Lynn and Ruby arrived last Monday morning. It is so wonderful to have them here. The work of LAMb is expanding and all of us are tackling different tasks. As I look back over this past week, it seems impossible they have only been here a week.
Early morning last Tuesday, Natalia and I headed for Kemin, a region about thirty minutes from where we live. Excited, we anticipated the beginning of training for foster parents in this region. There were four potential families there on along with 18 workers. Next week, we were told to expect more families. There is a growing desire to create a foster care program in this country – one that will move children from orphanages into caring, loving and potentially, permanent families. We love working with this group of social workers. They are committed to the task ahead.
While we were in Kemin, David was busy with a critical meeting at the Professional Institute, soon to be named International University of Central Asia. Working with Dr. John Clark, David has accepted the task of helping to shape the curriculum changes needed for the elementary and secondary private schools here that we work with. He will be working with the school staff in preparation for the changes and when we return in early spring, he and Lynn Johnston, our team leader, will be involved in a lot of training.
The two young women in the center of the picture are preparing to be trainers for foster parents.
Very, very early on Thursday morning, we headed to a neighboring city for an exciting event – the opening of the Kids Around the World playground, which was two years in the planning. We arrived to a park full of children, already testing out the beautiful new playground equipment. Kids Around the World is an organization that builds playgrounds around the world. A dedication ceremony began at 10. Just looking into the eyes of the beautiful children there , we know this playground will bring many hours of family fun. The equipment arrived in a huge container. That container will be left on the playground converted to a classroom, where children will receive English lessons, computer lessons and other lessons of extreme importance.
Kids getting ready for the celebration of the opening of the new playground.
The president of Kids Around the World addresses the audience.
Young high school students share a cultural dance. It was beautiful. Behind them is the container that will house a future classroom right in the park.
This little guy stopped long enough to pose for a picture and it was back to the huge slide.
You can tell by the expression on her face, what she thinks of all of this.
I saw this young man on about every piece of playground equipment. We drove past the park late in the evening and it was still full of children.
On Friday morning, we all shared in a meeting with the staff of the orphanage and local private school. Many changes are coming as the staff joined with us in developing plans for centers of excellence. Ruby shared her vision for improving orphanage care and all of us were excited because we know that this will positively impact the quality of life for children. Our weeks are busy here and yet, not too busy to remain committed to touching the lives of individual men, women and children. We don’t want to rush through and miss what we were supposed to see. In a few days, I hope to share the story of an incredible miracle of reunion – a father and son.
Thank you for sharing our journey
David has been asked to play a cruicial role in the development of curriculum for the six private schools we work with. He shares at the Friday meeting some of the plans.
If you want a laugh….
If you want a laugh….
It is often dangerous to try and learn a new language. You take the risk of using the wrong word. Well, it happened to me at the celebration of the opening of the playground. After it was over, they announced there was ice cream for the children. One of our friends, a 28 year old, Sophia, mentioned that she wanted ice cream. Using Russian, I attempted to kiddingly tell her that she was too old….however, I actually said to her, Sophia, you are too ugly! Good thing she laughed and now I know the two different words!