First Container is Here and Unloaded!

A boy at the orphanage named Vlad is a champion Chess player and Mike McEachern decided to challenge him to a game.  They played on Mike’s iPad so I guess this gave Mike a “home court” advantage, but Vlad beat him anyway.  Mike managed to hang in for about 40 minutes so he was pretty pleased with his game!


The boys finished laying the laminate flooring in Anna’s living room and moved on to work on the ceiling in the hallway.  This is not a great picture, but it gives you an idea of how the flooring looks.


In order to finish the ceiling, they had to finish the wall above the door that had been moved.  Here you can see an excellent example of East meets West … Belarusian cement wall meets North American drywall!  This will be parged over with a coat of cement to match the wall.


Jann Smith continued her International Cooking program at the orphanage and today’s menu was Sloppy Joes, Salad and Orange Pudding.  Here Yanna, Nina and Boris proudly showing off their creation – “Grandma Green’s Orange Pudding”


We had an opportunity to visit the “Social Workshop” that we support with help of the Utting Foundation.  This program helps us move towards our goal of bringing these children with physical and mental disabilities into the community where they can start to understand and believe that they are valuable and contributing members of their society.  The new workshop is located in a former school that is now used by the community as a sports training center and social building.  This moves these children from a warehouse location to one that is now truly part of the community!  Here they work on crafts that they sell at local fairs and markets, another endeavor that puts them in the community.  Last summer they outsold all of the other booths at every fair they attended!


This beautiful young lady siting next to me is Nastya.  Every morning she tells her mother that it is time for her to go to work and she heads here to the Social Workshop.  With a wonderful blend of self confidence and a hint of shyness, this girl is a great success story!


Meanwhile back at the orphanage, Brittany McEachern unveiled her project for the older girls.  Brittany coordinated and collected over 40 donated Prom Dresses and presented them to the girls so they can pick one out for their graduation in the spring.  What a wonderful surprise for these girls.  I can’t wait to see the graduation pictures this year!  Here Brittany poses with Anna who is holding up a blue dress that she picked without hesitation!  Blue is her favourite colour.


Here all of the girls pose with Brittany and a selection of the dresses.


The best news all day was a phone call from Dave saying that the first container was on it’s way from Mogilev!  This container had the food boxes for social services as well as lots of items for the Chausy Orphanage.  The first stop was the gym at School #1 where we unloaded the food boxes.


We had lots of help from the families of invalid adults and invalid children as well as about 10 boys from the orphanage.


At the orphanage we unloaded the balance.  A family in Ridgetown, Ontario has donated the funds to build a small pig barn at the orphanage and here you see one of the doors as well as some of the pre-built forms for the cement foundation and knee walls.  The barn will not be built until May when hopefully all of this snow will be melted and the frost out of the ground.


A big hit with the kids were the 6 canoes that we shipped over along with a trailer to haul them around.  When we were planning this project Murray Ferguson came up with the idea of getting 4 red and two green canoes and having them look like the Belarusian Flag.  Here is the flag:

and here are the canoes on the trailer.  The trailer was built by Selleck Mechanical in Brockville and D&D Promotions donated and installed the vinyl pattern.  The kids thought this was fantastic and can’t wait to proudly pull their national flag down the highway on their first outing!


We are anticipating the other two containers arriving in Chausy around noon tomorrow and then the race is on to get everything delivered.

Eric McKenzie

8 thoughts on “First Container is Here and Unloaded!

  1. Jennifer Hopson

    In Canada, we really look forward to your daily blogs. After such busy days, we appreciate the time that it takes to coordinate the pictures and stories. Thanks Eric for sharing, it means a lot to all of us! Our thoughts are with you in the deliveries, love to Everyone!

  2. Vika

    Thank you for sharing!!! You guys been there for short period of time, and so much has been done! I shouldn’t be surprised, actually.,. Thinking of you

  3. Patricia Burns

    Great news that the containers are there at last. It will be very busy for the next few days but at least you will be able to oversee the majority of the deliveries.

  4. Beth Hart

    Wonderful newsy updates Eric. Some very exciting things are taking place due to all your good work. Keep it up!

  5. R. Patricia Capitain

    Everybody loves Sloppy Joes – great job, Jan!
    The idea of green and red canoes to resemble the country’s flag was a genius one.
    The floor looks promising once they are cleaned-up – Anna will be so proud of her new home when it’s all finish. We wish her a happy home warming!
    Tell Mike that one of the reasons he lost the chess game to Vlad is that he forgot to put on his thinking cap. The brain freezes when it’s bare like his!

  6. Kate

    What a clever idea to have the canoes look like the flag! Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and stories of Anna’s apartment, the international cooking school (Gramma Green’s orange pudding looks yummy), Brittany’s prom dress success, the social workship and pig barn parts! It is so nice to get your updates, and see what is going on, and all the smiling happy faces! Great work everyone!!

  7. connie lou Sebast

    once again, your coordination and cooperation of so many astounds me. i am overjoyed at what all of you together are able to accomplish!

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