We were so sure that we would receive our permission to distribute today that we made plans last night to meet at the school gym where all of the packages are. However Dave called me first thing to say it was not happening and we should all meet at the orphanage instead. This is extremely disappointing as time is running out and we have so much work to do. Here are some of the group having tea and playing the waiting game.
Because of the many programs we have in place as well as the success of the children, the orphanage has received a lot of attention lately. The boys hockey team managed a bronze medal this season at the national level! Quite a feat! Government officials were so impressed that they bought them a brand new tractor to plow and sweep their outdoor ice rink. Of course it will be put to use in the agriculture program as well and here it is being utilized to sweep the winter dirt from the driveway.
Spring cleaning is happening everywhere, the snow fences are being removed along the highways and crews of cleaners are out sweeping streets and will soon start painting fences, curbs and buildings. Here a crew in Mogilev is sweeping the road.
Since we were waiting I went with Jonathon (one of the Canadians) to Mogilev to help him purchase a laptop computer. His family has been sponsoring a girl from the Chausy orphanage for many years. Marina has been in Brockville many times and they continue to sponsor her in the Orphan Education Program. She is currently studying computer programming at college in Mogilev but does not own a computer. When we visited her at the college Jon presented her with a brand new laptop! She was so excited she was shaking and on the verge of tears. It was a wonderful moment and I know that she will put it to good use. Here is Jon with Marina and her brand new laptop.
Our driver, Valodya (most of the Canadians call him Bobby), was having some electrical problems with his car so we stopped at the local dealer. A mechanic spent about 20 – 30 minutes solving the problem and charged him 2,000 Rubles. May sound like a lot, but it works out to about $0.70 Canadian!! I couldn’t believe it! Ask your Canadian mechanic if he will look under your hood for a dollar!
When we returned to Chausy we headed for the School gym in hopes that we would be cleared soon. Our two firefighters had just returned from a very successful meeting with the Mogilev Fire Chief. Troy and Kenny are doing a great job of paving the way for all of the wonderful equipment they will be delivering.
Finally about 4:30 word comes that we are cleared to deliver the parcels. This is a great relief to everyone and we all jump into action loading vehicles and contacting families for either pick-up or delivery. Here Pat, Neil and Tracy check the inventories for the upcoming deliveries.
The first truck is loaded and headed for the family of Sasha Krasikov, a boy who suffers from Brittle Bone disease and has been to Canada for treatment. They live on a small farm and in order to get the parcels to their home a horse and wagon are hired to haul it from the main road as the mud is too deep for a vehicle to pass. I was not there to get a picture, but apparently it was quite a journey which involved one Canadian hopping on one foot as his boot came off in the deep mud. Here is the load leaving the school.
On a personal note, my host family has a 15 month old son and they really wanted some good learning toys for him. Everything I brought was a big hit and he tried his best to play with all of it. I’ll let you judge the success by the size of his smile.
A huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders and tomorrow will begin a series of very long and busy days delivering parcels and food boxes.
PS: If you are a subscriber and you miss a day, please check the website as I have noticed that the auto-notifier does not seem to be sending as many e-mails as usual and I have no way to check to see who has been informed and who has not. You can always go back through any missed posts using the calendar on the right side.