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

Monday, November 24, 2014

All Garry does is drive...

We realized that in the last two weeks, there was only one day that Garry did not drive somewhere... either to Dnepropetroesk, or to Zaporosia, or to Dnadniprapejisk, even nearly to Berdansk last Thursday afternoon (almost 300 km round trip) to see about replacing our student Valara's missing passport (all Ukrainians over the age of 16 are supposed to have an internal passport on them, which is used as an identity document) and our trip to Kiev for a conference about working with orphans the Friday before last (for more about that, click on the bird photo.)
entering the city of Dnepropetroesk... again

Of course this week won't be much different, since there are so many things to do before we leave for Canada in ten days (we will be home about a month for Christmas this year) although he is hoping to not leave the village today!

My name is _____ and I want to see your documents

Chances are that he will forget to turn his lights on before getting to the checkpoint one day, there is a law that came into being in Ukraine about two years ago that you have to have your headlights on in the daytime from Oct 15th- April 15th, and our car doesn't have lights that come on automatically like we do in Canada! Even if he does remember every time, he still gets pulled over for random document checks, even when we drive by the same police check everyday!

Here are a few things we did over the weekend:

Friday Garry was really busy, he was up early as normal, when Maxim Boradin came running in to get him, a heifer was calving and she was down with milk fever. It took quite a while to get the calf out and get her fixed up with IV calcium and dextrose. Then he had to change and throw his very dirty clothes in the washer to get ready for the rest of his day. The students arrived at 8 am to see the cow that was being turned into dinner and see all the real parts of her that they had been studying about in anatomy class. It was really cold Friday morning, so they were glad to look at parts inside. Maria had stayed overnight to translate for Garry, but she looked away as they killed the cow. (you can SEE more about turning a cow into dinner if you click on the birds.)

Meanwhile I moved tables around in the kitchen and put soup into the crockpot, so that lunch would cook while my kitchen was invaded by cow parts. The rear quarters came into the kitchen and Garry went to deliver the front ones and the liver and heart to the two group homes. Then he cut up meat with some of the students, ground hamburger with the electric meat grinder and I packaged it and put it into the freezers, which were working overtime, until 4:30 pm. That's when he and Maria did the student payroll and figured out how much they got paid this week (there are deductions if the student misses their scheduled work shifts, which is always debated - but I switched with ____!)

Nastya came with us to Dnepro for Garry's Friday night class
Garry's English Mere Christianity group meets Friday at seven pm in Dneprotreosk. Driving after dark makes it more challenging to see the holes and pedestrians (I never can understand why Ukrainians like to wear so much black at night.)  Nastya, one of our trade school students,  came with us hoping to get her lost phone back from the friends she stayed with the weekend before. They refused to come meet her, so it seems they were not her friends and are keeping her phone.

We got home around ten o'clock after dropping off Nastya at the girls house. Maria had gone with us to help her with the phone, so she spent the night again, and went home for the weekend, with some meat.  I had a nice surprise, Maxim Boradin had cleaned up the kitchen and put everything back into place.

We stopped and bought more bags to freeze the drawer full of hamburger in the fridge, since I had run out before we left. I stayed up until midnight double bagging all we had done before, and then washed out my veggie drawer Garry had turned into a hamburger drawer.

Saturday morning we were up early, Garry had to doctor that sick cow again before we were supposed to leave for Dnepro for the day, two of the girls were going to visit friends in the city and he had told them we would pick them up at eight am when we dropped off the front quarter of the cow and the meat grinder at their house (the group home mother didn't want it on Friday afternoon.)

We were a little behind schedule because it was a cold windy night and the diesel motor in the van didn't want to start. Garry finally poured hot water over the motor to warm it up. Then we had to drive to the other side of the house to get the meat that was hanging under the shed. I had to go get a knife for him because he and Maxim B couldn't untie it to carry it over to the back of the van.
Heifers in the barn

We finally got the girls meat in, and then we went to get the hammer drill Victor wanted to borrow, so we could drop it off at his house in the city with some meat and pick up the empty milk jugs to fill on Sunday. The drill was at the "new barn" - the remodeled trade school barn, so I finally got a photo of the heifers inside it. Then we had to go back home because Garry had forgotten his good basketball shoes and he needed then for our English class visit that afternoon. Finally we got to the girls house to drop the piece of cow off and pick up Julia and Karina. We made arrangements with them to meet and bring them back after our concert around 8 pm.

 We dropped the girls, went to Victor's and then Garry dropped me at a mall while he went to a men's meeting at church. Garry picked up more medicines for the heifer that was sick, since she was still having problems that morning and he used up all he had on hand.

He met me for lunch at the mall, and then we headed to the English class we were visiting that afternoon at 2:30. They had a special activity planned for Garry, they went to a nearby school to play basketball and then we had lots of cake and cookies to eat.


One of the billboards commemorating Saturday's memorial

 We visited with the class until 5:25 and then headed over to the opera house, we had tickets for the requiem concert there. Saturday was the commemoration of the Holmodor, the starvation famine of 1932-33, so the concert was in honor of it, it was impressive with the ladies in the choir in long white dresses, the men in tails and a full orchestra, of courseWe went to church in Dnepro as usual on Sunday morning with the car loaded with milk and milk products for Victor's church, and the jug we donate to our church. Then we ate lunch and headed over to the English class we visit monthly, for our 2 o"clock talk about houses and wise and foolish men. Afterwards we headed home and were watching this lovely sunset at 3:45 in the afternoon- its dark by 4:30 now!

 After steak and potatoes for dinner, tried to watch the Eagles game on the internet and phoned Jonah to wish him a happy birthday. It is amazing to think that our baby is 19 now. I had Polo wish him Happy Birthday on facebook, too.

 One of the main reasons Garry would like to drive less is the rising price of fuel. With the grivna going from 8 to one US dollar to nearly 16 in the last year, gas prices have risen in same way, like most imported goods.

Garry is happy that the fall plowing is finally done, since it was costing 1500 grivna a day to fill the tractor with diesel. We are laying off two people (two Sashas, actually)  for the winter, but paying them a little each month, since it will be very difficult to find a job now.

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