Friday, April 28, 2017

Start by doing what you can do and before you know it you will be doing what others said could not be done !

It sure does not take long to fall behind on the blog posts.  There has been so much going on .  The kitchen and new plumbing is almost finished, the house renovations on house 2 are almost finished, and the rock gardens at the guest house are almost complete,  I will show pictures and share more about these later.   Today I have a few other updates.  

Marat goes in today for his pre-op and they will start the operations on Monday  We originally expected one of two operations, but it turns out that he will need both.   They say that with the two operations he will not even need glasses when they are finished .  We could stop now as the degeneration has been arrested, but with his whole future ahead of him we have decided to move forward .  We were expecting $800 but with the two operations it will be $1600 plus any after care and other minor expenses staying in the city for the week.   we are still praying for some help for this.  He will have two operations on one eye, then a couple days later they will do the second eye.  

Over at the kindergarten we have all the big ticket items in place that we had committed to .  They still have a long way to go, but this may give the momentum that they need to be open for the end of August.  Some times a task seems too big to tackle and if some one starts it others will join in .. like the hospital project   

This has been a long time coming, but the clinic is finally ready to open.  

Dr's office and exam room 

procedure room ( with private toilet  and shower ) 

beautiful art work on the walls 

large indoor waiting room 

change table in the waiting area beside public washroom 

The most over whelming thing for me was not how great it turned out, but the fact that in the end so many from the community got involved and helped.  In the end there were over 40 people, individuals and business that had a part in this .  For the first two years of this it was just us as we slowly plugged away at it in sections as the finances came along.  Once the outside was finished and the roof was on, it became easier for Dr Anara to share the dream and others started to come on board.. first other builders stared to help where they could , then others started to donate things like bathroom fixtures and new office furniture.  

When tackling many of the projects we do, we always say , we may not have the resources to finish the project, but we have the resources to start it.  It is so hard to sell a dream, especially in a country that so many people are in need .. but this day we saw what can happen when a community comes together ..  Today Tokmok has one of the most beautiful modern baby clinics in the country if not Central Asia .. 

back on the farm the planting is under way .  most of the seed crops are in, as well as about 1000 tomato plants and 400 pepper plants , 400 egg plants and about 2000 field cucumbers .. more planting today. 

The yurt is up and open for business.  In fact we just paid the taxes for the yurt and to graze our animals on the mountain.    

morning traffic from the front door.  about 10 to 15 different herds of animals with up to 3 or 4 hundred head pass right past the door every morning and afternoon. 

looking at pictures with the boys that work at the ranch .. Its great that we have pictures of them gong back about 10 years in the orphanages .. its nice for them to have some history. 

I am set up at the kitchen table to work on reports 

cleaned up after supper . 

The boys at the ranch are getting worn out.. they are running endlessly trying to keep up with the animals.  We have about 80 head right now of cows goats and sheep, plus another  50 ducks and geese.  The difficulty is that ours is a new herd and they have not grown up in the mountains as part of a herd, so they do not know to stay together. every one marches to his own beet so keeping them together is an endless task. 

We have been fattening and selling beef  cattle for the last year.  a portion of each cow goes to the orphanages and families in need and the rest is sold .. by doing this we have been able to actually make a little bit of money and feed the orphanages at the same time. 

Right now the cost of feed has gone through the roof because of the longer winter and everyone running out.  With this, we will not be able to make money on beef this next season , but we do have way to many mail goats right now.  We will start to fatten them up a couple a month and then sell them for meat rather then beef, and tomorrow we will take the profit we had made from the beef and rather then buying another beef cow to fatten up, we will buy a horse for the ranch so that we can keep the heard together better.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Family Life

Something special that we have on the farm is a sense of family.   When kids come to the farm they become part of the family.. and like any families that comes with squabbles and rivalry.  As a family we work through that and move on.  So when they cut up the fridge to make a dog house, or tear the tub out of the bathroom and  leave it in the driveway because they thought they would rather have a shower,  you know the kind of things that happen in every family,  We take these as teaching moments and move on.  

