Today started with a trip to the Mogilev Fire Department where Paul Asmis, our last fire fighter, was continuing his training on the Canadian equipment.
When we arrived a group of new recruits were doing some training sessions on one of their older trucks.
Today they were putting the pumper through it’s paces by pumping through two hoses directly from a reservoir. Here Paul is showing them how to set up the pumper:
The Belarussian Fire Fighters were very keen to learn and crowded round while one of them video taped the procedure.
I did not spend the whole day there, but Paul said that it went well. Tomorrow the second truck arrives and he will be there to check it out prior to heading to Minsk to start his journey home. There was a lot of effort that went into preparing and shipping the trucks and despite some complications in the shipping as well as clearing customs, this has turned out to be a real success. Not only were the fire fighters able to complete what they set out to do but they managed to help out with the trucks that had been previously sent, sorting out several problems that the local fire fighters had run into. It really proves that it is much better to do any technical work first hand rather than trying to do it “long distance”.
A feature that our fire fighters really liked was the large numbers on every large apartment building. They certainly take the guess work out of finding a building in an emergency!
While Murray and I were out delivering a few last boxes I took this picture of some women working cleaning up a garden that they keep in front of their apartment building.
Dave and I stopped in for a last meeting with Galena, she is the head of the Chausy Region Social Services. We took this opportunity to thank her for all of her assistance with customs clearance as well as in delivering our food boxes to the most needy of families.
We also stopped in to see the Mayor of the Chausy Region. His authority was of great assistance with Customs clearance and we wanted to thank him for that. He in turn was very appreciative for all of the aid and help that we are bringing to his region. We spent some time discussing the plight of the orphans and we all agreed that everything we can do to help these children find the right path for their future is time and effort well spent. He showed his appreciation by presenting us with copies of a recently published “History of the Chausy Region”.
We also made a stop at the Chausy Orphanage for a last meeting with Vitalli to review our accomplishments as well as make plans for the year ahead. There are many very exciting initiatives for this orphanage in the next year, some of them are; plans for a Junior Hockey Team, high speed internet and a school web page and of course the building of a home on the grounds to help show the children how to live as a family and teach them the necessary skills of running a home. The building that will be re-built for this is in the following picture.
You will also notice the children in this picture, the ones in the background having a little soccer scrimmage and the ones in the foreground working hard (on their own time) at removing stumps from the area where the orchard will be.
Of course many of the children came out to see us and to say goodbye to Dave as this is his last visit to the orphanage before heading home.
Our last stop for the day was to drop in and visit Sasha Krasikov and his mother Lena. Sasha is the boy with brittle bone disease who has been to Canada for treatment and we hope to have him back soon to continue. Since returning from Canada he has been living pain free for the first time in his life.
A visit to Chausy is not complete without a visit to Sasha just to hear him laugh … it recharges your soul!