While Dave and Natasha were in Mogilev working on getting approval to unload the containers into our bonded warehouse, Jon, Nina, myself and our drivers went over to prepare the warehouse. We were worried that the boxes would get wet sitting on the cement and we were told that we could borrow some pallets for this purpose. However, when we tried to use the pallets we were told that this was not possible as they were needed for something else.
Nina made a couple of quick phone calls and sourced some pallets from a farm cooperative that she is working for. Not only did they loan us the pallets, but they helped us load them and delivered them to us with one of their tractors and wagons! Nina is amazingly resourceful, a natural problem solver, and an amazing asset to our organization in Belarus. Here are the guys finishing loading the pallets:
We decided to arrange them in rows that we could walk between to help making organizing and finding our boxes easier:
Around 1:30 Dave arrived followed by the two containers. As you can see winter has returned to Belarus, it was really cold outside and even colder in the warehouse! In some ways the cold weather is a good thing. The recent thaw had raised the level of the river across the flood plain and started to reach the houses in that part of town. Hopefully the freeze will slow the run-off to allow the river time to recede and spare the damage to these homes.
Along with the few (3) Canadians, we were helped by our drivers as well as a group of parents from a local group of “families with invalid children”. We provide a lot of support to this organization and they are always eager to do whatever they can to help. Here you can see many of them lined up waiting their turn to grab a box:
This year Neil Matheson managed to recruit John Parks and some friends who cleaned and repaired 49 bikes for his families in the Guardian Angel Program. These will be a fantastic help for these families, all of whom are in dire need. Here you see one of the bikes coming out of the container:
We thought is would be fun to make a time-lapse video of the truck behind unloaded. We managed to compress 70 minutes into 30 seconds … enjoy!
Three more Canadians arrived this evening and 6 more tomorrow evening, so our ranks are swelling. Tomorrow we will start sorting the boxes by family and destination (a big job) and we are really hoping to get Customs approval to start delivering this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!