Quilts, Books and a New Home!

This was my last full day in Chausy as tomorrow I head for Minsk after a final task or two.  While I was waiting for my driver to pick me up I took this picture of an apartment that is being constructed two doors down.  They seem to build a new one every year in this neighbourhood.  Like all the others this one wil be 5 stories high so as not to have to install and maintain elevators.  You can see School # 1 behind it with the red roof.

Murray and I went to the Chausy Orphanage today for a few last items on our list.  We were the lucky ones who got to present more of the quilts created by a group of Quilters in Brockville.  We let the children pick out their own as it means a lot to them to get to choose.  Here are some of the childen making their selections.

And here is a small group of the children with their new quilts.

We also were able to present the new books purchased for this orphanage by the schools in the “Reading for Excellence” program.  The money for these books is raised by children in 4 schools in Canada, Lyn Public School, Front of Yonge Public School, Commonwealth Public School and Maple Ridge Public School.  The children get sponsored for each book that they read in a prescribed amount of time.  It is amazing to me just how quickly the children get absorbed in the new books.  We simply spread them out on a table and they get pulled right in!  This is a wonderful program that allows these children to escape into worlds of fantasy and knowledge!  Here are a few pictures of the kids checking out the new books:

While we were there I had the opportunity to look at the plans for the “home” that I have been mentioning.  The building that is being renovated is in the background in this picture:

Here is a look at the outside of the new home, the top picture is oriented the same way as the picture above:

The entrance will be at the right end and the “deck” or porch at the other end will actually be a small stage that the children can use to old outdoor concerts.

This next picture is the layout of the main floor with the entrance at the left and the numbers on the drawing represent rooms as follows; 1=foyer, 2=kitchen, 3=dining room, 4=family room and 5 & 6=bathroom.

The upstairs will be one open bedroom.  This will be a place where the children will get to spend time learning how to live as a family.  They will have the opportunity to make a grocery list, buy groceries, plan and prepare meals as well as do laundry and relax.  These skills are really necessary for them to succeed in life after leaving the orphanage.  This project is being funded by the Malcomson family of Kanata.  The most exciting part is that construction starts tomorrow and will be complete by September!

Part of the Orphanage property has an old apple orchard.  Although it is not really productive anymore, they are not allowed to cut down the trees as they are on their inventory.  In order to expand the agriculture program they are tilling the land between the trees and will plant potatoes in this area.

The children were still hard at work removing stumps where the new orchard will go.

These two little guys were hard at it!

Our last duty today was to meet with Dr. Galena at the Chausy Hospital and interview the new children (and their Moms) for our summer respite program.  It is hard to imagine how hard it must be for a Mom to send her young child half way around the world for 6 weeks, of course they realize the health benefits and are willing to make this tough decision.  This little girl and her Mom posed for a picture that will be given to her host family in Canada.

We have one more important job to do tomorrow morning and that is to buy and deliver some school supplies to the orphanage.  We have a donor from New Zealand who has sent us some money through the website specifically for this purpose.  I promise to get pictures and try to post them before leaving tomorrow night, if I don’t get this done I will post as soon as I get home.

This has been an extremely successful trip and I promise to post more highlights over the coming weeks with some input from other members of the delegation.

Eric McKenzie

PS:  I can’t resist posting a picture of me with my two “buddies” at the Chausy Orphanage!

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