One thing that is really nice is that some of those living or working on the farm have some smaller children of their own.  It is great to see them grow and learn and experience life on the farm as well .  I remember the first time we came to Kyrgyzstan with our girls, the impact that made as kids in the orphanage got to see a family.  Many had come and helped and spent time, but when we came with our girls, we were no longer seen just as a volunteer, but as parents.  They got to see us interact with our girls, and hopefully this is something that they will remember when they have kids of their own.  It is so great that part of those life skills that they are developing is simply being part of a family.   

With the site ready at the Ranch, and the final stitches being put on the yurt, we are ready for the yurt raising tomorrow afternoon .. 

If all goes as planed we will even have the horses there for horse rides for the kids from the orphanage who will be coming for the celebration. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The continuing saga ..

Many of you know that we have been working on getting Marats eyes fixed .. A year ago he was diagnosed with an eye condition that would leave him blind in three months.  Already his eyes were at a -9 and getting worse.  

We were able to find sponsors for the sight saving surgery.  They were able to not only fix the problem, but were also able to correct some of the damage, and his vision has been improved to -7. 

He had to wait a few months to make sure all was good before we could look into further action. Yesterday he had that consultation.   It is sort of a good news bad news situation.  We were wondering if he needed another surgery or a laser treatment.  It turns out that he needs both. 

They will do a lens replacement and laser treatment on one eye and three days later will do the same on the second eye.   We were ready for about $800, but with two surgeries per eye we are looking at $1600.  

So we are now facing a big decision ..  Do we say " we are in this far, we might as well push forward and get it all finished ?" or should we be thankful that we stopped the deterioration, and be happy with that ?   

We have gone ahead and made the appointment for early next week and will start the pre surgery blood tests and stuff, in a couple days so we can keep our options open. But once again, I have to turn to you our readers.  If we are going to be able to do this , we need your help.  

What we have been up to over the last couple days.

We have a little Banti hen in the coop, but no rooster.  This week at the bazaar we found a rooster .. with attitude .  He is very friendly and was content to sit on a towl we put down for him with some food while we waited to go out to the farm.  Then he started to crow , and crow , and crow. I am sure the neighbors would be thrilled .

Up at the ranch we have been working on the platform for the yurt.  Sunday we made the wrong choice of who would look after the animals, and they simply turned them out into the mountain and did not follow and watch them.  We arrived  in the afternoon to find out that they were all scattered through the gorge.  After a couple hours of rounding them up, we are short 4 sheep and one goat.    We did a number check and checked the records to see who was missing, then alerted the neighboring ranches. We are hoping that they mixed with a passing flock, and that they will return home in the next few days.  Apparently this is not an uncommon thing.  

The platform is all finished now, and we have a couple sunny days ahead to varnish it before the Yurt arrives on Sunday. 

We got a call from our friend Victor.  He has a friend that he was in the orphanage with that he works with now.  The boy has problems with his feet, and needed a new pair of shoes.  We went with them and found a good pair with lots of support. We was so happy to see us .. I think I recognise him, but he sure recognised us. 

The pig run is finished now.  In no time at all they had the entire run dug up and a giant mud bath. 

stopping for gas on the way to town. 

 Vlady is welding the brackets for the new counter tops in the kitchen 

Julie stuck her head back into the apartment early in the morning , saying that I better get up.. Nurik had just cleaned the garage .. It was nice to see it so clean, but it took us another few hours to find all the tools.  Most have been located, just missing a few smaller hand tools.  they could turn up anywhere , and for sure Nuric will not have any idea where he put them, but hay ... the shop is clean .. "You've got to accentuate the positive, accentuate the negative and don't mess with mister in between." 

House two is coning along great .. Today the in floor heating and the floors went down in the addition, the inside was painted and some old outlets have been replaced.. Today the new kitchen floor will go down.  

We have had a couple birthdays here ,  Nuric had his birthday, and we all new for a week it was coming, and he had meetings with us all to give instructions for the day . He arrived at the house at 6 am and woke everyone up to blow up balloons and decorate.  The other birthday was Ulukbek, he was not so vocal. 

We had a lady come to the farm looking for help.  Her grand daughter has a hernia on her back and needs help with an operation.  It was more then they could possibly afford.   I was having a nap at the time, but by the time I got up everything was taken care of.  Julie and Emma got the full story, then contacted Sergey and our friend Ed from Loads of love.  He has a program called "Operations can be done" and they agreed to cover the surgery. so just like that "Asked and Answered" .. A few minutes later Julie went back to the main house to tell them that the operation was covered.. Aiprie says that they were so happy, that they cried all night. 

