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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Corn is in, time to celebrate

The annual school Thanksgiving dinner is set for next week Saturday evening because the corn is all harvested. Not as good as last year, but probably the second best corn we have had in Ukraine. The plowing is going to be finished in a couple weeks, last year they were still going at it in December.

The late corn fields were the best yielding ones as Garry hoped, they made 4 tonnes per hectare. The one at the corner near the highway was the best one he tells me, even though the headlands looked thin all summer. This is the field he bought a 70 year lease on this spring.  The grain was not as dry as the first fields they combined a few weeks ago, but decent, the last field was at 15% moisture, the first corn harvested was only 12%.
last load for the day
  Garry's thinking they need to start the ventilation system they installed so the grain doesn't start to heat up. The air moving through the huge pile of corn will help remove some of the moisture so it does not get warm and spoil. Garry says the pile is 20 feet high.
They moved some of the dry corn over to the other side of the shed before augering the new corn on top of the pile, but they couldn't move a lot as there is still a small pile of sunflower seed there. They plan to sell some corn and the rest of the sunflowers to buy fertilizer this fall and store it for spring planting.

Garry is still trying to get to a lot of the milkings, the morning ones in particular, he even told the milker ladies that they could have the morning off Sunday, he's going to do it with the students. He likes the chance to work with a couple of students each time to show them how he wants the job done. The students all work a number of shifts milking or feeding and cleaning up at the two farms each week, so there are a couple on the schedule for each milking.

Garry is quite pleased with how things are going in the new parlor. Everything is being kept really clean, and the equipment is working well. We aren't making much milk right now with less than 50 cows milking now, but there are about a dozen cows due to calve next month. Milking may take a little longer with more cows and these cows were dry when we moved the herd to the new barn so they will need to be trained to go through the parlor.

It's pretty cold outside now, there was a reported snow flurry sighting this morning. Yesterday the students helped chase 35 dry cows and springing heifers from the freestall barn to the tiestall barn, where they will be until they calve, when they will go back to the "new barn" to get milked in the parlor with the rest of the herd.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tire Troubles

Some days nothing goes right, and some days unusual things happen. You may remember that we had a flat tire in the dark Friday night. Sunday we looked for the hole that caused it as we drove into the city and wow, not huge but very deep, no wonder it bent the rim like that. It had not been there the week before so no wonder he hit it. We drive the road so often we know where most of the holes are. Spring is the worst time for potholes but we have flats fairly often, especially when driving after dark or on unfamiliar roads.  Garry started carrying extra things for tires the first spring we were here after hitting so many potholes (sometimes there are so many you can't miss them) and having so many flat tires.

Here's what he carries in the car for tire problems- a spare tire (sometimes two if we are going to Kiev), a jack, a lug wrench, a big hammer and a little compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Garry had pounded out the big dent in the rim from our flat tire Friday night, that's why he carries a hammer in the car so he can re-inflate flat tires with the compressor. That tire wouldn't blow back up so he put the spare with the slow leak that did inflate instead, and made it home safely, thankfully. In March we had a flat in almost the same place on the highway while driving with Ray (from Steinbach) who had come earlier than the rest of the building team, he was amazed to watch Garry jump out of the car in the dark and bang the rim back in shape before the tire deflated.

Garry had problems getting the tires fixed on Saturday in the city, he was gone for hours. His plan was to buy two tires and drop them off at a shino-montage (where they fix tires but don't normally sell them).  He was driving in the city, after buying the tires when someone flashed their lights and blew their horn at him to tell him one of the his tires was going flat. He stopped and pumped it back up to drive further and find a shino-montage. While he was inflating the tire, someone walking past stopped to talk to him, it was the Ukrainian gentleman who drives for the Mennonite center and has been at the farm several times recently. He was happy to go with Garry to show him a nearby shino to get it fixed. Garry went for a walk while the new tires were put on the rims.

