper, and even some dentist visits for kids in need.  They will spend a day working on the farm along with the children from another orphanage ( and celebrating Jengishes birthday )   then going to the hot springs .  They will also be sponsoring a special day with Dayspring and Jeremiah kids.  , and that evening having supper with a family in the mountains where they have sponsored a micro loan for a new cow barn .. believe it or not , thats not all .. this will be one action packed week.  
A scheduled like this does not just happen .. it takes a lot of work and it takes involvement by all our friends here .. in a country where events are planed by the day, they have learned to plan by the minute..and they all do it well...  

making plans .. and phone calls to confirm event days and times 

Today we went to the bazaar to order many of the different items that the team will be giving out to people along the way .. carpets, tushuks, blankets, more winter coats and heaters for the families from the fire in the spring..   Uts all coming together .  

We are starting to get some of the meals ready for the team so that it will not be so hard when they are here.  It is a god time for cooking lessons for Kamala Izada and Baktagul.  this is something that we are going to be doing a few times a week .  they are eager to learn and it will be great for them to know how to prepare several different meals. 

layering the lasagna noodles. they each made a pan 
ready for the freezer Yum

Emma and Jengish have been getting their  apartment ready as well.  The bedroom is all cleaned out, the beds are made .  The carpets are down for the winter.    After going out to the farm to bring supplies, they made a trip out to the field to check one more time before winter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting ready for winter

 Winter hit here with a vengeance.   The forcast said it would snow Sunday night , then it would warm up again, but we sure have not seen that,  We got the snow alright, but it sure has not warmed up much. the snow still weighs down the branches on the trees, and the cold air continues to roll out of the mountains.  On the way out to the farm, you can see that the snow capped mountains are white right down to the valley .. I have even gotten messages through on my phone warning of avelanches in the mountain passes.   It seemed like a great time to get out the bags of mittens and scarfs that were sent by friends in Norwood and Brantford. Yesterday we went to  one of the orphanages, and were able to let every child choose a hat and a scarf.  

they were very thankful, and especially loved that they were all different, and they all got to choose .. We have been working hard with these kids , and today we saw some marked improvement with math with one of the boys when we changed up his teaching method a bit .. a little bit of success, sure helps their self esteem 

the bunny came for a visit with us as well .. boy the kids love that , not sure I can say it enough. 

We were back to the farm today to bring some beds and a chair out to the guys ,  While there we ended up buying 5 chickens off of a neighbor.. she needd the money and we wanted to help, and we always have room for more chickens so it worked out well.

The guys have been busy,  The front porch was in kind of rough shape, and needed a little work, 

it needed a little foundation work, and the lower boards where all starting to rot. 

Acelbek decided it was best to remove the boards completly, and do the hole think in stone,, this is the same stone work that he is doing on all the foundation of the house and the out buildings. Hopefully it warms up a bit like the weatherman had promised and we can get this done before winter.    You can also see that all the loose cement on the walls has been chipped out, and new cement is there now.  Next week we will try to get it painted .

On the coal front, it looks like we have money on rout for about 10 tons,  we could really use another 20 tons .. prices will be going up now that we have had the first snow, but if we act quick we are looking at about  $1600 to meet this need and know that so many will be warm . 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Feeling blessed ...

Emma and I were felt very honoured today when we were presented with these great T-shirts .. It is so true We do love Tokmok .  They came with very kind words as well   " I have known John for along time, but only today I have met him in person, John Wright and his family come from a far away place "Canada", but they are true Tokmokiens who with his family engage in good deeds helping our citizens .... and He proudly and confidently can say I LOVE TOKMOK " 

Today I hit another land mark ... Down 90 lbs .. take a look .

Monday, October 27, 2014

Winter hits Tokmok,,, people still with out coal

We woke up to this 

All the warning signs were there,  the bitterly cold breeze rolling down out of the mountains at night, the white snow caps moving lower and lower every day, and the worry wrinkles on the faces of so many.  This is the final warning for us.  Next is the bitter cold when people start to suffer and die.     This morning it  was announced  that  the  city will turn on the heat today.  This is great news for those of us in apartements, but does not help so many in homes and shelters.
   We still have, families, the seniors home and the farm that is in need of coal. I want to purchase it next week, so we need your help now so that I can get the money transferred in time.  we need a total of 30 tons of coal, including delivery , we are looking for $2400 to make it through the winter . please consider how you can help. maybe sponsor even one ton ($80)  then watch the blog Tuesday the 4th of November to see the deliveries. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

and then there were 2

Today turned out to be just intermittent drizzle in the morning.  This worked out well since we still had a bit more cement to do to finish the clinic. Acelbeck came out from the farm to help, ad Sasha was there again.   We have been concerned about Sasha, he is a good hard working boy, and working hard to keep his past behind him.  Yesterday  he could not start work until afternoon as his head was hurting in the morning .  It turns out that the day before on his way home from work, he was beat up by some other kids .. I am not sure if it was an ethnic thing , or just that he was walking alone in a bad neighborhood, something that he could not avoid because that's where he lives.  Even at the best of times that is not a good situation.  Both Jengish and I had been thinking that maybe he should come and live at the farm .  Yesterday on the way home Jengish talked with Acelbeck, and he too thought that maybe the farm would be a better place for Sasha.  

