Starting from yesterday – Friday the 22nd
Yesterday was a different sort of day in that we went to Bishkek for one reason – to seek help for a chronic dental problem I have had since arriving here two months ago. We walked into the dentist office, thrilled at what we saw and I walked out two hours later with a root canal. No big deal, but I am so thankful that the problem has finally been taken care of. Dr. Lena came recommended to us and it was a good experience.
After that we met some friends who work with disabled children. One of the orphanages we visited needed a walker for a little boy who broke his leg in the winter and now rarely will walk. Our friends had just the right one for him so we packed it along with us on the marshuka (public transportation van )back home. On Monday, we will go with a physical therapist to deliver the walker and instructions for its use.
Thursday-May 21 – Training in Foster Care Begins in the Chui region
Although Thursday was a cold, damp day, it did not dampen our spirits as we took the taxi to a regional office to begin a first of its kind – a seminar on the building blocks of a foster care system. This type of training has never been offered in this region and as representatives of the International Leadership and Development Center, we are excited to begin the work. With any new thing, it will take a lot of time to move toward a foster care system here. Whether it takes two years, five years or even ten, one has to start at the beginning and that is what we have done.
The first foster care training workshop in the CHUI region.
After a full day of training, a meeting afterwards, we made our way over to the orphanage to celebrate four birthdays with a hamburger feast provided by LAMb and prepared by John. He will be greatly missed as he leaves next week to return to Canada. He and his family hope to return in the fall.
John's hamburgers were a hit.
Albeck, Aziz, Tolick and Kanet celebrate their birthdays!
Wednesday – May 20 – Another Training First and Touching the Heart of a Little Boy
As we drove to the Kemin region, we had two very important tasks. The first was to meet with a work team who will be responsible for developing a foster care program in this area. The group of five leaders were excited and enthusiastic and when we left, I caught their excitement. We will be training two more days in this region before we leave in a little over three weeks, but they will have spent time learning about the first steps of creating a foster care program.
The work group in the Kemin area. We begin training 24 social workers next week.
The second task was David's. While I was training, David and the rest of the crew, had a fruit drop at the senior’s home and to visit Aziz, the four year old grandson of the nurse there. He has truly captured our hearts and we took some things especially for him. We plan to do some other things for him, including connecting him and his family with a physical therapist, who can teach them how to strengthen his muscles, as he lives with CP – a mild form.
Natalia, David and Aziz.....he loves stickers! Look at the wow!
Monday – a gathering in the village – May 18
Alisha, a teenager from the states spent her last day here with her new friends in the village. We joined the team from Canada (Possibilities International) as they met the village people that have helped. Before we met up with them, they had already had two earlier stops and two huge meals. They arrived to join us in the village for TWO MORE!
Yet, another full course meal!
Alisha and her new friends.
Not quite sure what this means for John....or
Looking back at last Saturday – May 16
A group of men from Canada who serve with Possibilities International arrived earlier last week. This group was special, in that all of these men have invested time and money into the needs of Kyrgyzstan. For them to truly understand the impact of their ministry, John gathered over 150 people whose lives have been touched directly by the generous spirit of these men. Vans, buses and cars were sent to pick up these folks and bring them to Barana Tower, an ancient tower near Tokmok for a surprise picnic for these men. The weather didn’t corporate with this grand plan, but it was a memorable time just the same. What an opportunity for these men to directly see the impact of their generous giving.
The ancient tower
Some of our very favorite kids just hanging out at the tower.
Preparing to feed 150 people.
David serving the children.
It was a cold, damp picnic...felt more like March than May, but it was incredibly fun!
The week ahead
When thinking about the week ahead, we have a familiar saying here "it is too soon to know." We know what we have planned....an end of the year celebration at the Professional Institute, training in Bishkek, Kemin and Chui, but usually, we can count on many other unknown things. It hardly seems possible, but we are down to our last three and half weeks here. Our journey with this beautiful people continues....