Marat got his stitches out yesterday, and the Dr said that everything was healed up well.  Today he is off to Bishkek with Acel to have an appointment with the eye Dr to set the date for the final operations.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Planting has started

Lots going on.  Just a couple more weeks and the farm building projects will be complete and the gardens will be planted. 

The renovation is coming along great. 

We started with an old house in desperate need of help, a plan , and a donation of $2500 from our friends in Millbrook.   It is amazing how things are coming along. This will be a nice home for Samat and his family to move into, and at the same time will be an extra bathroom for when teams come to the guest house. 

I started plowing fields yesterday.  I got part of ours done then headed over to Lamb International farm to get their fields plowed for them .  This morning I was back at it.  I hear we will get rain for the next couple days, so I wanted to get the seeds into the ground.  I have come to realize that when you have a tractor you become everyone's best friend.  I have plowed a few of the neighbors fields as well. Fortunately I am out of fuel for the day.  

This year the first into the ground is a huge bag of beet seeds.  We will have close to an acre of beets.  They are very expensive here year round and have a high demand. They also store well, and our pickled beets were a great success with everyone here .  Today we are also getting the corn planted.  We will have two batches of corn.  Over in the large garden, and the other will be over behind the green houses.  

We are going to try something a little different there ,  I have heard of something that the native community in Canada calls the three sisters.  The idea is to plant a few corn stocks, and around them you plant beans that will climb up the stocks as well as give great nutrients into the soil.  Then between each cluster of corn and beans, you plant squash.  The squash will grow out and cover the ground and choke out the weeds, and keep the ground from drying out as much.  I am not sure how it will go, but you never know until you try. We will keep you posted. 

Many of you will know our friend Sydoola, and many will have dined at his home. We is also the builder of the green houses.   He has come to me with a great opportunity for him.  He has acquired many high end wood working tools. He would like to go into business making wooden furniture, doors and trim. There is a large demand for this and it would be a good job for him.  He is looking for a business loan for $700 to buy the rest of the equipment he needs as well as about $250 for start up materials ... wood, nuts and bolts, screws nails, glue .. that sort of thing.    

If anyone is interested in being a part of that , let me know . 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

down but not destroyed.

Today we had guests coming to the farm for lunch .  Marat was splitting wood for the ploff when he cut himself .. He was ok until he saw the blood and that was enough for him to do a face plant.  We bandaged him up then Samat and Turat took him to find a Dr.  They managed to get help for him back in Tokmok.  He is all stitched up and his head is fine.  He will have to go back in 10 days for a followup and get the stitches out . 

The geese and ducks moved to the mountain this morning .. They absolutely love it there .   all the fresh grass and especially the little stream that flows through it. 

While I was up there the cows sheep and goats were making their way back down out of the mountain .. So glad to see the snow gone. 

Back in the kitchen Aigoola and Aiperie were busy making lunch for the guests   Ploff served with fresh bread, pickled peppers and beets , pickles, coleslaw and carrot salad, and home strawberry jam.  all right from the farm .  

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Tuition paid

With just one week left before the deadline to have tuition and dorm paid so he can graduate from his 4 year degree, this young man is feeling so blessed that Samat is going in to the registars office with him to clear the debt...What a great thing to be able to do for him .. thank you to his generous benefactor who has made this possible.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Moving Day

Today we moved all the cows, sheep and goats and three of the boys to the mountain ranch.  Beautiful pastures, wide open spaces and a never ending supply of fresh water.  A live stock paradise. 

Even Barbos the dog made the trip to his new home and job as the protector, a job that he is well suited for. 

this little one needed a little extra help at the end of the journey 

this is at the watering trough beside the barn

It was interesting that the animals went right into the barn here on there own to check things out .. like they knew it was their new home.   When Latte ( Julies cow) walked threw the gate into the huge court yard, she started kicking up her heals and running around the yard in glee.  

the boys room is newly painted and Sergey came and fixed u the lights and plugs.  We also brought up some other furniture for the kitchen along with cooking utensils.  

The last load was the hay for the animals.  

Today they will gather up the ducks and geese and bring them to the ,mountain as well.