Today after work Jengish and Acelbeck spoke to him, and shared their concern for him, and told him that the farm was there, and could be a "safe place " for him when ever he needed it.   It turns out that the building he is living in is being shut down and everyone is evicted.. they have just 10 days to leave, already there is no longer heat, electricity or water.   Sasha was very pleased with the idea.  We told him that there is not much there right now, no furniture or anything , but there is a warm bed, coal for the fire, running water , electricity, and we could feed him .  he will have some chores to do each day , and the bus ride is only 20 minutes into Tokmok for work, and will pick him up and drop him off right at the door.    He came out with us tonight to see, and was quick to say yes .. It was something to see, his smile went from a polite smile to a soft relaxed at peace smile .. he stood in the barn with us , and as he hugged one of the rabbits, you could see and feel the presence of that  "HOPE FOR THE FUTURE" 

Funny thing .. today the chickens lays 2 eggs for us rather then the usual 1. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pittsburgh sings "O Canada"

I am proud to be a Canadian, and have had great liberties afforded to me because I was born a Canadian.   In our closet here I have a little collection of Canadian flags, pins, pens, you name it.  I always feel a little funny handing them out unless time to time  I am asked for them.  For years now, we have experienced such incredible support from so many in the United States that I see this work not as just a Canadian endeavor, but as a North American one.    I am so grateful to our friends in the south.  

Today that  respect that I have for so many in the US was once again brought to the for front. 

 As Canadians our hearts are torn here, partially in disbelief and partially expected.  There are may mixed up people in this world that thrive on evil.  Yet when evil strikes so close to home, even when we are 7000 miles away, it is still upsetting,  The week before returning to Kyrgyzstan, we sat on the front steps of the Canadian Parliament buildings and had a picnic lunch.. we walked around the building and read the scriptures engraved into the  corner stones ... “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea”,  “Give the King thy judgment, O God, and thy righteousness unto the King’s son” and “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.. these are the most well known, but my favorite is "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill to men"     This is what we try to do  every day ... Bring peace and good will to the hurting helpless and lost...  peace and good will , something that seams to be lost on so many in this world  .   

Today I am thankful again for our friends in the south , In a public forum , where no Canadian teams were playing, Our friends in the south in a show of support, called the full house to prayer and support of Canadians everywhere ... and joined in singing O Canada .....God keep our land  glorious and free ....   

Thank you my friends .   

A visit to the seniors home

So often Jengish and Emma talk about the calming influence of animals on the farm. Although we are focusing on the Food Shares from the farm as the principal method of fundraising to cover the bills, the farm is much more then that.  The farm will have a wide variety of animals as well.  Along with raising animals as a working for profit farm, the animals that we are raising, have a therapeutic purpose as well.  For the "workers" on the farm, the animals will help them to understand love and caring for another .. something that many of them may never have experienced before.  

When we were going to the bazaar last week, we where talking about what to get, and Acelbeck shared that he really likes geese.  you should have seen the grin on his face when we came home with a pair of geese.    We have had the rabbits to visit the orphanage, and watched as the kids took turns with the bunnies.. We have even had families call Jengish already asking if the can bring their kids to the farm to spend time with the animals.. so it is looking more and more like the petting farm will be a significant part of what the farm will have to offer.    
Yesterday, we decided to pack up the bunnies and head out to the seniors home for a visit .  We have hand made cloth gift bags that were made for us , and they were the perfect size for the bunnies, it helped them to feel secure and at the same time was added protection from "accidents" .
From the moment we got there, it was amazing to see how they all connected, I was starting to think we may not get them back.   Here are a few photos from the visit. 

The man could not see or hear very well, and is very week, but he enjoyed laying there and petting the bunny  and playing with his ears 

while the bunnies made the rounds, these four sat the whole time with their new friend .  In the video below you can see a cute little conversation with one of the babushka's and her bunny .

"OH I see you looking at me .. your tricky "
"soon you will have to go "
"you will go to your owners and they will look after you "

this man loved his bunny, and decided to go for a walk with him, fortunately we corralled him back before he got too far 

Victor shared with us all about looking after rabbits , he used to raise them when he was a younger man .

she is confused and agitated, but loved the feel of the bunny on her face.