The idea was that the new tires would be put on the old rims from the worn tires and put on the front of the car and the ones currently on the front would go on the back. However, when Garry got back, this had not happened. The shini guy could only get one of the damaged rims straightened out with his rim machine, so only one new tire had been put on a rim. Garry still needed to buy a rim before all the tire moving could take place so he came home with bad tires still on the car for Sunday driving.

When Garry went outside Sunday morning to drive over to the barn for milking I heard the sound of the little pump, another flat tire, the one he had put on Friday night with the slow leak, so no big surprise. The car made it through Sunday without having another flat, driving to Dnepro and back. Monday morning and he had to drive into Zap and pick up Maria for the week of teaching- I can't remember if he had to pump up a tire or not (I think he did- but I just asked him and he thinks not, but he's not sure either). It's Tuesday morning and Garry didn't make it over for morning chores because the other front tire was flat and wouldn't pump up with the little compressor, he tried for 15 minutes before coming back to bed. He jacked it up after it was daylight and got it inflated then.

So while I was teaching English at 8 am this morning he was out at the highway, visiting the little shino-montage just across the highway to get that tire fixed because the shop is only open in the mornings. He says now he is buying two more new tires so they will all be replaced for the winter and of course, a rim. Just as soon as he has time to get to town and do it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Milking time and crop talk

We had another visitor from Canada this week on Thursday , Ben Stobbe who who here for the Mennonite Center celebration and since Garry was over at the barn for afternoon milking we went over there.  Ben had visited the barn site several years ago with John Wiens so he was interested to see the progress from the collective barn to typical Canadian-style free stall barn with milking parlor we have now.

 I got some photos, including some of the girls milking.

Garry was wondering how late the wheat was planted last year in October, and so I was clicking through the blog from last year to see. Whenever we can't remember something, I usually have written about it, especially about field crops, so we can always check. When did the container from BC arrive in the village? Near the end of November.

The answer to wheat planting (the latest ever) was October 24th. He was wondering because this year it has been so wet they had to stop preparing the land or planting. After the rain last week we did not buy any expensive wheat seed, but he was thinking maybe they could use up the treated wheat seed in the shed. Turns out there was not much leftover after planting that last field, so they just bagged it up and put five bags away for next year.

Max was able to sell the rest of the sunflowers and get the last people who wanted seeds for their shares to pick them up, he convinced a number of people who had not picked theirs up yet to take a thousand grinva instead. Turns out the people who were getting seed and taking it to the mill in exchange for oil and mookooka (the leftover seed after crushing to feed animals) were not getting a very good deal, you could buy the same amount or more and have about 300 grivna to spend on something else! Now the other side of the shed will be empty to store more corn, as they are hoping to get a combine hired for Monday and get the rest of the corn harvested before the next fall rainstorm gets here.
Village gardens are being plowed now too

The plowing is going well, they finished plowing the two old alfalfa fields and now that it's drier have started on the corn fields that were combined last month. The were excited to discover that this year they can plow right through the stalks without burning them. Tractorist Sasha is plowing from 7 am to around 3 or 4 pm when Max's brother Artem takes over until 11 pm, so they can get more acres plowed in a day. The forecast for the next week is calling for more dry weather.

We have several shares in the same area near the barn, so it's like one big field (unfortunately we are losing another 5 hectares from it for next year). This spring it was planted in corn and most of it was combined last month.  Some of the students have been picking up fallen corn in the field near the barn for extra cash and a few of them are doing quite well at it. One day a couple of them got in trouble for picking corn off the plants that were still standing, instead of picking up the corn cobs that were knocked off the plants that did not make it into the combine; since one part of the field had plants that were still green like the corn planted three weeks later, so it will be harvested next week. Turns out that it was the place that they had not plowed last fall but had put manure on it over the winter, and worked it in in the spring so the plants there didn't die as fast as the rest of the field when the heat and dry weather killed off the corn this summer in August. Garry is thinking that with the cows milking in the barn there will be more manure to spread over the winter so they will not plow more acres there for spreading and that land will respond well to the manure again so there will be better crops again next summer.

