Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Work on the new project begins

Today some of the students were working with Garry and Max on taking down walls inside the new new house project, and cleaning and stacking whole and partial bricks to be reused later in the septic system that will be dug.
Karina hard at work

Julia stacking bricks

As you can see this house is big, but in worse shape than last year's house since no one has lived in it since we moved to the village at least.

A little clean up to finish from the attic
Meanwhile, most of the boys were working on drilling a new well at the girls' house today. While Garry and Max were working on the attic insulation project they found a few maintenance projects there, including the fact that the well was dirty and in need of repair so they decided to make a new one. Garry says they got about eight meters down today. You may remember that Garry helped drill one the same way in October at the new house.

it's a long pole

Smile! left to right- Kolya, Nikolai, Andrei and Valera

cleaning out the muck
 Garry answered a question on this post--

We have an auger that we turn by hand and make a 10 inch hole. We then insert a 8 inch plastic sewer pipe with holes drilled in the bottom 15 feet. This one is about 35 feet deep but some we have had to go 80 feet and they take several days. Average wages in Ukraine are about $150 per month so we do a lot by hand. 

The foundation of the addition to the girls' house is ready to go when help arrives.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

School and fun

Friday we took some of the students for a trip to the farm show in Zap (see other blog for more photos)

The two second year students who didn't go to Kiev (they stayed home and worked) and the winning scavenger hunt team, with bowling afterwards as a reward.

The last time we went bowling the management yelled at us for taking photos so I took a couple sneak shots. Karina had the best student game with a 110. Maria and I bowled, Garry rested his bad foot.

It was muddy walking to school this week as you can see in these photos

 This week Garry and Maria and I were teaching, next week it will be the group home parents' turn.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Trip to the Farm Show in Kiev

While I was flying back to Ukraine, Garry, Masha and most of the students (Karina volunteered to stay home and work, and poor Valera had to stay, he still can't ride the train, as his documents for his replacement internal passport ID are still being processed- there are hopes it will be done soon) were off on the Wednesday night overnight train to Kiev, where they went to the farm show and visited some other sites before returning on Thursday night's train. Thanks to Masha (Maria) I have lots of photos to show you.

When they arrived it was too early to go to the show, so they went downtown to see some famous landmarks near to where the Maidan demonstrations took place. It was wet and rainy... and cold.

Then they took the Metro (subway) to the the stop nearest the show

They walked a few blocks to the show in the snow! In fact, after the show they had to walk through rather deep snow to see the rest of their sites.

The Farm Show

They didn't just take photos on tractors, in fact, there was an educational scavenger hunt for the students with a list of  ten different things to find, like a brochure from a booth selling alfalfa.

The water museum

After the farm show they went to the Water Museum, which we have walked to and not been able to get into both of the last trips to the Farm Show. It was a long walk uphill, in the snow, and the guys took turns carrying Ira up flights of steps (she has cerebral palsy and has trouble with them) but this time they had made an appointment for a tour and so we have photos!

 I thought I turned this one before I loaded it, there is a photo of everyone in a bubble (all sideways) This is Nikolai.

Ira and Julia
 There was a snow ball fight and of course they ate at Mc Donald's at least once!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


As some of you may know, our parents at the boys group home, Andrey and Ira have moved on and Garry and Victor hired a new gentleman from Eastern Ukraine to live at the "boys house" just before Garry flew back in December. Yesterday they got everything moved around,  Vova is going to start  living right in one of the bedrooms with  Kolya, our oldest student, in order to get to know the boys faster. Added advantage- the new side of the house is warmer. The parents' side is the original house the addition was built onto, and so there is better insulation in the new part.

 Andrey, Ira and their daughter moved into a house they had bought in village two years ago, where he has built a small greenhouse. She has been working with New Hope Center in Zap. Garry told me he had a good talk with them and everyone was happy with the change.

All our group home parents are like missionaries, Ukrainian Christians living with mostly non-Christian adult orphans aged 18-23. Being a group home parent is a tough job, so it's not surprising that some of them get "burnt out" with the stress.

They have a place to live but really just a part time salary for living with and teaching the students some life skills at home and teaching two hours of classroom time every other week, so we encourage them to find a part time job. Really what we want is a family atmosphere, but they aren't your children. We don't have a lot of rules but we ask that they try to eat together family and students at least once a day, to build community and life skills for the students who have grown up in a more industrial group setting.