Saturday, October 31, 2015

What a day of blessing for so many

 I ended yesterdays post with us all heading out for supper with the folks from LAMb here in Kyrgyzstan .. We had a great night , 33 of us in total, it was one of those nights that when the meal was over everyone was content to sit around and visit .. A great time was had by all.

This morning we went out shopping early for food hampers that we would deliver through out the day , some went with bekeah to get the hampers, and some went with me to get apples

nice young boy at this stall has helped us pack hundreds of packs in the past 

Once we were finished shopping , we headed to Larisa's house to pack all the bags, as well as to bring her five  and a half tons of coal that she will be able to give to people in need through out the winter.
Romma shows off the coal

each pack has potatoes, tea, pasta, rice, buckwheat, oil, cadenced milk, sugar and apples 

Our first stop with the bags was to the dump 

Next stop was to the mens home to give out apples .. with over 650 lbs of apples, we were able to make sure all 270 men got more apples then they could hold .... 

Once the apples were distributed, we went back to Larisa's for lunch and a visit.  She always has lots of animals there as well.  I don't know why it is , but I always seem to unwind if I have a chicken or a goose or some other poultry on my lap.. 

After lunch we came back to Tokmok and delivered more food hampers to some of the families that we know would appreciate them 

One of the coal stops today was to the family I had shared about a few weeks ago that were thinking that they would have to move out and possibly have to put their kids in an orphanage because they could not afford the winter heat .. something we will be seeing a lot of when I get back to Ontario

the next family was thrilled with their food hamper and coal 

They were also thrilled to show us that he now had a drivers licence thanks to one of our sponsors this spring that invested in their future

Friday, October 30, 2015

Another work day in Red River.

Today when we got to Auxana's house , Dave and Zack surprised her with a bunch of shopping for food, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items .. Then it was back to work on the chicken shed. 

The front walls and doors , and the rest of the coal shed today . 

We built the shed right along the front of the property so that it does a double duty .. Front fences are very important here, so this will make a great fence at the same time. 

Then a fenced in area out side for the chickens was added 

the chickens love the new digs 

Inside there is a closed in pen and a side that will be for a nursery for baby chicks, ducks and geese. 

just as we were finishing the shed, the coal arrived, and the boys bagged it up 

Then loaded it all inside for the winter 

at the end of a long day, gathering for a photo.  ran out of material.  Jengish and Emma will have to stop back and put a couple moe boards on .  Auxana was so excited and thrilled with her new chicken coop.  But she was she was more excited when we discussed the next plan with her.

Auxanna does such a great job raising baby chickens ducks and geese .  She has about a 95% success rate,  On the farm our rate is much lower, and it is something we had been trying to figure out.  So today we discussed with Auxana that she would work for us and the farm .  We will bring her a couple hundred baby poultry along with the food each month, and then when they reach 2 months old we will move them to the farm .  This will give her a job, and will be able to work from her home.  this will be a great win win situation for all of us .  

On the way back to Tokmok, Dave stooped at the Ivonofka children's centre to drop off some nurses uniforms that a friend had sent for them .. 

In another hour we are heading out for supper with all the LAMb kids and staff at one of our favourite restaurants . 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

work day on the farm

The last couple days , Emma and Jengish brought Dave and Zack to the far side of Issykool to see the sights, and to stop and see the eagle hunter.  A great opportunity for them.. In all the times Dave has been here he never had the opportunity to get out like this .  

Dave and the Eagle 

Today we were back at the farm for a work day .  the new porch is almost finished .in front of the sewing centre. 

We bought the boys a set of bar bells to help them let out a little extra energy when the farm starts to slow down through the winter months 

Zack and Goosey cheered them on as Sergey was giving some instructions 

after lunch they spent about an hour spotting each other doing bench presses 

and Zack and Goosey regarded each other 

Every one was busy getting wood cut and the yard cleaned up 

We also finished off a bit of fencing that would divide the garden into an area with the fruit trees and plants that the goats can't eat, and then the section where the goats can now graze , We also put in an entrance for the tractor that will soon be coming to live at the farm .. yahoooooo .

At 4:00 we loaded up the truck with grain and hay for the cows, and headed up to the mountain , we also met up with the coal truck that brought a load of coal to our friends there. 

The river was not that high today .. it has been cold, and not much snow melt in the mountains, so this is the perfect time to get across . 

If you look right beside where the coal is being dumped you will see stacks of cow poop that has been dried into small blocks that will also be used to heat .  This coal we brought today will be suplimental heat for three families that live on this mountain and help care for our cows .

It was nice to see the cows , they are looking great .  

