As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Water woes

You may remember reading about our water irrigation group we organised in the village, last year in the spring (April 29, 2012 blog post)  we got hooked up to the irrigation line that runs near the village, and people were able to grow good gardens even during the dry summer. We have 14 participants who paid to hook into the line, buy a meter for their own hookup to our line, and the shared expenses to lay the pipe and put a meter where our water comes off the big line.  One of the neighbors went around to people on our street two years again in the summer, asked who wanted to sign up and collecting the initial fee for joining the group, so we could pay to put the line in. Garry ended up paying a little extra, of course, but we had a great garden last year.

When it came time to deal with the irrigation people, Victor ended up as the contact person to do so, none of the neighbors wanted their name on the contract, in case there was a big bill to pay someday. Every month in the summer he goes around reading meters and collecting the payment for how much water each participant uses. Last month there was 150 cubic metres of water that was metered coming out of the big line, that was unaccounted for when Victor collected money from everyone in the group. He just paid the extra, but this week when he did the math, there was 1000 to pay the company for, and 400 missing after he collected. Last October the guys had to fix a leak in the line so it wasn't costing everyone money, since the shortfall is a shared expense for the members.

Garry and Victor decided to walk the line on Tuesday and see if they could see a leak somewhere. As they were walking they saw a sprinkler going on a little alfalfa field. Garry says during the last six weeks of virtually no rain, it has been running a lot. It seemed the sprinkler might be hooked into our group's water line, so they went and turned off the main valve. The sprinkler wasn't running when they returned. They turned the valve back on, water came out again, they left someone to watch just to make sure, and it went off again when they closed the valve. They dug a hole and found where someone had tapped into our irrigation line as it went past their place.

Who did it? A guy who is rich for the village, no less, two cars in the driveway, his teenage daughter attended our Bible school last week. Victor, Garry and the rest of the group went to see him. Garry said he was smiling the whole time he insisted he didn't know it was their water line he had tapped into. Maybe he thought it was the villages? Unlikely. The village hooked their old waterline up last fall, during the election, a year after we organized our group, and charge more per cubic metre than we do.

 The man says he will pay for the water he used, and wants to join up (now that they found out, they want to charge him extra for hooking him up legitimately, since he was asked twice about joining) The story Garry heard the next day is it turns out he did not know the line was metered where it came off the company line, and thought he was just stealing from the water irrigation company instead of his neighbors. Victor says the guy is already hooked up to the village water, but decided to water his alfalfa....

Meanwhile, it is overcast today, on Wednesday there were rain storms around, but not more than a sprinkle fell on the village, even though I hung out two loads of laundry to dry! Most of it even dried that day, and the rest was dry by the next afternoon, even though we got a little rain in the evening. At least the pear tree over the clothesline has stopped dropping rotten pears on the clothes as they are drying, so I didn't have to rewash anything!

Sooner or later the normally wet fall should arrive. By the way this year we did not install drip irrigation in our garden, and with Garry going to Canada for two weeks, the garden did not get watered properly, so there has not been much to put in the freezer. The beets are nice though!

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's over!

Here are some more pics from the camp, as they call VBS in Ukraine, it's over, the closing program was tonight at 8 pm. We started at 8:10, with the kids singing "I may never march in the infantry... in English  and then at 8:15 more people arrived.... there was a skit and all the children got a prize in the draw and we handed out ice cream cones to everyone at 9 pm.
opening exercises 

The girls with their God socks on

Boys working on crafts- иисус is Jesus

The morning there were pancakes for breakfast

Lunch at the end of the day- around 1 pm

Everyone liked making Roman helmets

Garry's cup stacking contest

Even the girls liked making swords
Polo came the last two days

Friday's lunch Maxim Boradim helped at camp 

Justin our Canadian volunteer led sports/game time

At the closing program

These kids did a skit and sang 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 2- Getting wet

Water balloon day! Playing catch

We broke it again!

Why do Garry and Hannes have bottles on their foreheads?

Breaktime and Garry is guarding the water

That looks like a wet relay race- for Garry and Hannes!
Today we made armor - in the Russian translation breastplate is armor

The little ones painting

Our skit about protection
Our skit is in English with translation- except Pastor Ivan who does his part in Russian! He is not in our photo, left to right, its me- Teresa, Garry, Justin (another Canadian) and Hannes, who is from Germany, but speaks English as a second language. He is helping out Justin with games/sports until Wednesday as he leaves for home that evening.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day one of camp (VBS) in the village

Our theme is the Armor of God and today we taught the children to sing "I'm in the Lord's Army" in English. We did not have a Ukrainian person to lead singing as we thought so we improvised! There were 25 children today for camp, for crafts I made belts with them, tomorrow it will be breastplates- in Russian the verse just says armor. Ephesians 6-18 are our verses for the week.

Washing hands before breakfast

chai (tea) and brodurbrot (sandwiches) for breakfast

girls doing craft

Boys working on their lessons

After camp, some of the kids went swimming with Garry

Cows calves and so on

Yesterday was a first- Garry artificially inseminated a cow on the way to church! A man showed up while he was in the shower, and said he cow was in heat the night before and told Garry he could catch her in the field. It was in the village of Pervey Mai so it was on the way to Dnepropetroesk, so Garry put the semen tank in the back of the Ford with the milk jugs, and off we went. We were taking our German guest Hannes to church with us (he was part of a team working on the foster homes and stayed longer) so he got to see the cow bred.... eventually.

