Saturday, June 16, 2012

Amazing news

It's Saturday and just before Garry had a group of orphans thorough on a tour (while he was baling the 55 bales of second cut) to see the prospective trade school he got a phone call to say that the school has been approved for this fall, so there will be a small group starting their studies this fall!

This group was from a village orphanage

showing off their bale throwing skills
So now there is more work to do, they are interviewing people to be foster parents, and continuing to prepare for September. It was a bit of surprise, because they thought that they would be missing some piece of paperwork or permission and be denied for this year, but a happy surprise!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hoping for good news

The outside of the "new" village kindergarten
Meanwhile, here is a look at what is happening right now, the remont on the "new kindergarten" (really it is like a preschool or daycare) building for the village is coming along, they have removed the paint from the old brick building and worked on floors and walls inside, they are putting bathroom facilities with a shower in yet. This is being done in exchange for getting the rights to the old kindergarten to turn into the new trade school building. There is an official working on the permissions to purchase or get a 49 year lease on the building, with a number of other levels of government. Of course, this new school building will not be fixed in time for the fall semester, when they hope to start a small group of students, so it has been arranged that the church will be the home of the school for this year.
The future trade school building (old Kindergarten) needs a new roof, too

 This means that the half-finished church remont is almost finished- the bathroom fixtures still need to be purchased for here also. When the contractor finishes this, as money comes in, he and his men, will start fixing up the house that was purchased for a group home. The plans are made and the esimate is in. 
The room where VBS was last year looks different now
This week we had a milk inspector come with Maxim, the Maxim from Zaporosia working on the trade school project, because they plan to use our farm as the "classroom" for the students this year if they get approved. On Friday he submits a pile of paperwork about a foot high, if it is approved they will have a small group of students this fall, if not they can apply again in the fall. Without being an official trade school, they cannot teach orphans. Of course, they will be able to have more of the permanent fixtures in place if they have to wait, the building could even be renovated then.
Maxim (trade school) with milk inspector lady

We should find out later today if the small scale trade school is approved to start this fall, or whether the first class will be starting next year. Saturday about 90 more prospective student orphans are coming out to see the village and decided if they would like to be part of the school. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

the barn project so far...

 The freestalls for the cows to lay down in will be in this are, two rows facing each othere where the cement strip has been poured, and a third row in front of the windows behind the alley way that was poured before.
This is where the cows will eat, the "feed wagon" will drive on the cement near the windows, a cement wall will be made where the rebar "fence" is now

Garry and Victor talking in the barn
Garry and his helpers brought everything that was not cemented in (with the exception of some rebar that is tied and laid in the unfinished alleyway at top left in the photo) back here to the yard. They even unbolted some posts that were not cemented in yet at the end of the barn for safekeeping. The barn over there is open and unguarded; last week on Sunday night, Max's brother Andrei drove over to check on the site and surprised a couple guys removing some of the boards for the cement forms. They dropped the boards and ran and hid, Andrei brought those boards home on top of the car- nails and all they had pulled about the forms on the part that would have been poured next (but the funds are needing to be raised.)Unfortunately, the thieves broke one long board taking it apart...

We will be gone for almost three weeks to a Mission conference in Hungary and back to Canada for our son's wedding, so if anything gets done on the barn in the next month, Maxim may work on building some doors to close up the building more securely. If there is a door or a lock, it means that the public is less likely to wander in and see what they might want to carry home. There is a old brick building on the outskirts of the village as you drive in, just off the road, and it has been shrinking in the three years we have been here as bricks are found useful to people.

While all this is on hold while donations come in, the work continues on getting the permits and paperwork for an official school in place. There are some officials in the local government and education divisions helping with this, right now they are even working on getting Garry certified as a teacher here in Ukraine. We had to get his transcript and diploma copies from his bachelor of science degree in agriculture from 1980 so they can send it to Kiev to be approved.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


One day this week the other Maxim (not the one who works for us, but the one on the committee for the tradeschool project) brought out some orphans to see the village, these are prospective students for this fall.
Andrei gave some of them rides around our farmyard in the tractor cab, which seemed to be a highlight for the guys.  It was raining a little while they were here, these group came in a small bus, that parked by the gate.

Cement in pictures- or May progress

Inside- the first week of May
 the first alleyway has been cemented

Outside the barn

pouring the second alleyway

Maxim and his brother Andrei level cement

 Garry's brother John is in the center of this photo with shovel in hand. He came to visit for three weeks and worked hard on the barn, Garry misses him now that he is back in Michigan!
Garry smoothing the cement with his homemade float

They had to rent a jackhammer to break up the last of the old cement 
The first alley way

Posts to cement in

delivery truck- they were stored at the house until used
June 1, 2012  more cement done, with posts in

Too bad, now they are out of funds, so Garry has laid off two guys (Andrei and the neighbor) until they can start working again.