After a long hard days work, the bunnies had a nice nap with Bekah when they got home. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

what to do on a rainy day

Today was a rain day , so we did not get the start we wanted at the clinic.  Where it does not rain a lot, but the rain this time of year lasts the whole day and it is so cold and miserable to be out in, it does not even help to fill the water reservoirs because only a few hundred feet up now it will be snow that is here for the winter ... Two things to look forward to in the rain... A beautiful clear day to see the mountains and their white caps when it stops, and the stupid pack of dogs stop barking and fighting outside our window.  

Today Bekah brought one of the bunnies with her and Kamala to homework club at the orphanage.

the kids loved this so much ,  They each had a little turn holding him .

Today the memory assignment was a poem to a little bunny rabbit so they were able to recite their poem to Kaydusha... here is a cute little video of one of the younger kids .

This home work club has been such an incredible help to the kids , As orphans the schools do't necessarly give the kids the attention they need, and the life at the orphanage is difficult for the workers to keep up with home work and helping the kids to understand everything .  As well several of the kids have difficulties as a result of missed school or unstable homes in the past, so they require more support then the average "Home child" would get .   Kamala and a helper spend 3 to 4 hours a day with them.  an investment in their future for sure.  

A rainy day is a great time to stay inside here .. and what better to do inside on a rainy day then to watch a movie .. Larisa and Tanya have been giving their new movie projector a work out , first at the mens home .

they sure loved this .. up until now, a movie would not be something that they would have a chance to enjoy ..

they are not the only ones that had a movie day , the kids over at the hospital got a viewing as well.. These are some of the kids that had their homes burn down in the spring. Tanya has a room there that she uses to do crafts and school work with the kids . She has asked us if we could help her set this class room up with supplies, and then find funding for $200 a month ..she would like $50 a week that she could get supplies, and food snacks for the kids when they come home from school .  they don't have living rooms in their new rooms so she wants to have a place where they can come to

there are about 40 kids all together that she would like to work with so it works out to be about $1.25 a week per child .    another big bang for your buck if someone wanted to be a part of this ,

they have been working hard getting the rooms ready for winter   this is the main hallway upstairs with the rooms 

they are ready for the new rolls of roofing and tar to be put on now .. 

 this has been a community project with the families doing a lot of the work themselves. The materials are provided by us .  When everything is finished, if we have a bit of money from this project left, we will get a small space heater for each room to help keep them warm .  Also a remender that if any one would like to sponsor a coat or a blanket from Augulla's , you can buy them for $20 and we will have them custom made and delivered ..

Tomorrow , we will get things started at the clinic, then we would like to pick up the 7 small bunnies and bring them out to the seniors home for a visit.. they are so cuddly right now, I am hoping it will be a treat for them to snuggle with them for a bit.  .. will see how it goes... photos to follow.  

I should mention, another story we will share more about tomorrow .   While 270 men, and 55 kids where being blessed with support and needed attention by our team ,   Jengish and Emma were off looking for the one.  Jamal was a student from the rehab center, and then stayed on as a worker, taking care of the chicken farm that we set up for them there.  Ever since Jengish brought him off the streets back around 7 years ago, he has had a soft spot in his heart for Jamal.  

A few weeks ago we heard that Jamal had disappeared ,    He was sick and was going in to the Dr, but never returned.  We heard that he has Cancer, and did not have anyone that would help him ..

I just received this photo from Jengish a few minutes ago.  He found Jamal at one of the cancer hospitals in Bishkek. Jengish will be here in the morning and we can try to figure out the best plan for Jamal and I will let you know when I know more.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Every day we are in awe with the view on the way to the village .. the green strip of trees you see at the base of this mountain is the little farming village where the farm is .  if you go up to the right  side of the mountain you come to the hot springs, and if you go to the left  you come to the water falls, go one more mountain cut to the left, you will find Jengish and Emma's grain/ hay field, and up in that mountain is the cow barn that we provided a micro loan for, and where we will be keeping our cows as part of the payment plan.  .. one day I will put up a little map.  

click on the photo to see a larger version 

Two workers are spending the night at the farm now .  they are doing a great job. at this rate, there will be no trouble having all the foundations repaired by winter .  The only thing slowing them down is the little ducks from next door.. all day they are pestering them , checking out everything they do and everything they touch.. actually , I think he likes it .

We found a water feeder today for the chicken run , they were about $5 so we got just one and will wait to get more as needed as the farm grows.  It hangs from the rafters so that it will stay clean  

The geese spent the whole day in the water bucket out side today ,  Jengish moved the food tray over so that they  could eat and drink at the same spot , not relay intending for them to do this ... I think Mr goose thinks he is at the spaw.

