Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A few projects off the farm.

We had a short break in the rain , and had a couple dry days so we were able to get on to the fields .  This contraption on the back of the rotter tiller we made up so that as we till, the rows are formed for planting . 

More new babies over in the goat pens ,  

The last few days we had some extra kids on the farm as well.  They were here with their mother as she had a little break from life and some time with Aigula 

There is an old bus shelter in town that I have been eyeing up every time I pass it.. It is kind of run down and the benches are missing off the seats.  We decided that we could do a small day project and fix it up.  We first contacted the mayor to get permission, then brought the boys over and went to work 

 We started by picking up garbage and cleaning up while we were waiting for the paint to boil 

We mixed some colour paints to do the 3D spots. 

Everyone did a great job .

When the painting was done Vlady installed the benches .. what a difference it makes 

A couple days ago I shard about Nadia who had lost her home and son to a fire.  

Today we arrived with the truck full of kids and began cleaning up for her . 

The last 8 feet of the roof needed to come off and be temporally replaced to cover the wall so that the foundation does not wash away over the summer . The original walls were made of mud bricks then parged in and out.   So when it rains they would wash away if not covered,  

over the summer as we have time we can start clearing out the debree from inside and knocking off the scorched loose concrete, then as funds are available we will start replacing the walls with new concrete .  Our goal is to do most of the work in the fall when we return with a couple teams .  We have limited resources right now so we have just worked on making her comfortable and safe, and secure the building so it is still there in the fall. 

The kids all did such a great job, and Vlady once again came threw. 

We made real head way . and managed to get two huge loads of garbage to the dump, and a lot of burnt wood all cut up for her banya and heating.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Now for the rest of the storey

Earlier today I posted a photo on FB with the caption  "If we start by doing what we CAN do, before you know it you will have done what others said could not be done."   This is so true of the storey today.   
Nadia is about 73 years old. 70 years ago she lost her parents and went into the orphanage system here.  She worked her whole life as a nurse in a local hospital.  6 weeks ago, there was a fire in her home, and her only son died in that fire and the house was destroyed.  
Now she is completely alone and can not find any one to help.  Just now the city and social services here were able to help her a little, just enough to cover funeral expenses. Fortunately her house had a small summer kitchen that she has moved in to 

At this point she only has a bit of clothes and a couple thin blankets and the house is cold and has no heat.  She is now having medical problems from the living conditions and the stress as well as more chronic back pain.  Certainly all this is not helping ..  

So where do you start .. Well last week the TV news came out and did a story about her and gave out her information for any one that wanted to help her.  With that she started to get lots of phone calls .. not people wanting to help, but people trying to get her house and property form her.. "cockroaches."  

We were there with our friend Marat.  He is a very caring young man that we know here in Tokmok who works hard to help so many people.  He was the one that contacted us about Nadia.  We surveyed the situation and have come up with a bit of a plan.  First step is to care for Nadia's immediate needs.  heat, food, clothing, and washed up and to see our Dr Tatyana 

First step was to get some in floor heating that we put under the carpets in her room , and we will cover her electrical bill until summer.  ($75)   The next step will be to put a bit of tin on the roof on the house so that the water does not damage the structure where the roof had been torn off.  This will be another $100.  We are hoping that these funds come in before next Wednesday when we will take the kids from the farm and the truck and go and repair the roof and start the cleaning process.   The next step will be to raise the needed funds over the summer .. about $3000 US to replace the windows and doors, gut the house and rebuild it when we get back here in the fall so that she is in before winter.   We will also start spreading her needs locally and see if we can get furniture and other needed items that we can collect up for her.  We have space in our garrage that we can store the donations until the house is rebuilt.  

Jengish asked her what we could do to help her.. she said that a small manual washing machine would make things a lot better for her ... Its so strange , we have asked older women on their death beds what we could do to help and they have said " A washing machine "  It must be some sort of a comfort thing,  Or maybe if I tried washing my clothes all the time with out one I too would feel the same way.. but either way, if a donation ($150) comes in this week, we will bring her one next week when we go with the kids. 

We had another mother goat give birth today.. This one was a difficulty birth and the mother needed some intervention, but buy the time we got to the farm both mother and baby were doing well 

It was nice to come in to the barn and see the nice row of box stalls , even nicer to know that they are all full of happy mothers and their babies 

while we were at the Bazaar we got a baby bath for Masha, Nastia's daughter, and a decided to get a second one for Goosey .. She spent about 45 minutes playing in it.

