Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TV and an excursion!

Today we were on Ukrainian TV! You can watch it on youtube here ... TV news 
it's in Ukrainian, but you can see our house, barn, the classroom some of the students and the new group home. They interviewed us as Canadians doing humanitarian work in Ukraine. They interviewed three of the students but only Anton, who has been here for a week now, made the final cut.

Yesterday we went on an excursion to Hortithsa Island with most of the students (Anton insisted on staying home to work, and Karina and Julia were off for a few days to try to find some of Julia's relatives. Here are few photos of the fun.

some of us climbed the hill

We walked to the the sich (fort) next. it was closed but they let us in the gate anyway.

Maria surrounded by some of the girls

Then we walked down the the Dniper riverbank.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

visitors and moving day

Wednesday we had visitors from Winnipeg, Garry gave them a quick tour, one had been here the year before the school began, and was interested in how the program was making out since John Wiens passed away..

On Thursday we had visitors from the Zaporozhye regional agriculture department, they were very interested in what we are doing here, met the first year students who were in class, and a couple of the second year students who were working. The students had to introduce themselves and say where they were from and what they wanted to do when they finished school. At least half our students previously studied plastering, by the way.

They also visited the new group home and the new barn with Garry and Victor, and offered to find us some farms to tour with the students.

While they were gone, I gave the students an English test (they did well)  and Maria did her writing and reading class.

Garry has been going over cattle judging this week. He was impressed with how well they learned the parts of a cow. Some of them, like hip,  are really long in Russian.

Saturday was the day we have been waiting for, moving day, we have been waiting for more than a year, but the electricity is finally flowing. The students will be going to class at the new farm next week.

 Yes,  the lights are on, the guys even got the internet working, they moved the antennae this morning. A few more small things to do and it will be so much nicer for teaching than the summer kitchen.
bigger table

We still need to hang the clock and flags, but classes will be here on Monday, before the planned afternoon outing to enjoy the summery weather for the end of September.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Another birthday and we got power!

It was Oxana's birthday this week at the new house, she is now 18 years old. We only have students over 18, that's why she arrived at the beginning of September, while the others were here at the end of July. Her older  sister Vika is in the striped shirt (it was her birthday earlier this month). They are the only siblings in the program this year.

You can see a few changes, we bought more stuff last week for the house, it takes a lot of stuff to fill a house! The coffee table, (the clock was ours before Garry bought a cow one last spring) and we also bought 6 quilts and six more blankets for the girls beds, winter is coming.

We are down a girl, as Luba decided to go live with her grandmother, her brother came last week to help her carry her stuff (three grocery bags).She will be twenty in a few days, and has a mother and several siblings that have returned home after the orphanage, it seems. We saw them as they were going out of the village on our way home from church that Sunday, and hugged her before she left. Garry gave her his business card in case she changes her mind, before we fill her spot.  I miss her smiling in English class, she had studied it before, and knew all the numbers already! She called Maria already and said she had to go live with a cousin instead so it may not be working out. .

We did find another boy for the first year class after the other one left after only two days before classes started. He is Anton and we picked him up in Dnepro Sunday afternoon at the bus station, he is from Victor's village Misshorin Rog and was recommended by the team for Kirvoy Rog. He seems to be fitting in nicely after only two days. Yesterday afternoon he was helping with digging the trench for the electric cable.

Victor is more than the Hope for Each director
He trained as an electrician

Girl power= Karina helped dig too
That's right, there is electricity working at the new barn today! They got it going just after 6 pm Monday. The transformer had to warm up over the weekend.

We hope to move the classroom over there shortly and hire the company that built the framework for the parlor to assemble the milk parlor and get the milk cows over there in the next month or so.
Students hard at work

Victor explaining how it works to Nikolai

.Now we just need that container of stuff sent from BC to get out of Kiev in the next couple weeks and here in the village...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

School days

Last week  was the first week that the group home parents taught the students (we alternate weeks). They each have different subjects, relationships, basic math, health, Christian ethics, computer skills with classes in the morning for the new students, some classes at the end of the morning are also attended by the second year students.

This week the new students learned to bandage from Dr Ira

Tomorrow Garry, Maria and I are back on for dairy, writing (Ukrainian) and English, all day, the second year students have  separate classes in the afternoon . We picked up a new guy today, so we are back to 15 students. Luba left last week, but she may be back soon, it seems it is not working out to stay at her grandmother's.

The new students work afternoons and the others work in the mornings, so there is always someone working, and they have time for classes too.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Closer... and do you want to come to Ukraine next spring?

Scroll down for info about joining our next building project!

Just twenty feet of lines to connect the barn to the grid...it's getting closer! Maybe this year, I mean week (its been two years of paperwork). Just look at those shiny electric lines going to the barn and new classroom! Garry says the wire is there waiting for the local electric company to connect the next time they turn off the power for a couple hours for monthly maintenance ...which could even be this week! It will be exciting the next time the power goes off at 10 in the morning until mid-afternoon, normally it just spoils my plans for cooking dinner at noon.

Today, Friday the 17th is the day... power is scheduled to be off from 8 am to 5 pm. Hope to get moved into the new classroom sometime in the next two weeks! and get the milk parlor installed soon! 

Interested in seeing our project for yourself? Come help with a reno in 2016!

side view- there is a separate house behind the red gate
 Next year's building project? Group home,  maybe classrooms? This large building is available on main street near the new house and looks like next year's project. The price is reasonable, but it will definitely need a new roof, and needs to be gutted and rebuilt inside like the group home we did this year. 

We'll need to raise funds, too. I recently updated the CRMF website, the non-profit  that raises money for the trade school project . http://canadianresourcesformissions.com/
interior view through a window

facing the main street in the village
the old kindergarten (preschool)

 The mayor offered to sell us that old kindergarten that John Wiens had wanted to turn into the school, but in the last five years it has not only deteriorated, last year there was a firebug in the village setting vacant houses on fire and that building was the final victim.

 Email Garry if you want to come to Ukraine next spring to help reno! We're looking for leaders and members of building teams for spring (March, April) or even summer (finishing). It will be an experience you'll never forget. Meet and work with the students, and help us change more lives.

Garry says a couple or person would like to come for the summer or a month or two and do maintenance on buildings would be welcome also! 

Saturday, September 12, 2015


snack time
Saturday morning was the first of our fall clean up days for the the houses, all students who were not scheduled to work elsewhere were to be at the boys house at 9 am.

 They worked, they ate watermelon, they pulled and chopped and mowed a lot of weeds. By noon the new girls got a ride with Garry back to the new house, and things were looking a lot neater, especially behind the house in the orchard.

The girls were working in the front garden

Garry hard at work with the girls

Ira pulling weeds

Valentina carrying them away

Sasha loves to run the lawnmower

Behind the house, behind the orchard, whacking weeds
Later Saturday the boys and girls group homes, where mostly second year students are housed, had a picnic at the pond. I borrowed a few facebook photos of the fun.

Ukrainian volleyball