Neil’s GAP Trip – September 30, 2007

This is a continuation of my last post from Neil Matheson’s trip to Belarus in Sept/Oct 2007 to administer his Guardian Angel Program.

Sunday, September 30th

A very full day of visiting families in the Guardian Angel Program. Visits to Karmilina Vera, Shahmayev Zhenya, Miryugin Sasha, Kniga Sasha, Ribikina Angelika, Tolovierova Natasha, Kulyukin Gyenadi, Yakovlev Dima and Kozhyumiakina Aliesa.

Kormilin, Yuri 17/06/88


Visited on Sept 30 this woman never ceases to amaze me with her quality of motherhood. Helen McKenzie had sent me with a letter filled with love and prayers and Vera was very deeply touched by this additional act of thoughtfulness.


Vera said that she thought of Helen as her mother and thought about her every day. During our visit the mail arrived and there were pictures of her other son who is in the Airforce. She sent me home with one of these with her writing on the back.


She said that she wanted to wallpaper the living room but had to hire a car to go to Mogilev for the materials. She was given extra funds to go with Yuri and a hired driver to make the purchase and set up the living room. What a fantastic first visit to a wonderful day!


Needs: Huge needs for large pampers, vitamins

Shahmaev, Zhenya – 02/04/93


Had a very good visit and discovered that mom is still on the wagon, Zhenya did go to Minsk and has been found to not need surgery at this point.


We left the remaining funds – $180 with mom. Their general needs will be sent, I’m sure with Eric McKenzie by the Shorewood group in March.

Miriyugin, Sasha 21/10/02

Visited on September 30 in Gorbavichi. Sasha was his typical charming self with an ear to ear smile and good steady progress made this summer.


Tomorrow he goes to Mogilev Hospital to get the final tests before surgery which is scheduled on Thursday this week. He will have the muscles on the back of his legs lengthened with three incisions at the hip, knee and ankle. Mom feels very good about the upcoming operation. Dave’s cousin from Canada is looking for a family to support and this looks like it could well be a match. I brought him out for a meeting and photo shoot.

Sasha with Dave Shaw

Second visit to Sasha at the hospital in Mogilev shows Sasha standing already, following his surgery. They were informed that they would have a sponsor, Dave’s cousin. They received $200 of the $400 and will receive the remainder in March/April.
Needs: Orbitrack

Kniga, Pavil 10/04/89

Mama has a new job and a new boyfriend. Visited on Sept. 30 Pavil is home for the weekend from university in Mogilev. He is the only person in his math class to score a perfect 10 on a math test so far. He loves to work and study and is incredibly polite to boot. Little sister Katya – now a beautiful young lady is also doing incredibly well at school.


I asked Pavil to consider speaking for a few minutes at next spring’s Day of the Angel party as being an invalid” who is making it BIG time. He will consider it. His invalid status has been voided BUT we will maintain contact and support. George and Shirley Herr.
Needs: Looking into $350 needed for Geography books and a globe.

Ribikina, Angelika 05/01/99

Visited Sept. 30 with David Campbell a close friend of the Kemps.

David Campbell

We had a positive visit despite the pressure she’d felt from Irina to attend the Correction Centre in the spring. The whole family was home and we had good times with laughter as we spoke of their tractor and the summer crops.



While there we had a visit from a very intoxicated Babushka who was returning from a funeral. Looking for Pampers – 15kg – 25 kg and seeds (both great)!
Needs: big time – taken care of by Ridgetown GAP family

Tolovierov, Vladimir 04/03/93

Visited on September 30. We had a great but unusual visit. The house was in huge disarray being wallpapered and painted. Natasha was delighted to see us but embarrassed with the mess.


Their cow died six days ago and the calf bought in the spring of last year with Evelyn Hazzard’s fund is critically needed as they have no milk for the children until she can trade the fattened calf in the spring for a milking cow.


We stayed there, quite literally, til the cows came home each walked down the main street of Slastione on their own and turned in to their proper houses.


I’ll visit again if there’s time before leaving. Left $100 for milk for the kids til the spring.

October 6th . An alternate route back from a trip to Radomla took us past Slastione so we dropped in to see Natasha Tolovierova who was sick with a temperature. We looked at the wallpaper which has certainly moved forward since our last visit. Good short visit.

Needs: Farm/livestock related needs. Vitamins (always good)

Kulyukin, Gyenadi 06/06/91

We arrived at sunset on the 30th of Sept. to find mom at work and Gyenadi in the care of an older brother. The house, as usual, was very pungent with the smells of rotting meat and general filth but Gyenadi was not soiled and seemed comfortable. We left word that we sincerely hoped that he would attend the Day of the Angel Party on Wednesday and that we, of course, would be back to see them in March/April.

Needs: larger pampers and vitamins

Kozhyumiakina, Aliesa 09/05/89


Visited on September 30, 2007 at 8:00PM. This was the first of the visits delivering hearing aids provided by Murray Davidson of Davidson Hearing Centre. It fit perfectly which was evident with the smile on her face as it slipped into place.



She has agreed to help the other three recipients should I have any trouble with the installs. Each hearing aid has a box of spare parts and a year’s supply of batteries. What an amazing thing to be able to deliver.

Eric’s Note: Stay tuned there will be more posts to come …