After her bath, Goosey came out with us to see Boomer 

Aigoola had the boys busy moving the manure pile further out from the barn.  It had been right outside the back door to the point that the animals soon could walk over the fence.  Now the pile will be further from the door and on the edge of the garden for easy access for fertilizing 

We had to get back to the apartment  by 6 pm today as we were having a special guest . Nadia came to use the shower at our place, then stayed for supper . It was nice for her to sit at a full table and have others to talk to.   Our friends from Ohio brought a few bags of bracelets that friends had made.  We have a few left so we gave Nadia one.  She was very please .. Thank you .

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A good day - despite the rain

With all the new babies at the farm, we needed to take a bit of time and get the barn reworked. We started today with a trip to the Bazaar. I had to do a Western Union Transfer one of our kids in need, then went to see my vendor.  I had been given a list of kids names and their shoe sizes.  An almost impossible task for me , I could not even tell what was a boy and what was a girl , but fortunately all I have to do is hand the list to my guy, and Monday I will stop in and pick up the shoes.. From him they will be the High end shoes at the bargain shoe price ... He makes us look good.   Next we picked up the materials to build box stalls for the goats.

 It was pouring rain all day so there was not much else we were able to do today and the building project at the hospital will also be stopped for the rain, so I knew we would have all the kids helping .  As well one of the older farm hands who looks after the goats would be there .. A potential for lots of frustration.  One of my disabilities is my ability to articulate putting my thaughts into words, and because of that I find it easier to simply do things myself, but this time I was prepared.  I had made my mind up that this would be a team project.  I did two things that really helped.  First I drew up planes that I was able to have explained to everyone before we started so they had an understanding of what we were doing, Then the second.. I had all the pieces cut to size back at the store so it all arrived like a big kit that we just out together , complete with hinges, latches and heat lamps.  

It went great.  and in no time we were all set up and the new stalls were built.  There were a few moments where you would shake your head .. not knowing the difference between plywood and nail, or a rectangle or a square .. But we are learning and in the end it all came together.  and for the rest of the day we are setting up the projector and having a movie night 

Today's work crew- (minus Ulukbeck,Jengish and Emma)  

 Aigula was at the dentist today, so the girls were on duty with the small kids and making the meals.  They are doing a great job as well . 

With the rain, all the animals were in the barns, and we realized that every pen and stall is now full, so much so that Jeff was put into the empty grain bin and Boomer had to stay in the hall.   We have a summer shelter we have been working on, but have been waiting on donations towards that.  it will be  3 meters x 6 meters.  I think we could likely put up just the roof now , to keep the rain and hot sun off, and then finish the flooring and walls when the donations come in.  So stay tuned , hopefully by this time tomorrow we will have a little more room.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New life on the farm

Lots of new life on the farm.  We are up to 7 new baby goats in the last two days . 

We had some friends come to visit at the farm today and to check out the green house that is going up. 

Some of the boys on the farm were off with Vlady today.  They have started putting the roof on the new clinic that we have been building.  Right now there are two there, but some days he may need a few more. 

Jengish got a call from some hikers in the mountain.  They had a donkey that they had as a pack horse, but after a few days of mountain hiking, it decided it was not interested in this life any more and became stubborn .  They just wanted it to have a good home, and heard about the farm.  So we sent a truck to pick them up and bring them to  the farm.  They will stay with a few days and hike the local mountains .. maybe even stay for the big BBQ on Sunday when we have our Men who Cook extravaganza ..  don't forget to get your tickets here in support of Possibilities international and all the great things that they do.  I would still like to sell 12 more tickets 

His name is Jeff.  He is such a nice boy, and will be great to help Boomer with the work load.  We find that if they work too much they start to get sores from the harness , so we have been cutting back on the work load and trying different things to solve this .. now we will be able to have them take turns . 

Lunch time we have our friends and the hikers join us all for another of Aigula's wonderful meals . Its nice to see everyone smiling and laughing at the dinner table,  Akylbek seems to be settling in well.

Just after lunch one of the boys came over to tell us that two more mother goats starting to have babies, so we all grabbed some building materials and set out quickly to set up some stalls for them and to put up some heat lamps. 

this mother had two babies .

we quickly got some bedding down for her while we set up the stalls 

that's a little better , but the mothers started fighting so we ended up giving every mother her own stall . 

the babies like the heat lamps.

Here is a short video of the mother cleaning up the babies .. just minutes after they were born 

I think we have about three more mothers expecting right now, so tomorrow morning we will make more permanent pens for them all.  We are staring to run out of room so likely next week we will send everyone with out babies to the mountain for the summer 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Big day in the city.