A couple of the guys at work in the old barn this afternoon

We have less students here in the village this weekend, last week when Garry and Maria visited the church that had sent some of the boys here, they offered to send a bus to take some of the students to Kiroy Rog for the celebration of their third birthday. Garry was surprised that they left so early this morning,  at  nine am and 11 or 12 are gone until Sunday evening, everyone else is working extra shifts, but no one was were they were supposed to be this morning. Maria had taken care of the details with the people there and we did not read the email this morning.

Where there's smoke there's... 

I took these photos when I went out to feed the dogs this afternoon. I feed Bear, who's tied up, but he shares with Polo, so some days I feed them twice. I was concerned that someone might have started something burning close to the back of the barn.

But it turns out just some Ukrainians across the way cleaning up, they always burn what's left of the gardens.... fall cleanup.

Garry is off trying to buy some tires and get them put on the car today. He had a bad tire earlier in the week and last night he had to inflate it since it had become the spare a couple days ago. He had to change it on the side of the road in the dark after hitting a hole and putting a big dent in the rim of the rear driver's side tire. I had a little flashlight in my purse so I got to hold it and point it at him as the car went by him rather close since it was on that detour where the road construction has been paused for three years. We turned the corner and bang,,, flat tire. Somehow neither of us managed to grab our cell phones before leaving home for English classes. We really should remember them. Luckily we got home fine without hitting any more holes or the tire going flat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fall colors

No more watering the flowers

October 3rd, moving the cows

Walnut popping out of its husk
After yesterday's post without photos, here's some I have taken in the last couple weeks of the fall weather. I picked the last of Garry's hot peppers off the plants last week as the temperature dropped near freezing overnight when the storm came through. The rain and wind really blew a lot of leaves and walnuts out of the trees in the yard.

Ladybug crawling around

A couple of the students picked up a feed bag full of nuts a week ago Sunday for him (without being asked- they signed the bag so he could pay them- he has been paying bonus money for bags of fallen corn in the fields), so Garry has not picked up as many as he usually does. It does seem we are losing walnuts to students along with the crows and mice this year. You would probably cringe watching them crack the shells with their teeth for a quick snack, but they all seem to do it.
October 3rd, walnut trees in front yard

Same place on October 8th
Once it gets cold you can watch while the leaves fall off the walnuts
plop. plop, plop

Here are a few from our drive home Friday.
actually this one was Wednesday
while walking with our embassy company

Bundled up for the teens centigrade (50s F)

Ready for winter

Village herd heads home at 5 pm now instead of 7 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Smooth sailing

This week we are not teaching classes, so Garry is trying to get to every milking (three a day) to make sure the transition to the new parlor is going smoothly. So far he has been pleased, although he complained that they had started milking before nine o'clock for the evening milking on Sunday night. He wanted to have the milkings evenly spaced, so they have decided on 5 am, 1 pm and 9 pm. Monday night he went over at nine and they were just getting ready to start.

Everything seems to be going well, the cows are moving into the parlor from the holding area more easily now. Garry was upset when they had 15 cows squeezed in on one side on Sunday. One cow fell down and could have been injured, and it's crazy to put that many in, because there are only ten milking machines. Now they are trying to count carefully and only get ten cows in at a time. The vacuum pump is only running for about 40 minutes per milking now, and best of all only one cow is pooping in the parlor on average as the cows and people are all calmer during the milking process after the first week. The first week everyone was getting very dirty as one of the things that nervous cows do is raise their tail and manure was flying into the parlor and onto everyone. Some students and milker ladies got manure plopped right on their heads. There are still four or five cows that are lying in the aisle instead of the stalls, so they are dirtier that they should be... and less comfortable than they could be if they would lie in the right place.

