Getting Things Started!

Three airplanes, four airports and approximately 24 hours after leaving home, I arrived in Chausy.  Of course the first thing that my host family did was feed me and I’m pretty sure my “host Mom” is convinced I haven’t eaten since last spring!

This morning I was picked up by our driver, Volodya (everyone calls him Bobby) along with Dave and our interpreter Natasha.  We sorted out cell phones and banking and then headed over to see our warehouse.  In the past we have been using the gym in school #1 for our warehouse but this year it is under construction so we had to find alternate accommodations.  We have the loan of this storage location near the train station:

It is a little rough, but they have repaired the roof and promise us that it doesn’t leak.  The floor is a bit damp, but it is unlikely to dry out very quickly given the current weather.  The temperature is fluctuating around freezing and unfortunately there is no heat in the building.  I have notified the rest of the delegates to pack their long underwear!  Here is a look inside the building.


The rest of the day was spent waiting at the Customs Authority for the paperwork to be completed and approved, however this was not complete when the office closed at 6:00 PM.  Here are Natasha and our Official Receiver, Galina from Chausy Social Services, waiting patiently in the hallway.

Tomorrow morning Dave, Natasha and Galina will return to finish the process.  Our containers were due into the Customs yard tonight and with any luck we will have them available to unload in the afternoon.  Jon Schuler, Nina (another of our interpreters), our driver Andre and myself will head over to prepare the warehouse in the morning.

We have more of the delegates arriving through the week and we anticipate a busy time!

Eric McKenzie

1 thought on “Getting Things Started!

  1. Tina Rudkoski (OVACC)

    Thanks for the update….thanks again for helping us to reach our families in Belarus. Cheers to Andrei from all of us in OVACC!
    Good luck with all the work ahead. Anxious to read your daily postings.

    All the best to all, Tina R.
    Ottawa Valley Aid for Chernobyl Children

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