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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to work

Last week we got back into the regular routine before starting teaching this week at the school. We teach every other week. Garry starts at nine am and teaches until around 10:30, when I take over for 45-60 minutes with English and he goes back to teaching about feeding cows or whatever until  12:30, when class is over for the day, Monday through Thursday. Friday is a work day for the students.

The boys house is getting the roof finished
 If I start something early for lunch for the two of us, plus Maria, (Garry's translator/assistant who eats lunch with us before taking the bus back to Zaporosia) and Max Boradin and Andrey (who live with us) like most days... and Sasha the guy working at the barn everyday who gets dinner as part of his wages since spring) on school days it is often soup, and sometimes it is soup or some other quick one dish meal (sometimes I do manage meat, potatoes and veggie and or salad with bread (no Ukrainian meal is complete without bread) put together in the hour before they finish class, depending on what's in the cupboard and fridge, because Maria's bus comes at 1:30.

Then, like today, Garry is often on the go with some trade school related business. Yesterday it was taking one of the boys to Zaporosia to get his registration changed, today it is going to Dnepropetroesk with Karina, Yulia and Valera to pick up yet another prospective student, a 20 year old guy from Kirvoy Rog (the girls went because they know him, so it will be easier to find him at the bus station and Valera wanted to go along). Garry was heard to remark that he hoped this one was normal. We are getting a number of guys coming to see the school with mental handicaps (to use an old-fashioned term), but really can't accept them because we do not have the resources to deal with them, as much as we would like to help them. The truth is life is bleak for them in Ukraine, on the street they are taken advantage of and care facilities for adults are like prisons.

Most of the Friday night group in Dnepro

and with Garry,  a family too!
Last week Garry started up the Summer English Institute followup classes in Dnepropajisk (every other Wednesday evening) and Dnepropetroesk (every Friday). He is working on a book club theme again this year, discussing two chapters a week from CS Lewis' book Mere Christianity. He had more than 15 on Wednesday and I took some photos of Friday night's group.

So with the farming and the teaching, Garry is keeping busy, and I have a few things to do, including writing a couple times a week...
which reminds me, did I mention that before class met on Friday we squeezed in an hour of bowling at the mall and finished five games and I won a couple of them? Garry had never lost more than one game to me, and we normally finish 5 1/2 games in the hour, but we were moving and got to through the second frame of game #6.

Speaking of farming, we have a guy plowing now, he has 100 hectares to get done this fall, it costs about 1500 grivna a day for fuel for the tractor, plus his wage. He used to milk the cows, but Maxim Rudei switched him to tractor driving this spring, instead of Max's brother Andrey,  because he was so good at it (interesting fact, he likes bread fried eggs and ketchup to eat so Max's wife Yulia normally makes his field lunches, mine are too fancy) although Yana says he is really good at milking also.

One thing we see with the grivna dropping against the dollar, gas and diesel prices are up dramatically from last year, making farming more expensive. Imported goods went up a lot, and meat prices have risen at the store, but not milk products, since they were mostly exported to Russia, and that is closed now. So the price we get for selling milk has not increased, although we are selling the 650 liters we are making daily.

Grocery shopping is more expensive, and heating, so Ukrainians whose wages and pensions have not risen are not able to buy as much with their money. This has led to some problems; last week the babushka next door gave 5000 grivna to a con artist who promised her a bigger pension if she gave him money "for getting the paperwork done." Later that day she realized she had made a mistake and called the police.

The guys are working on fixing the roof on the barn, too

Garry's next project, fixing the parlor up and installing the milking equipment

The cement work is finally finished in the barn, including the stalls
Garry plans to fill this alley with chopped cornstalks this week

The doors still need the steel on the outside, but getting closer to done
heifers are still outside and eating chopped cornstalks 
Hoping to get the roofing projects finished and a few gates and doors over at the trade school barn finished before the rainy season finally shows up next week.

Normally fall weather is cool and wet here, but we have not had much, so the heifers have stayed out in the lot. Garry is thinking the barn will be ready for them to go inside when it gets wet and mucky in the lot outside. The winter wheat will be better next spring if there is some moisture in the ground.
the winter wheat is looking good

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