Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Are you responsible for what you know?

Awesome day today... we started off with a trip to the Hospital to check on things there... We are falling a bit behind, and it was not looking like we would be finished before I leave.. then I got a call from the Humanitarian University in Bishkek.. they have a team of 11 students that had heard about our work, and would like to come out tomorrow and spend the day painting... this should be the boost we need to get back on track .

We met up with the city director of child services there.. she was glad to see us and also glad to see my friends with me... They are so pleased with the renovations... Exceedingly and abundantly more then they could ask or imagine.

Our friends connected with the director of the hospital, and will be coming back out to do some training for helping mothers that have relinquished kids for adoption as .

the next stop was to the invalid home... what a celebration... not only were they celebrating the new room, but this is the very FIRST hot water in the building... everyone was excited.. the Dr's and nurses even had a concert planed for us ... then after giving our friends a tour of the last couple projects there, they prepared a wonderful celebration meal for us.. I was feeling a little guilty because I could not imagine that everyone was sharing in this celebration feast, then I found out that the workers had brought the food from home because they wanted to do something special for us.

It starts to get uncomfortable having so many giving speeches about how thankful they are for the help, and the HOPE that we are bringing to them... I keep telling them that I am the blessed one because I get to bring the help, but the real hero's here are the workers that help every day, and the sponsors that make the sacrifice.. I also shared how my faith has increased by being around them... I was open and honest, I shared how difficult it was for me the first time I came.. this was a place with out hope... I did not know how I could ever come back.. I did not think that I could ever make a difference the needs were so big... But I had a very small amount of faith, and a week later, we started the first renovation..then as the support continued to come in my faith was increased, and the feeling of desperation began to lift... and now today, they do all the work, they have a brightness about them... I then said that I so wish I could do even more... they without missing a beet, and hardly waiting for the translation, one of the men said very as a mater of fact... well then ask for more.... He had the faith...... You know that we are likely into the thousands of people that support the work here in Central Asia... all working together to make a difference, but this project has been a special one for me... It is like the movie the awakening... the men here are coming to life .. they are being physically , emotionally and intellectually healed... Had we done the entire home at once, the impact would never been as great.. now this has become a source of therapy for the men to do the work themselves... we are even looking at the possibility of putting together a work team that we can have do minor renovations and painting at some of our other projects like the seniors home... I never in my wildest dreams would have thought it possible... but what amazes me the most is that 95 percent of the funding for this project comes from a single source... From an amazing family that first heard about this place and actually asked me if I could go back and do a project there... I would have likely missed it if they had not suggested it... What this has confirmed to me is that we are all in this together... Those of you reading this blog have the same responsibility to help those we come into contact with as I do... We are responsible for what we know... sorry about that..... that reminds me of something that happened a little later in the day.

I was on my way to visit with a gentleman who was having some substance abuse problems... on the way, we found the mother of a young boy that we sponsor at one of the orphanages... in fact I began my day dropping the TV off there and got a hug from him.... any ways... she was not looking well, so we put her into the car and took her to Dr Tatyana... she had a full physical, and some minor tests, and it was clear that without help, she would not last more then a few more weeks... and most definitely not make it through this winter on the streets... it struck me... all day every day people walk right past this poor lady ... don't they see her dying.. I can not imagine how lonely that would be or how worthless you would fell.... So after Dr Tatyana, We took her to some apartments that I knew were cheep... I sent my driver in so that they would stay that way... he came back in a few minutes and said that he found a one room for $12 a month... so I sent him back with the money to rent it for 6 months... He said to me don't you want to come in and see it for yourself ? I told him that I was going home in 2 days... I can imagine what we are getting for $12, and I did not want to be responsible for what I know.....At least this way I can know that I did not put her back onto the street ... I sent over a mattress and a blanket for her tonight... but that is All she has... but at least this night she will not be sleeping in the sewer... that I do know.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

