Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Inside the Son is shinning.

If you have been following us on Facebook you will have seen our adventures up at the yurt.  Yesterday there was a storm that blew threw. It sure was an adventure , once again we withstood the rain and the winds, but at times it was a little scary.   
This morning it was still raining, and I could not help but think of those at the hospital waiting to have their sick babies looked after.  Up until now they would have been out standing in that rain, but now things are a little different.  

It may be wet and raining outside but inside the Son is shinning.   

Today , Tokmok has one of the finest baby centers in the country, but what makes it so great is not the building but the incredible staff that work tirelessly for the children. 

Dr Anara was the driving factor behind this project, and the reason we came on board was more because of our respect and belief in her.  

Along with being in out of the rain, another big step up is that the new clinic has washroom facilities and baby changing facilities.  it may not seem like a big deal but try standing in a line out in the rain for hours with kids , no place to sit down, and no place to use a washroom ..   The new face of the Tokmok Baby hospital is built to bring and show respect to parents and children especially at a time of crisis. 

We do have one more thing that we would like to do before we call this project finished, ( you know exceedingly and abundantly more then you could ask or imagine, and all that, )  In the summer, temperatures can become unbearable , up over 100 degrees for many days in a row.  In keeping with our desire to bring dignity, respect and comfort to families, we would like to put in an air conditioning system before the summer heat hits.  The cost will be about $700 US.   The impact of this will be recognized by hundreds.  

We are down to our last week here in Kyrgyzstan.  Still a lot of little things to do before we leave.  We want  to have all the renovation work done before we go so that all that is needed is to maintain the crops, animals and the guest house until we return in mid August.  

Rebekah had her last state exam yesterday, so she is now officially finished her University program.  She is excited that she has actually been hired on at the university teaching starting in September.   What a great feeling of accomplishment that has been for her .  Bekah and Lilly celebrated buy coming out to spend the night with us at the yurt.  Julie was looking forward to a peaceful night , something that Bekah would remember. 

Well it did turn into a night to remember all right .. the first blast of wind was a sand storm around 8:00 then at around 1:30 it returned from a different direction but this time with the rain.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

another catch up post

Last week we celebrated Emma's Birthday .... in true Kyrgyz style .. where else do you put road flares on a cake. 

Over at the main house, we are fixing up their laundry facilities as well.  Today the are making the clothes line bigger and cleaning up the long grass under it. 

You have not experienced a sun set until you have st at the yurt and watched it set over the Chui Valley.  The last guest there only got a few hours sleep, he spent the night outside starring up at the stars 

We were able to do a few outings the last week with the kids from the farm, Like this day up to the fish ponds 

Many of the guests have left tips for us to take the kids on outings .. This is such a blessing for them.  They get to have fun but more importantly they are starting to associate hard work with great opportunities.   I just love that we can do these outings with them , and the guests on the farm all like to join in.  

Once again I would like to thank everyone who supports the farm and makes it possible for our kids to experience "a good life "

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

sit·com /ˈsitˌkäm/

Children's day is fast approaching June 1st is a big day in Kyrgyzstan.   We usually   help out with several celebrations around the valley.  We have already had a few places contact us to see if we can help again this year .. generally we provide gifts and celebrations for about 500 kids .  What we need is about $1000 , that would give us about $2 a kid .. If you would like to sponsor a few kids, please use the link on the right side of the blog.  

Here is a children's celebration we did a couple  days ago.  We had our friend Princess Anna (from the movie Frozen ) here with us, so we went to Red river orphanage and brought the movie , pop corn and juice.  The kids loved spending a little time with Anna and especially getting their photos taken with her . there were about 120 kids that day.  It would be so cool if we could get some of the photos printed and add them to a little gift that would be an awesome Children's day gift for them. 


We also brought them enough vitamins to last until the fall.  Emma and Julie met with the nurse and went over everything with her. 

Back at the farm we are putting the final touches on many of the projects from this spring.    With the new laundry room and washroom in the middle house, we were left with a wast water pipe running above the ground.  We decided to cover it with a rock garden.  It turned out great. but there were a few places that we needed to get over the pipe so we have been building some bridges and steps.  The boys are even staring to get creative. 


We juggled things around a bit.  The sewing room that was in the middle house is now in the room that was the tool room, and the tool room is now in with the automotive shop.  This has worked out great.


Over at the main house there was an old lean too that had been uses as a garbage bin.  Several times I have gotten it all cleaned out and wanted to make a tapchan there, but would arrive with the wood only to find it full of garbage again.  so it never got done.  Then a week ago they all came to me and said that they had a great idea... They think it would be cool to make the garbage bin into a tapchan.  WOW GREAT IDEA.. I should have thought of that ..hahaha.  The timing was great , we have a couple from Germany staying at the farm right now who wanted to help around, and he is a wood worker.  So we put him on that with the boys. It turned out great.  we still need to varnish and paint it, but we will have to wait for the wood to dry a bit first .. it is a good job for some teams in the fall. 

Green house is doing great .   Now we need to go in with a paint brush and dab all the flowers to do some pollination.      Now that the garbage is moved, they came up with another idea to separate garbage and do some recycling .. WOW GREAT IDEA.. We should have thought of that hahahaha. 

The last couple days we have started eating salads at supper time with salad from the garden. 

Off the side of the new laundry room we have put up a clothes line that will hold about 5 or 6 sets of sheets at a time .  its a nice clean place to dry clothes and it has the new steps to the back door of the Laundry area. 