Three of the boys were in the city with Jengish today .  a couple needed their eyes checked and a couple needed to go to the dentist.  When Jengish got out to pick them up they were all cleaned up and dressed in there good clothes for the big adventure .

they sure looked dapper as they were waiting their turns . 

Things did not go as well at the dentist .  Nurlan has such complications because of his cleft Pallet that the dentist is concerned and says that he would need to be treated in a hospital not a dental clinic. So it will be back to Jal again with him to see if they can help.   Merlan on the other hand has three teeth that need to come out and they are all side by side so they will need to be done all at the same visit so they will need about 2 hours for that so he too will have to come back again . 

We started by bringing the new boy to Dr Tatyana to have a check up before he stays at the farm.  Also we had a list of meds for baby Masha at the farm.  This list was given by a Dr in the city so we had that checked out by Dr Tatyana as well.. Just as we thought , half of the meds would do more harm then good and the Dr who prescribed them was likely paid to do so . we had Aizada's diagnosis and treatment checked as well and fortunately that was right, and she will be able to do her follow up here rather then the city .. Once again we are so blessed that we have such an incredible caring Dr here, I can't imagine trying to navigate the system with out her. 

When we got to the farm, I took this picture of the out side kitchen .. It was not a staged shot or anything so some things may be out of place but I like how things are coming together here Ovens , stoves, running water and a sink, two large kazans for cooking large batches and canning , and the new pot shelf and wooden platform for the produce 

The septic system is finished and we just have a bit more soil to level out and it will be done .. Works great , Thank you to those who helped with this emergency need . 

 Today we put up a closed in area at the back of the barn that has bins in it for sorting garbage and for storage of bulky ugly stuff 

tomorrow we will have Beksoltan weld a gate for this little yard.  It might be a Western concept, but one that we are going to push.  It drives us crazy that people here tend to just throw their garbage anywhere , then they have these big clean up days once a month or so and everyone goes out and cleans , but the next day they throw the garbage again.   This habit is one that has been so hard to train the kids out of,      I have been trying to explain to the kids the difference between garbage mess and work in progress mess.  I have explained to them that the farm is donor funded, and that we need to respect the land and keep it clean.. We all know that this is a working farm with many building projects on the go, and that is OK, but it will not please a sponsor if they come and there is garbage wrappers and bottles on the ground.. and since that is who pays their wages each month and puts the food on the table, we need to respect them as well and keep the garbage sorted and recycled .. So I blamed you .. but it seemed to work.  Now with this garbage area they can sort and it is clear to every one where garbage belongs . 

 We needed to grind more grain today , and the granary is always so dusty.  I got them some good masks a couple weeks ago, but was supposed to get a couple cover all outfits for them as well.  So today as I was standing at the bazaar looking at the outfits I got this email from Jengish that they had taken matters into their own hands ..

So now I have a dilemma .. should I still get them the cover alls or should I wait.  Aigoola when to all the troubles of making this lovely outfit, maybe I should have them use it for a while so that her work was not in vain hahaha 

I had to order another load of hay today .. We have tied the cows out for fresh grass during the day and have started cutting grass for the goats , but that still not enough especially now with all the babies expected over the next couple weeks .. so we bit the bullet and bought more .. Hoping that our hay will be ready for harvest soon . 

Still have not heard back from the boy that had come out a couple weeks ago, but imagine he will still arrive in his time. In the mean time we have the boy that arrived yesterday , fortunately we were expecting another so we have the beds and start up money for him.  After the Dr I took him and got him shampoo, deodorant, tooth past and a tooth brush and a bar of soap.  When we gotout to the farm His bed was made and Aigula had new towels for him .. She did tell me that we will need a few more blankets and towels for the next kids that arrive ,, 

speaking of which, Aigulla got a call from a girl she had tried to help in the past that we know from an orphanage.  she did not want help then or to listen then.. she had it all figured out .. well now she has three little kids and where her husband works has been cheating them and not paying them , and now they are going to be out of a job and a place to live.   This is the older sister of one of the girls  that is with us for the last few years attending nursing school, so we have a little stronger attachment to want to help her out.   besides, how do you turn your back on these kids ?

We still have a couple rooms that we just put the electricity into but still need some furniture and a carpet .. We are thinking that we could fix them up and that would give this young family a bed room, living area and a kitchen area.   So maybe that's what we will do over the next couple days while we wait for the fields to dry .