I do not know why I am surprised but the smell was nasty...and the smoke from some of it burning was nauseating to say the least.
|Contents of the care bags|
|The dump...people actually live here|
There was only a small group there today (I think I am supposed to be happy about that) so we handed out the stuff to those there.
We left all the other bags at Larissa's place where it will be handed out over the next few days. Okay, so you may be looking at the bags of food and asking, "how does that help?". Well, I found out today that these ladies you see in this picture work all day collecting plastic so it can be sold for a whopping 25 cents! Yeah, thats right.....25 cents a day....about $7/month. Now, they could find a treasure from time to time so maybe, just maybe, one month they could make $20! I watched them today with another glimmer of hope in their eyes. The hope that comes from someone showing they care. Oh by the way....enough money came in (and John & Julie are "machines" at getting deals) that we are able to plan another feeding trip here next month. John & Julie Wright, with the help of everyday philanthropists like you, make regular trips to this place.
Then we made a little stop to visit a former Olympian. They told me she was a swimmer "back in the day". However, we found out she was a shotput specialist. Yep that is her in the pic with me. Not sure what games she was in...I think she said late 50's. No matter, it was cool to have my pic taken with her. I tried to encourage her to begin training for the Summer 2016 games....that it was never too late. She would have none of it.
We also visited a seniors home, a men's home and then we visited Luba (now a young mom) who used to be in an orphanage. Here she is holding her new daughter (4 months old) and her grandmother was proud to stand with her.
One more story before I go. After starting literally "down in the dumps", it was a welcomed moment. While visiting an orphanage, I came into contact with a 19 year old young lady named Louisa. Louisa and two of her siblings live at the orphanage. You see Louisa's father died of TB while he was in prison and her mom died in a swimming accident (she was intoxicated). So here they are in this orphanage. I found out Louisa is in her 3rd and final year of law school. She was needing help with her tuition and books. Total cost for the year....about $400. I told John I wanted to pay for the year for her.
So we went to the school. I sat with the Director and paid the shot. Now that is what I am talking about baby! I got to live another part of the dream today. Do "everyday philanthropists" make a difference? Are you kidding me? C'mon now! Do you need a few Sammy phrases to fly?
I told Louisa that she was now on "retainer" for me and my staff if we visited Kyrgyzstan and got into trouble. (I figured it would likely be Wendy that ends up needing Louisa's legal help). They had to explain to Louisa what it meant to "be on retainer". I had a good laugh. Steven Curtis Chapman sings "out of the ashes, beauty will rise". I was caught up in the "rising" today. This is a young "darling" who is not allowing her past to keep her from a great future! Wow...all this and we have not even started the Big Party yet with our Central Asia Dream Agents. Stayed tuned. Buckle yourself in!