We followed the guy in his older (but well maintained) Lada down the highway, the cows were close to where he pulled into the road to his village, but it took him a while to get ahold of the cow, finally he had her, Garry thawed out a straw of semen, and she got away. Garry and Hannes walked out into the field then, luckily the guy got her again, and she was successfully bred and we were on our way to church. I was sorry I had forgot the camera, and Garry had green shoes from walking through the ambrosia (ragweed) in the field. With the dry weather lately, that's all the cows have to eat in the pastures.

Our own cows are happy they have corn silage and hay to eat, in fact last week Garry tried to put some different cows out with the village herd. Max Boradim went out with them for two days, but a couple of them still ran back home, so it was a difficult transition time for all.

The reason for putting new cows out, some of the low producers that went out in the spring have become dry cows and have started calving. In fact last Monday, one calved in the field, twice! At lunchtime they got a call and went to check on here, after lunch they returned, she had calved and they brought it home. It was small, Yana said she wasn't due for a couple weeks. An hour or so later, one of the herders, a middle aged lady, came running into the yard (it was a hot day too) to say the cow was calving again, and it was stuck. Garry drove her back to the field, where she had another calf already.... mixed twins, one girl, one boy. Too bad- they say only one of ten females twin to a bull will be able to have a calf, but I have only seen one in my life (and I have seen a lot of mixed twin calves)!

the twins

The new calves are doing well, they are in the same hutch, and the little girl, Bogdana, one of our visitors on Friday really liked them. Friday we had visitors from the city of Dnipropajisk, two ladies who had been in Garry;s English classes in July, and two children, who arrived by car. It was the first time she had driven out of the city, they brought food, and watermelon, and enjoyed feeding the cows apples they picked up under the trees, and the watermelon rinds, too.

feeding the cows apples
Garry had to go breed a cow before they left, and another after. He was not sure which man Maxim had gotten a phone call from, and had phoned about, he was doing custom work, chopping a small farmer's corn silage in the next village. The first guy showed up while we were eating watermelon, and had an old Universal (stationwagon) Lada, white with one red door, that he put Garry and the semen tank into. He was only wearing shorts (still really hot here) and had a tattoo, and Garry said the road to his village was bumpy and he thought the man was more than a little drunk at 2 in the afternoon.

As usual, Garry had a cow to breed while I was making pizza, he got a couple of hot slices before heading out, but this one was just for a lady in the village, so he was back before I was done cooking pizza this week. We had Hannes over for pizza Friday night, and he stayed overnight, and helped the guys feed the cows before they went out to the Sea of Azov for the day. They got sunburnt and I enjoyed an empty house to work on stuff for the camp. Our VBS photos will be up this week. as soon as we take some!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Baptism at the river

One of our trade school students, Veranika was baptized on Sunday in Zaporosia, and of course we went there. In fact we drove Nika, her mother, plus Alina, Vlad (who was in the village the night before for some unknown reason) and Maxim Boradim- the two boys sat in the cargo area of the van. (more photos in the trade school blog)
Veranika and her mother

Remember Marina, who helped bale straw two years ago? She biked in.

The praise band

In the river

Nika's pants turned green!

We supplied our generator so they could use the power for the praise band and microphones, since the church service was there. As you can see the water in the river was very green, and not just on top.

After the service and baptism there was a meal, someone cooked plof over a fire.... and there were salads too...and watermelon and cookies... and kids playing with water.

Max talking with Marina and Masha

cooking over fires

closeup of plof cooking - the rice was mixed in later

Garry was first in line

Max got some too

I think one of these twin girls found scissors....

Bye Olya

Sunday morning we said goodbye to Olya, who is now back in Moscow getting ready for another year of university.  Olya said it was the best week of her summer, but the bruises on her legs might say otherwise, she was using them to balance the wheelbarrow she was pushing!
Olya saying goodbye to Mooska, her old cat
Olya spent most of the week helping Max feed the cows

Saturday, August 10, 2013

That's a big pile of corn silage!

Chopping right in the wagons beside the tractor
So they have been chopping corn silage for about four days, and they are finished now! Garry took a couple pictures yesterday when he brought lunch out to the field for the guys. I have been making big dinners with dessert this week for around one o'clock.

Some days they have had two tractors and wagons going to bring the silage home form the field and sometimes just one. They chopped the "bad" parts of the field. Garry was surprized how dry the corn plants were, last Friday he thought it would be another week before it was ready, but we still haven't got any rain, missing another thunderstorm on Thursday afternoon. It was close enough that Polo jumped in my lap shaking, but not even a drop of rain here!

 Here is Garry Wednesday evening after driving the tractor back and forth from the field to dump the silage in the pile for the afternoon. He keeps the window open (no air-conditioning in this tractor) and the black dust flies everywhere. The other guys drive slower and shut the tractor up, but its too hot for Garry.

Maxim tries to keep him off the tractor, he's convinced that Garry drives so fast it is hurting the frame of the loader tractor, but he drives some anyway. Victor has driven the tractor chopping a bit, he was out on Wednesday to bring out a new pressure tank for the water pump for the barn, and stayed overnight and helped in the field until it was time to sell milk in the city Thursday afternoon. Today he came out to take over driving with Garry, so Maxim, his wife Yulia and brother Andrey, could leave to go home to Kherson to celebrate their father's 50th birthday.
Serosia packing the pile with his loader tractor

 Someone climbed the big pile of straw bales to take the next photos:

Dumping another load of silage

Part of the pile is covered with plastic and dirt already- Hi Olya!

close up of the "film" thin plastic covering the pile
A much bigger pile of silage than last year, and they only cut about half the field. The rest will be combined when it is dry. Garry hopes to sell it to buy a corn planter to plant next year's crop.
Look, there is corn in this year's silage!