I promised I would get some photos up from the hospital... probably the ones you want to see the most are of the new babies....... We were talking with the Dr .. she has been there for 20 years and is the one that names all the babies... It was on the tip of my tung to say... oh you could name one after me, but then I stopped and thought... Like this is not hard enough for me at the end of the day..... just imagine if one of these orphans was names after you, how hard that would be .....
Vlady has been cracking the whip, and now with all the political attention, they have picked up the pace even more... We will be moving the painting crew in the day after tomorrow..... I went to See the room where the laundry is done... first the water is heated in this pail, then they are put into this pot and stirred with a stick because even the agitator is broken And we stand here like a pair of fools smiling for the camera.... do you have any idea what kind of emotions you feel when you see something like this.... If we were not already 2 1/2 times over budget on this thing, I would sure love to go over the top and give them hot running water and a new washing machine... who knows maybe we will anyways....we will see if there is an extra $400 left over by the end of the week... I can assure you it will not be coming home with me .
Tonight we cooked supper for the kids at the orphanage... when I got there, the kids all came running over for a hug calling my name... Even 4 new ones knew who I was, and it was like they had known me all along even though I had never seen them before when I asked, they said that they had seen my mug before... I was curious about this... for one where had they seen my mug, and also I have never heard this term used here before...
Then at supper it donned on me.... My face is on all the mugs.... actually it is Santa clause, but it is close enough for them. Tomorrow is the busy day... we have about 8 stops to make on our once around the valley... I will update you tomorrow....

15 minutes out of the day

Well I was right... maybe it was only a 15 minute visit, but it will remain in my thoughts a lot longer then that...
We were met by a young lady... early thirties, she looked like she was much older... she told us that after the initial shock of loosing her husband, she started to get things back under control, but then she developed a brain tumor... the operation left her with slight paralysis, and blind in one eye, and limited sight in the other...

We brought her some food that will hold her over for a little while, but I am afraid that her condition is even worse then even she knows... As we sat there she shard how she has no heat for this winter, and the chimney for her little stove is not working. She also shared that water has recently started coming through the bass of one of the walls, she is not sure why, but it causes the dirt floors to become mud and soak through the carpets she has on them..

Vlady and I went around back to see if we could see where the problem was... what we found was disturbing... the wall has begun to collapse, and is only inches from completely collapsing on them ... I will send my boys over there as soon as they are finished at the hospital to see about bracing this up before the fall rains start... Vlady figures that it will only last for another month or so then it will collapse....

We did a quick calculation , and figure that to repair, parg and to paint the outside of this house will be about $250, then the cost to heat it will be another $200 to $250 for the year.... other then that, she is in good shape for the shape she is in... she had planted a good size garden and has raised chickens and ducks that will help her support the family through the winter...
I find it so strange to stand hunched over in this little hobbit house in this state and discuss how well the garden has done .....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stop to love the one in front of you

I have been talking recently about favorites... This was emphasised again today... We were all over the valley in hospitals and orphanages visiting kids that for some reason have stood out... in the process, i think we walked past hundreds, and possibly thousands of kids, yet our eyes were searching for a specific child ... what makes them any different then all the rest... they all share the same storey, they have deserve to be loved, I wish I had more time, but the fact is the only difference between the ones we stoped to love and the ones we past was that wee had never taken the time to get to know them... there are so many who need to be loved, and there are so few to take the time.... People often ask me why it is so important to go....