Garry and I both seem to have caught colds over the weekend, he was feeling under the weather on Sunday but soldiered on through the day. We left the village a couple minutes after he'd planned, we were almost out of the village when Andrey the vet student remembered that he'd left his phone in the house, so we turned around to get it. He and Alina asked if they could come out next weekend again. They had found and treated with some of the students some heifers with a skin problem, just like they had in the spring. After re-locking the door, Garry backed out of the driveway again. Max and tractorist Sasha waved us down on the street. They had one of the bobcat (skid steer) tires, it had popped off the rim and deflated while someone was scraping the barn and they couldn't re-inflate it with the compressor, so they rearranged the back of the car to fit it in with the milk jugs.

We dropped off the vet students with the milk at Victor's church, and signed our application papers for our residency papers for Ukraine, Victor takes care of standing in line for us and making sure it's all correct. Then we drove back to our church for the service. Afterwards we had to find a place to re-inflate the tire. It took some driving around and a few different shino-montages before we found one that would do it. Then we were off to find a place to get new passport photos taken because Victor needed one for Garry's application. He had an old one that worked for me but not a good one for Garry. We found a place downtown and got them done so we could drop them off at Victor's house when we left the city.

Garry was off from teaching his English classes this week, but I had said I'd go to Lena's class that afternoon so we did it together, after getting a little lunch, and picking up some groceries. I was completely out of flour after making pizza again Saturday night.

On Monday Garry was feeling better, although I am still going through tissues like crazy, we should have bought a couple boxes on Sunday! I told Garry that I had decided to make apple pie when he came in to get his wallet around 10:30, he was on his way to find another shino-montage  because someone had hit that something scraping the barn again and had popped the tire off the rim again! I started making pie but stopped work on something for dinner (we eat around noon usually) since it was already noon, but I figured he'd be later than normal and made stir fry and rice. Garry ended up not coming home until two, after the tire, he'd stopped in to check on milking, too. Dinner was still warm and the pie was half-made, so he was looking forward to having it for supper.

 Then he spent the rest of the afternoon on his latest project, taping and finishing the drywall on Luda's addition while Max works on getting the heat reinstalled (they had cut through the pipes when working on the doorway to the addition and need to put radiators in the new rooms and connect them) They are putting in an electric hot water heater at that house (since the water was heated by the furnace, but they want to not have the salty well water going through the system this winter) and they need to hook up the new well (with the salty water) they drilled in the spring now that winter is coming there will be no more village water soon.

There was leftover rice so we had sushi when Garry got home before the pie, (he was off breeding a cow for someone in another village, he said he saw the biggest cow he'd ever seen in Ukraine tied up next to the one he was breeding) and then watched a little TV before he ran over to check on milking at nine. He showered and went to bed at 9:30 hoping to catch the Jays game in the early morning (a 8 EST game starts at 3 am here) on television. He woke up but was disappointed in the outcome, he missed an inning and a half when he went over to check on morning milking, and got home in time to watch them lose.

Then today was like yesterday, he worked on finishing the drywall around the two windows at Luda's while I made tortillas for a taco Tuesday lunch. In the afternoon Victor came in, he'd been to Zaporosia to see about upgrading the electric service at the apartments. He was working on his rewiring of some of the bedrooms in our house. Garry went back to Luda's house to work and then was off to find a lady in one of the villages across the highway with a cow to breed that had phoned him.

I'm just sitting here blowing my nose, crocheting and listening to mice moving in for the winter. Hopefully they meet up with Box or Needles, they seem to be on the hunt lately.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Between Senator visits

When I last posted it was all about the anniversary event at the Mennonite Center on Wednesday, since then I have been too busy to write... well almost! Thursday morning we had classes to teach. Garry gave me a ride down to the classroom for my eight am English class since the predicted rain storm had arrived overnight and it was really coming down all morning. I gave the test I had written up the night before (exactly the words I had told them it would be on) and eventually everyone had all the correct answers. I would say that three of them knew all the answers and a couple more knew most of them and most were generous to their classmates as is normal.

Then I got a ride home (break time is between my class and Garry and Maria's classes- he's teaching parts of a cow and conformation ) to make some hot soup for lunch on a cold wet day since we were expecting Victor and the Fords (who had arrived in Ukraine the night before) by noontime.