Its especialy  nice to see them up close. Now that there is not so much food in the mountains, they are back down in the valley and we can see them up close , rather then pointing to a tinny little spot on the top of the mountain and saying .."Thats them there " 

This barn will be their home for the winter , and we will sell them from here throughout the winter,  Three are already sold and will be used as food for the orphnages and institutions for about three months , we are hoping to to find sponsors that would like to by 2 more of them so that we will have the winter covered . 

After we came off the mountain we were back to Tokmok where we had been invited out to supper with Dave , Zack and all our kids from the Tokmok home.  Dave and I were given these cool Uzbek hats from out hosts . 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On top of the world, or the gate way to the Hymalayas .. depends which way you face

We started this morning with an early start at the bazaar .. It was packed .. So many people selling , but not many buying.  The cows have come back from the summer in the mountains, and people are trying to pay school debts and get caught up from summer bills , that and the fact that most do not have the funds to buy food for the winter for their cows has brought a crash in the market .. It happens for about a two or three week period this time every year , then slowly creeps back up to the high point of the year being New years and then again in the spring.  We were getting a feel for the market , and next week we will return with a friend who is a cow vet.  Our plan is to purchase small calves that are about 2 months away from being weened , then buy two mother cows who are giving milk , we can milk the two cows, add fine ground grain and some water , and be able to feed about 10 calves .   We have the donation for the two milk cows, and we can get the calves for about $150 each. how many we get will depend on donations that come in before next Sunday, but we are hoping for about 8 female calves .. great time to start to build our heard. 

We also checked out the price of the bull cows to see how we will do with our bulls .. Eve right now while the cows are at their lowest, it looks like the cows have gone up about 40%, so by the new year when we plan to sell , we should do well.  We have a sponsor that will be purchasing 3 of the bulls , and we have a butcher who will butcher them for us if he can keep the hide and the innards.  we will do one cow Dec, Jan, Feb , and hoping to find a sponsor for March , then we will deliver the meat each month to the orphanage, shelters and the institutions.  This will be an incredible blessing to them through the hard winters.  As well , next week we will be getting some turkeys for Christmas .. but we are looking for people here that would like to buy a turkey.. we will take orders and just get enough to fill the order .  so if you are in Bishkek and want a turkey , let us know  

We then went out to the farm , first stop was to see the cottage and how they were doing .  Its really starting to look good.  We have a sponsor for the windows, so we have measured up and hopefully they will be made and installed later this week.

This is a view from the back field .  If you look to the left side, the brush you see is actually covering up an old barn foundation.. This will be a spring project to get this barn rebuilt as a sheep barn . 

At the farm, we met up with the kids from Bacute orphanage, then went up to the mountain to have a picnic and horse back riding .  

The kids got to the top of the hill, and some of them gasped when they looked back over the valley .  It is not really that high , but it is the first plateau as you move up the mountain, and you just feel like you are on top of the world, and when you look the other way , it is a beautiful mountain scene that feels like the gateway to the Himalayas , and in many ways it is .. If you ride for two days through this valley you will come to Narin .  

We had the picnic and the horse back riding at the same time .. so the kids could eat and drink and take turns riding . 

The boys from the farm are getting god at helping the kids.  They either ride with the smaller ones, or the older kids they walk along side .  The horses are so well trained that I don't think any think would ever happen, but when we have kids from the orphanage , we have to take extra special care.. no risks. 

Vladey was our chef for the day .. he is so awesome, I just tell him the time and the place ad he arranges everything... we just show up.  He even has his famous honey cake . and hot tea cooked in his samovar.

After a couple hours on the mountain we packed up and headed into Tokmok where it was the 15 anniversary of the school there , and they were having a concert that included our friend Bubbles the clown . We had first introduced him to many of the schools and orphanages a year ago when Dave came last year , he sponsored several events.  Bubbles now gets lots of calls in the area, but was glad to see us , and we were there just in time to help him bring everything in and set up .. As always , he and his wife did an awesome job and had the kids on the edge of their seats .. especially when he got to the part when he blew up the bubbles with lighter fluid then lit them on fire .

Dave and Zack , Bubbles and the crowd of kids in the back ground 
 A long time ago, there was a nurse that Dave met when he was volunteering at the baby orphanage.  She now works at the glass factory, and each time Dave is with us we look her up and have a visit.  Today we met her and brought her to the Chinese restaurant in town .. along with some of our team. 

Tomorrow , Jengish and Emma will be taking Dave and Zack to the far side of Isykool, then spending a night there, then returning Tuesday .  They will stop and see the eagle hunters tomorrow as well .. Should be a great trip .