Monday, May 4, 2009

Around the Chuie Valley

One thing I have learned from this day is that there is a sphere of actions and interactions taking place here. Every act impacts the next or can be passed on to help the next project. Many projects have now become intertwined in an effort to create a degree of sustainability.

So what does that mean? Today was a perfect example. We met Geneesh and his Babushka this morning. She has been living alone, on a low pension and very little extra for food. Geneesh has been caring for her but has become so busy that he is afraid of leaving her alone. SO she is being admitted to the senior home today, where she will be provided all of the necessities. The Senior home is in need of blankets and sheets. Well it just so happens that one of the other families that is helped by PI/ Iam1ru is a wonderful seamstress. So the linens from the senior home are taken to The farm 5 family and she will be paid to sew.

But back up a few steps…. Prior to being able to enter the senior home our babushka needed a physical. So our first stop of the day was at the physician in town who does much work for the team. She is always available. Her daughter is sponsored and studying at the Mayo clinic in the U.S. She has a short period of time left before she will return to Kyrgyzstan as a U.S. licensed physician. Again why is that important? Well one piece that is missing to process VISA’s in Bishkek at the U.S. Embassy is a U.S. licensed physician!! No more driving to Almaty to process ViSa’s.

Arrival at the Senior Home

A Tender Moment

But above all during this day there was a young man with us. His name is Koila. He sat quietly through the whole morning, barely saying a word. Sad, distant eyes that were very tough to read. He like every young adult I have met during this trip has had a very hard start to life. I am sure he has many stories to tell. He is a young man struggling. Luckily he has been in contact with Geneesh who will get him set up at the Teen Challenge Farm, where he will get some counseling and a safe place to stay.

Koila has his own stories from the day. As I said Koila sat quiet throughout most of the day. Sometimes his eyes were far away. Sometimes he just looked frustrated to be in the truck all day. After dropping off our babushka he opened up a little. Telling us about the Magician of the mountain. A formation of a mountain top that with a bit of imagination looks like a man lying down. The story goes that if there are storm clouds above the mountain then the valley will soon get rain. Thus the magician predicts the weather for the locals. At our last stop of the day we drive into most likely the most desperate of towns in the region. While the team is conducting business Koila and I stay and wait in the truck. An older gentleman walks up to the truck, opens the door, and starts talking gruffly to Koila and I. Koila intercepted this man and then as I watched him kept himself between the man and him gaining further access to the truck. The incident is never mentioned again.

At diner five of us went to Pharisi for Plov. Geneesh walked away from the table and wonder of wonders this young man speaks English. I spent the better part of 12 hours in the back seat with him. I took a doub;e take at him and said coyly “you mean we have been together all day and we could have been learning English/Russian from each other?” He kind of chuckled saying his English was not very good at all. I beg to differ. Well I sure hope this sweet young man gets the help he needs to change his life around. Behind the hard eyes of a tough life, I saw a very sweet young man just yearning to get free.

Geneesh and his Lagman!!!

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