But Medals Don’t Feed You!

Murray, David, Pat, Dan and I met at the Orphanage this morning to get started assembling the Poultry Barn.  Our day started on a good note when we spotted two storks flying over head.  We were told that if the first stork you see in spring is flying then you will have good luck for a year!

I know that not everyone will be interested in all of the barn photos, but if you skip them be sure to jump to the end for the food box deliveries.

Along with our group of five, the orphanage provided us with 5 helpers to lift the big panels.  Since I was one of the “lifters”I don’t have any of those action shots.  We started by placing the end panel and bracing it into place.

Of course they were not stored in the correct order so we had to lay them out in the yard.

Fortunately there wasn’t much wind today so we didn’t have to worry about being blown around.  We got the second panel in place and then added the two interior walls for stability.

Once we had all of the walls in place, someone felt it necessary to stand on top!  Each panel interlocked at the top so it as a bit tricky getting them in place, but with 10 of us to lift it wasn’t too difficult.  The day stayed pretty cold, but we were working and didn’t notice too much.  However Tanya, our interpreter, was bundled up in her winter coat with her hood up to try to keep warm.  She is in the blue below.

Next came the roof trusses.  David is on the roof and Arcady, a maintenance worker at the orphanage, is on the ground.

Finally the roof strapping and the fascia boards are put in place.  With that a very successful days work is complete!

Tomorrow we are hoping to get the roof sheeting on, finish the siding and if we are doing well, get the doors in place.

Today was the first day back after the March break and the school was buzzing with children in the morning and after classes.  It was great to see the kids again and they seemed excited to see us as well.  Here one of the boys fetches potatoes from the root cellar and wheels them to the kitchen.  Looks like he will be peeling for a while, although he doesn’t look too upset at prospect!  These potatoes were harvested from there own gardens last fall.

The rest of the Canadians started the Food Box deliveries today.  These are done through the local Social Services organization.  We tell them how many food boxes have been donated and they determine the neediest people in the region.  Each team is sent out with 1 – 3 Canadians, an interpreter, a driver and a Social Services employee.  At the end of the day I spoke with the team consisting of Jon Schuler and Cole Ferguson with their interpreter Vika and they provided me with two stories from their day.

The first was a woman named Marina who is 86 years old.  She managed to survive World War 2 but was captured by the Germans while trying to sneak food to Russians who were in hiding.  She was taken to a camp where she managed to escape when it was bombed and the fence was knocked down.  Her and some others ran away under fire.  They did not get a picture as she was bed ridden and they did not feel it was appropriate to ask.

The second story is about a man named Visilli who fought in the war and was highly decorated.  He got out his jacket with some of his medals on it for the photograph with Cole (although he had many more).

He told them he lives in constant physical pain, and several times when he was telling them about the war he had tears welling up in his eyes suggesting emotional pain as well.  When they were leaving he thanked them for the food and pointed to his medals and said “but medals don’t feed you!”

Eric McKenzie

3 thoughts on “But Medals Don’t Feed You!

  1. connie lou sebast

    I agree with Margie. There are millions of heart rending stories due to the many wars. So glad that you were able to help a few. Glad too that you were able to accomplish all that you hoped to on the weekend.

  2. margie

    hard work and painfully heart warming stories ~ how welcome your efforts and deliveries must be!

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