Monday, October 5, 2009

More happy then my heart will hold

Today was to be a work around the apartment day, unpack and sort the hockey bags... do my laundry, and catch up on some sleep..and cook a nice supper for the kids when they got home from school..... instead the day started early.. phone calls , in fact at one point I had two cell phones on the go, the apartment phone, people standing at the door and then they called on the Internet phone to tell me that my Internet was just about out of money and would be shut off on 15 minutes..then there were two more at the door.... I realised at that moment why people actually have offices and office assistance.... lol.... But it was all good.... Talas is awake and doing well, we are booked with David and Jayne on Wednesday to go to a couple of the orphanages to visit some special kids and prepare them for the adventures that lifein store for them ... I am booked for Thursday to go see a family in need in a remote village where we are going to be setting up a computer learning centre next week... Vlady picked up money to start the painting at the hospital... so the new total is 6 rooms and 2 bathrooms and a laundry room, as well as a new front door with a lock... Sergey and Anya dropped by the hospital to bring a hydraulic hospital bed, and ran into the director... she was almost in tears she was so happy with all the renovations.... I did manage to get the laundry caught up, and Aiperie came over for supper as well with a friend of hers.. so I had a full table.... it was OK, I just drop ed another potatoe in the pot... actually I put all my leftovers into a pot and called it chicken stew. By supper time , I had $125 left .. 5000 som... then Talant came back from the hospital with the update... With all the meds and operation, cat scans etc, the total medical bill was 10 000 som.. , but the kids at the school as well as Talas's family had managed to raise just over 5000 som... so I now have 125 som left...$3.. I chuckled to myself, and thought ... this is going to be interesting... I sat down at the computer, and an email arrived with in seconds of opening my mail... It was a donation that has matched what I had started with two weeks ago....so it is with great excitement and a spring in my step that I am looking toward the amazing things that are going to happen in the next two weeks....

I can't help but think of a song by the Gathers, In the song it says ... If you want more happy then your heart will hold, take what ever you have got and give it away... And I thing that is what the over whelming feeling I have had the last couple days is... not sorrow, but an over whelming happiness every where I turn.... For many I am seeing in them for the first time FAITH, in a brighter future HOPE in the present, and LOVE of those around them...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Photo Update

Visiting the next baby to receive the operation for her Hydrocephalus

work crew at the children's centre

one of the kids in the village

Showing Dave and Gennett how the Samavar works

And I am trying to help Aigoola catch up with the mattresses

Kids getting new coats and boots at small orphanage in town

one of the new heaters we installed.... one of eight
Even the Bees are getting their winter coats on... thanks to Aigoola
The cows at the rehab centre will have a home in time for winter as well.... We have purchased enough honey and preservatives at wholesale rates to pay to put the new roof on. The honey will then be distributed to those we are supporting

Vera gets a new bike to help her save some time when she goes around to check on all the seniors she supports.
A new boy at the orphanage is a little shy of us.... My heart breaks for these kids ... it must be so hard when they first arrive...
more food dropped off... soon they will be ready for winter.... thanks to those who are sponsoring kids here...
Delivering humanitarian aid to the dump

two boys that have lost their parents since I was here last... they now live at the dump 24/7
new hand knit dolls from the Hastings knitters....

One more trip to the Baurana tower... I am now a local and do not have to pay to go
this is the lady we brought from the man hole to the seniors home in the spring

this is the kitchen in the apartment attached to Vera's help centre... she is waiting for funds to renovate

kitchen sink at olga's centre before renovations
Aigoola is getting ready for winter
addition to the barn is finished
this makes Benjamin Happy
new heating pipes for the seniors home
still lots of work to do, but it is well under way

walls are all striped down at the hospital and as soon as the cement dries, they will start putting ceramic tiles on them
The kids at the Orphanage love their new playground thanks to our friends in the United states.... there was a team from Rockford here that did all the work.

a new class room at the children's learning centre

another room at the learning centre... not sure what is with the bed, but there was so much going gone, I did not stop to ask... one day it may make sense... or not

but I do like the new bath room ... one more sit down that I will always have access to... yay

new hot water and pipes at the learning centre
play room at the Olga's children's centre
Christina's Baby

how is that for a pot hole....

A little boy in the village on his way to the party with his stool under his arm
Arophat and his dad showing me how he can count......The best part is that is was outside at community event... no more shame....

look close under the tap and what do you see....All on there own, the Pop is served cooled... I am rubbing off.....

another smile thanks to our sponsors

New kitchen sink in Olga's learning centre
A class room in the learning centre