Kolya, Dennis and Maria
 They arrived, we ate and it was decided that we would drive them to Kiroy Rog while Victor did his regular Thursday milk sales. Maria would go with us so she and Garry could visit a church organization who has sent us five of the guys we have this year. Dennis and Sandy had a quick tour of the new classroom, barn and saw Kolya's (whom they have known since he was small) apartment.

The ride was fast, rather bumpy but uneventful.

It happened to be Daryl's birthday so we got to have birthday pie after the Bible study. Garry and Maria got back right after he blew out the candle on the pumpkin pie (I had hung out at the apartment) and we all stayed over before driving home Friday morning. It's safer to travel on holey roads in daylight. Unfortunately, we missed out on our Thursday night meeting and one of the students birthday parties too. We are just way too busy.

Look cows along the highway!
We had puddles on some parts of the highway on the drive back. It was cloudy at first, the the sun peeked out, and then it started drizzling by the time we were near Dnepro. Garry picked up some stuff for finishing the drywall at Luda's house.

Camo tractor on the highway

I think this sign means - end of highway, sharp curve, slow down
or you'll be upside down, so look out!
It was village day in Nikoliapolia Friday, so everyone was at the celebration at the village center if they weren't working. No field work to do after the rain the day before. They tried plowing the hayfield (the first alfalfa planted 5 years ago) Saturday morning, but it was still too wet to even plow sod, they will try again Monday.

Friday afternoon we were expecting a new student from the people in Kherson so Maria stayed longer than normal. The new student is named Masha, she seemed a little nervous when we met when she arrived, but seemed to be quite lively at student church Saturday evening. Maria got her settled in over at the far girls house, while we headed to Dnepro for our follow up class (for the Summer English Institute ).

We had quite the turnout for our class, I should have printed more than 11 copies of the stories we were reading, because some people had to share. We meet every Friday and this is the fourth week, and largest class so far.
not everyone in the photo too!

 We were chatting afterwards, because it turned out one of the new people that had come with someone is an American teaching English for a term in Dnepro, she came with one of our regulars, who is teaching her Russian. We were also waiting for our vet students, Andrey and Alina, who wanted to come out to the farm. I think I wrote that they were out several times in the spring to do practicums at the farm.

Saturday morning we cleaned up a little after Garry went over to check out the barn and how milking was going, then Garry went out to supervise the guys cleaning up this barn. Everyone is still figuring out what is supposed to be done where with the cows moving around last week.

When our guests arrived I went to the barn to find him. Senator Don Plett and his wife from Manitoba, with their driver and Olga from the Mennonite center stopped in on their way to the airport. By now the Pletts should be in London overnight on the their way home, but they got to tour pretty much the whole operation with Garry. I didn't even think to get out the camera, because we were having such a good time visiting with them (Maria said that they were like regular people) but here's a picture of the lovely little plate he gave me before they left.

At lunchtime, Garry took Maria home to Zaporosia, I warmed up some lunch for the vet students, ripped out my crochet project to redo it, and made dough for pizza for dinner before student church- dinner was after, I put it together and baked it after.

Finally I started this blog post... and I need to get something done for the English classes we are visiting after church tomorrow.

Wishing I was in Manitoba today, our granddaughter is ten years old and the last time I was at her birthday party was before we came here, I always miss hers, even though I have made some of her sister's summer birthdays.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Trip to the Mennonite Center celebration

Victor arrived before nine am, Garry came in and made some toast to eat with jam. He had been up by four am (he'd gone to bed very early the night before at 7 pm!) and was at the barn by five to help with milking, he says it gets better everyday, they hardy need to chase the last cows into the holding area and then into the parlor now. There were about four cows who really were didn't want to get milked in the new parlor but they are getting better now. Maria was eating leftover pizza for breakfast with her tea, and Max came in just before we left and had some too.

