Internet, Appletrees and Quilts

Today was another day to tidy up loose ends, not an easy task in this environment!  Dave Shaw and I met with the Director, Vice Director and Computer Teacher at the Chausy Orphanage to discuss our plans to put high speed internet into the orphanage.  Our plan is to not only give these children access to the vast resources of the internet but also develop a program whereby they will learn about web design and maintain a website for the orphanage.  Of course our first step is to get them on-line.  We started by checking out the computer room where the computers (most supplied by CAC) have already been connected into a small local network.  After a few calls to the local service provider we found out that a site inspection will happen before we leave so we will know when the connection will happen.  Since the children will be out of classes for the summer we feel it makes sense to have the system connected and give the teachers an opportunity to understand and develop a teaching plan.

Here Vice Director Alexander, Computer Teacher Sasha and interpreter Alla discuss the requirements in the computer room.

Something interesting that I learned today is that in Russian culture everyone is given their fathers first name as their middle name (it is referred to as their patronomic name).  Children in school refer to their teachers by their first and patronomic name as a sign of respect.  For example my host Dad’s first name is Alexander and his father’s name was Victor, therefore the children call him Alexander Victorovich.  If he had a sister named Natasha, she would be called Natasha Victorovna.

After the first meeting I sat in on another meeting with Margaret and David Campbell and Director Vitalli (Vitalli Nicholiavich) to discuss the agriculture program.  Since David has a background in agriculture he is helping to determine what crops they will plant as well as when to plant and harvest.  Most importantly he is trying to determine how best CAC and his group in Ridgetown can help.  Both with equipment and money.

Here are Margaret, David, Vitalli and our interpreter Nina.

One of the projects that is happening this spring is to start a new apple orchard.  Today we went out to purchase some of the trees.  The weather was beautiful today and the temperature was pushing 20 degrees (sorry to hear about the snow back home)!  The work crews are out in full force, cleaning, raking and re-painting.  Here a woman is sweeping the sidewalk of the winters sand (note the broom made of birch branches).

We went to a small garden center in Chausy to purchase some apple trees as well as a few decorative shrubs.  Here we are in front of the garden center.

Here David Campbell poses with some of our purchases … 30 apple trees, one decorative tree and a few small shrubs.

This field between the residence and school house is where the orchard will be planted.  It is necessary to plant them in a busy area of the orphanage grounds to keep them from being picked by others.

Exactly 7 days ago tomato seeds were started in flats in a workshop area.  An inspection today showed them already up about 2 inches!

After lunch (we were fed by the orphanage once again) the Campbells and I headed out to make a few deliveries between Chausy and Mogilev.  We made several stops at some very desparate homes to deliver food boxes, but rather than show you more pictures of these deliveries I will show you some from a stop that was the highlight of our day.  We delivered quilts to a daycare in Gorbavichi.  Again, these quilts were lovingly hand-made by a group of quilters in the Brockville area.  We managed to arrive at naptime and all of the children were sleeping.  I have no idea how they can get this many children to sleep at once.  Outside of the sleeping rooms, each child has “neatly” organized their outer clothing on a chair.

Inside the children are each fast asleep in their own little bed.

We managed to sneak in and place a quilt on a sleeping child for this photo op.

Next they took us down to where the little ones were also sleeping, each fast asleep in their own little crib.

Once again we managed to sneak a quilt on this little angel.

If there is ever any doubt of the beauty and innocence of a sleeping child just scroll down.

Eric McKenzie

6 thoughts on “Internet, Appletrees and Quilts

  1. Annis

    Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful. Great to see all the work in progress & see how much it’s needed & appreciated. GREAT JOB everyone.

  2. Mary Nysten

    Eric and other members of the team,
    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful work you and the group have accomplished on this trip. Your blog has really helped us to get a real feel for what is happening in Belarus.
    God bless each and everyone of you for the work you are doing to help others.

  3. Katie J

    Wow….you really know how to pull on our heartstrings back home Eric! Thank you for the wonderful photos, without them we really wouldn’t be able to grasp the enormous effort put forth by all of you! Thank you to everyone involved in these incredible missions!!
    Have a safe trip home.

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