Monday, July 17, 2023

Day 11 by Zac

My alarm went off at 5am, and I took a lawn chair and walked higher up for an even better view. The mountains in the distance that the sun rose over were a range in Kazakhstan.

That morning we loaded up and headed to a rural village outside Tokmak. Don’t let the name fool you, East Iskra is actually west of Iskra. Go figure. The nurses set up for another clinic,

and those of us not assisting them got ready for a party in the streets. We had free drinks, free candy, free toys, and free dresses. Word began to spread among the kids and our crowd began to grow.

Some of the patients were able to join us either before they headed into the clinic, or stopped by after being seen. After a while the kids asked us if we wanted to see the whole village, and we got the personal tour. 
This was a day that my translator app came in really handy! (kudos to people who tackle multiple languages. After two weeks in it, basic Russian words were still a struggle for me) Got to hear some of them talk about instruments they played, we listened to some poetry that one of the girls wrote, and discovered that Uno was the favoured game. 
Someone ran home for a deck of cards and we had the wildest rounds of Uno I have ever played—even picked up some new house rules to teach my kids someday 😎 The clinic ran until the afternoon. Instead of going back to the farm for lunch (we were going on day two of no water back in Rot Front…which is not that uncommon so there are ways people have learned to adapt/deal with it) we went back to Sakura, the same restaurant we had eaten at the previous Sunday. I did not realize how special this Friday night would be until after it was experienced.

We were given some down time/a night off. Our team relaxed at the Kashar for hours. Had a bonfire, hung out and talked, someone may have handed me an acoustic guitar, and we genuinely enjoyed the relationships flat had been being made. Long after the others had gone to bed, the millennials shut down that party post-midnight and it solidified some cherished friendships. I miss y’all.

Back on the farm 

Today was the last day for the scout troop, so we said good buy , but not before having them help unload 2 tons of barley into the barn.

Vera had the first day of camp for the kids in her community and says thank you to everyone who helped out with that . 

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