In the new work shop our friends visiting are working on making a fold down seat in one of the rental vans.  They have had Marat working with them.  It has been a great learning time for him. Here he is showing how the rear bed tips up so that there is access to the engine compartment. 

We have started to get a lot of bookings for the guest house's.  This has meant a hole new area of organization so that we don't get over booked, especially when we are getting bookings from Booking.com and a couple others.  We tired several on line methods, but what is the best is still the old fashion reservation book we used at our family motel when I was young.   So we made a book and had a meting with Nick and Aizada to show them how it is done. 

Marat has Just one more appointment to monitor the progress of his eyes.   It is totally amazing all the work that went into this whole process.    Acel has pages and pages of reports, tests and receipts keeping track of everything .  It is such a difficult system to navigate, we are so blessed to have her here to help.  

As we are starting to wind down now, I am sitting at the table in the second house doing internet and paper work, and I look out the window into what only a month ago was a flat empty lot with not a blade of grass that was the goose pen.    Now it is a beautiful garden that is so lush and peaceful.  

I mentioned a lot of activity in the guest house.  The Yurt had had a bit of activity as well .. Here some guests are hitching a ride with Ulukbeck back down the mountain.  I had an empty seat in the Hunter, but on a beautiful day like this the back of the truck was more fun. 

Julie loves how the Yurt top is actually a sun dial that travels around on the inside and she is now able to tell time buy its position.  We are thinking we should wood burn some numbers into the wood floor. 

 With all the guests and all the beauty that surrounds them in this beautiful land, what is for them all is the wonder family that exists on the farm.  Over and over again they tell us how the kids have made them feel so special and part of the family. 

 Each and every one of the farm family is unique and has individual quirks, but together they make up a such a special Mosaic.. Or a Tapestry ..Or maybe just the makings for a SITCOM.  Then through in some guests from all over the world and there you have it .. 

sit·com /ˈsitˌkäm/ 
 noun    informal 

A situational comedy about a group of individual characters who are involved in different funny situations.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Lots of work around the farm

We are starting to get a lot of bookings at the guest house now,  In the last week we have had a mother and Daughter from Germany for 7 nights, then five adults and a child from the Netherlands, and last night two cyclists from South Korea,
and tomorrow morning we need to clean up and get ready for 4 more.  With the tourist season still approaching, we are going to set up a hostile at #2 home.  Nick will have an office / bedroom there where he will live this summer, and he will also help manage the guests needs.  This will be a great spot for teams as well.   Sunday we had a donation of some old but solid mettle bunk beds.  We have been sanding and painting them and should have the new rooms set up by Saturday.  We will need to buy 10 more sets of sheets, mattresses blankets, pillows and towels.  They will be about $30 a set, so tomorrow we will get 4 or 5 sets to get us started from the revenue from the last week, and then as we have money we can top that up a bit   

Between the guest house and the hostel is the yard that the ducks and geese were in, but with them now at the ranch we have been working on putting in gardens.  We will have the mint, calendula, thyme, rosemary and all the other flowers that Emma uses for the soap making.   

We got a lot done yesterday as well as gravel spread on house two driveway and the flower gardens ready to plant there .  Today I was hoping to get more done but there were too many other people using the wheelbarrow and the shovels and racks today. 

I decided it was a good time to catch up on a little plowing.  Well there is no such thing as a little plowing here .  I spent the next eight hours on the tractor.  It was crazy how many people who wanted their fields plowed .. I waned to just say no and finish up, but I could see how desperate some of them were.  The tractor was a donation from one of the most generous, (not just with money but also their time.)  families that I know .  Some one who has gone above and beyond for us as a neighbor and friend in Canada , so Just as I was about to say that I was too busy I thought of my friend and the spirit of this donation.. So I kept on plowing ..  But finally around 6:30 I needed a break so I headed back to the farm .. on the way I was flagged down and stopped buy 4 more neighbors at the same time .. Playing the English speaker I said I was sorry I did not understand.. Then one of them called Jengish and talked for a minute and then   hung up and told me he understood.  He then turned to the others and said "He is old and needs a rest" Well that works for me.   We have another one of the boys finishing his drivers school shortly so that will be good to have him doing custom plowing, until then I think I will try to limit it to a few hours a day .. On the bright side , besides blessing the neighbors I  was given a full tank of diesel and enough money to buy a set of sheets.   

The kitchen is almost finished, and we will be able to start using it again.  I just need to make a hood for over the stove and put in a second light.  

Now with the kitchen and hostel almost finished, that brings us back to the saga of the bath tub that showed up on the driveway the day before the wedding celebration.  As part of the reasoning when I got mad that they tore it , they said don't worry we were going to pay for it ourselves..   So to this point they have been able to do the work using materials from around the farm.

 Tomorrow will be the tell.. they will need tiles to continue and they say they will be done in two days.  So who is getting tiles and who is paying for them..As my friend David always says,  I guess it is just not our time to know .. 

Marat is a pretty happy boy .  He had his fourth surgery today .. two procedures on Monday and two today .. We will know in a few days how successful they were , but already he is seeing better . 

Less then a yer ago he was told he would be totally blind in a few months.. and now he may not even need glasses .. He is so thankful to everyone who has had a part in this journey of restoration. 
and a thank you to Acel for making all the arrangements and being there to help him ..