They guys are almost finished harvesting the sugar beets now.  They have left a lot of tops.  This is great food for the rabbits, so we started bringing them in to pile up in the corner of the barn to feed for the next couple months.   The rabbits see us with them and come running.

Not all the animals are at the farm.. Bekah thinks that the bunnies should have some home time with her. so she will take turns bringing a different  one home each time she goes... this deal is to be renegotiated on a daily basis.

Meet Kadyusha today's bunny 
Tonight is Sabira's birthday so we are home early to get changed and ready to go for a party there.

Vlady called, He is back from Turkey now and the work will start at the hospital again tomorrow morning .  The farm has everything it needs to keep rolling for about a week now so we will be able to focuse on the hospital again.. Also Tomorrow Emma and Jengish will take Aiperie to the city to pick up the rest of her sewing stuff so that she can start making the jackets for us .

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Here we grow again . Back at the farm

Today ended with 7 new rabbits, 2 geese, 7 chickens, and 4 new ducks.. all in their pens ... but where it started is a whole other story.

We headed to the Bazaar not exactly sure what we were going to come home with , Acylbek said that he really likes geese, so we knew that we were going to get him one, but the rest was up in the air.  We decided we would walk the length of the bazaar and look, not just for who would come to the farm, but who we could help in the mean time ,  

It only took a matter of minutes when a young friend we know from one of the orphanages came running to us.  He is with a family now , and was calling Emma by name across the bazaar.. he was so happy to see us , and asked us to say hello to his friend Amir at the orphanage.  He then asked if I would like to buy his chickens .. "SURE" I said , not knowing the price or the quantity, and I handed him a bag to put them in .... fortunately he had only three chickens for sale, and his price was good so I was able to round it up a little bit.   

His mom had 4 ducks that she was selling so we decided to buy them as well.   The chickens where not really they type I was looking for , but we found two more cute little boys who arrived with the ones that I like so we got 4 more from them as well.  

Right across from the boys was a young girl that we have known for a long time, Possibly Sam from iam1ru and his team from Quebec will recognize her as well.  She was selling her rabbits.  So we loaded up 7 more cute bunnies.  She is working with a vet now, and assured us that they were well bred and had their shots.    That was enough to draw Bekah back to the farm today. She has decided that to help keep the bunnies super friendly, she should bring a different one home for a visit each time she visits the farm ... we have agreed on a daily re-examination of the agreement.  but for now she is enjoying her new friend 

We picked up some plywood to bring to the farm to form for the foundation.  We tied it on the roof, but Jengish was in such a rush that he tied it through the windows and not the open door.. definitely not the first time I have seen this done , My door was open so Emma and I could get in but Jengish and his brother did it Dukes of Hazard style.

We had the inside pen finished yesterday, so we had a place to unload the menagerie until we finished the out side chicken run, .

As soon as we unloaded the plywood , Asylbek, and our young friend Elmir ( tatchka drivers son ) started forming up to pour the new foundation  They have two walls completely finished now, just needs painting. As well we have decided that the stone work looks so good that he will do all the courtyard walls with stone up about a foot and a half, and as well will do the little front porch in stone as well.  We are thankful to those who have purchased "Food shares from the farm" this week , this has allowed us to have Asylbek come and live and work at the farm, and today Elmir, and we have been told of three others that  would like to come as well. One of them Jengish has worked with in the past at the rehab center, and is fantastic with the animals , amazing how things are coming together

Bekah buried the wire into the ground while we put the finishing touches on the run

this next picture I like because it shows the guys working , Bekah working, the ducks and geese out in the pen, and Borsok standing guard .. over seeing his domain

the next photo is a view of the back garden out the outhouse window .. its too bad that the big white snow caped mountains don't show up in the picture .. I thought that this was a picture of the future with all the guys out working in the garden.. what it actually is ,  friends of the people who lived there before us.  The agreement was that they could still harvest their crops this fall.

These next couple pictures are a shout out to my niece Samantha.. She loves chickens, and wanted one of the chickens named by her .. so let me introduce you to Izzy...


Once we had the run finished, we started building more rabbit hutches ,

We managed to finish up one of the levels, there will be five levels in total , we can finish them as the rabbits multiply .. each level is is about 14 feet long and has room for about 10 rabbits .

it did not take long for everyone to start getting along ,  here they are out sun bathing ,

No one was interested in playing in the water basin , no one except the neighbors ducklngs that love us and are always under feet..they were thrilled when Bekah opened the door so they could run into the pen and have a quick bath .. at least some one appreciated the girls efforts.