Monday, May 4, 2009

One degree of separation

one of the kids in the tulips the team

April 24

A day full of traveling and opening doors is not unusual here. One thing I would like to convey is that for what we see and read about what goes on here there is a 16 hour day worth of work and many many untold stories involved in making all the dreams here a reality. Several stories like this unfolded today. On one of our first days here we were reminded about 6 degrees of separation that can link almost anyone to almost anyone else somewhere in the world. Well that is not exactly true here in Kyrgyzstan. The degree of separation is much less. More like 1-2. In a round about way One of those connections occurred today. A chance meeting led us to a new member of our circle of friends here. Although for some of us this is not a new friend, but one we already had contact with several months ago. This man helps in so many ways here. His first priority is to attempt to reunite families. Second he advocates for the handicapped children and adults of Kyrgyzstan. Lastly he volunteers a great deal of his time at a detsky dom for children with handicaps. Today we had the opportunity to tour the facility. There are so many needs at this home. The most important is a child who needs cardiac surgery. We were met at the door by this young man. He is about 5 years old. Maybe a bit younger. His hands and lips are purple. His fingers are clubbed, which means he has been living with a low circulation of oxygen for a long time. This young boy is beautiful. He has a spirit that touched me down to my soul. Without surgery though he will not live much longer. I am so saddened by this. Once home one of my efforts will be to find out what his defect is and how he can be helped. There is hope and help available for him. We just need to somehow coordinate the efforts of many to make it actually happen. We were not allowed to take photos at this particular place. There have been some unfortunate events leading to much distrust of cameras here. We do have a few spy cam photos from outside where our second project for this place is in need of a sponsor. Building a playground that is handicap accessible. The land is here, flat and large. A further contact later in the week has given us the manpower to build the playground. The only thing missing is the plans and the materials. This playground can be built by the men of the United States airforce stationed in Manas. We have been told they are always looking for projects to help the communities during their downtime.

After a long morning we are only half finished with our day. Back in Tokmok pastries, apples, confetti (candy) and socks are placed into plastic bags to be delivered to the invalid men’s home where the barber shop was built.

This was planned in conjunction with the opening of the Barber shop. A different day was chosen for the party to allow us to come back and provide even more contact with these men. The men already had music planned for the evening. Little did I know this was to lead to a dance party. Starting innocently with a few dance steps between myself and Larissa (the wonderful woman who provides much of the support for operations of this home). Well that led to a full dance card. The men just had a blast. (well so did I) But my enjoyment was giving these men a night that they remember the Amerikanski coming to dance with them and seeing the smiles on their faces. The night ended with comments from Larissa and the leaders of our team. What a wonderful speech. “Someday we will all walk together on streets of gold”

Larissa and one of the men post shave at the Barber shop.


  1. who zat in ma kitchen?
    we think it's Almos.. right?

  2. In Za kitchen Asylbeck... In da vindow Almaz!!