We saw these combines in the sunflower field
on the way out of the village, trying to beat the rain, I guess
The guys were trying to get as much winter wheat planted as possible today while we (Victor, Maria, Garry and Teresa) were gone most of the day to the celebration in Molachansk. It was still too wet yesterday and there is a storm predicted overnight and Thursday, with as much as 2 inches predicted, so they may not get planting again for another week. The students were excited as we had declared a day off from school today, maybe some of the boys helped out in the field with the grad guys putting seed in the planter, most of them really like working, it seems.

 I was disappointed in one of my cheese choices on the pizzas I had made for the embassy group, I can hardly look at the leftover pizza, but it won't last long. In fact, it will be gone tonight, Max may have fed some to the wheat planting crew at lunchtime, and Maria wanted more when we got home from our excursion.

While Victor was driving, he showed Garry the sample of "German wheat" someone's trying to sell him for seeding. On Friday afternoon we had followed Victor to Dnepro to look at some to take the place of the seed wheat he rejected last week. He did not like what they had, ( more fusarium, although not as bad as the stuff he sent back) but they said they could get this seed from western Ukraine. Garry said if the rain came, they might not need any more to plant. He thought this sample looked like it had about 25% fusarium, (lots of shriveled kernels) so he wasn't thrilled with it either. It was about a two hour drive.

 Shortly after we got to the Mennonite Center everyone was invited inside for the noon meal. Garry and I ended up sitting at a table with the senator we did not meet the day before, who is from southern Manitoba and his wife, along with a couple who visited with the choir Saturday. Maria sat at our table, and Victor sat with some Orthodox priests. What a lovely meal, (I forgot to take a photo) with tables set up in three rooms, the staff did a wonderful job serving the lunch. We had salo (pig fat) starters, quite tasty, served on bits of black bread with garlic and pickle slices and parsley. Then a course of delicious self-serve borscht that was in the center of the table in a covered clay pot (they brought more when ours was empty too) and then they brought the meal course, a plate of mashed potatoes with gravy, coleslaw and a kind of big pork meatball for everyone.

Then everyone went outside to sit down for the program, the ambassador made an opening welcome speech, thanking the Canadian Mennonite community's work in Ukraine, in English and Ukrainian (he even mentioned us by name) and then the men's choir sang three songs on the porch. The director had to use clothespins to keep his sheet music from flying away, and it was a cold wind blowing.  Garry really enjoyed the choir and was singing along a little beside me.

Some of the participating groups were introduced and spoke about their work in Ukraine (they were all translated for the non-English speakers or into English if they were speaking in Russian so it took twice as long). We were then invited inside for dessert to warm up before the rest of the speakers would speak (including Garry). Not everyone had packed winter coats for cool weather in Ukraine.

Here is a photo of dessert. It was crepes with curd inside and a sauce over, quite sweet with hot tea to drink, which everyone enjoyed as they warmed up. It was decided to finish the program indoors, even if you couldn't see the speakers you were warm and could hear everything, the sound was really wonderful in all the rooms when the choir sang again to start things up after dessert.

A few more speakers, including Garry, and a representative of the center, which is celebrating 15 years of working in Molochansk and then the ambassador and senators got to speak to conclude the program.
Garry's speech was short and sweet

The we shook a few hands of people we had met before going home, including the ambassador, who said they had tweeted about us and their visit yesterday.

Victor had to pick up the Fords, who are flying in tonight to serve for a short time in Kirvoy Rog, and Garry wanted to see how the day had gone, so we did not stay for the evening celebration that the whole village was invited to, I hope that everyone had a wonderful conclusion to the day.

 By the time we were nearing home Garry was wondering if we had a tractor with working lights so they could keep planting and finish the field. It was 6:30 and just dark, but Garry thought he could see the wagon still in the field, as Victor drove into the village. He raced off to see how it was going while Polo happily raced inside the house when we unlocked the door. Victor left for Dnepro after turning on our furnace for the first time this fall. Maria was ready to eat (she was too polite to finish the big dinner and the dessert) so we warmed up that last pizza and got out some leftover salads from the fridge. Garry returned and was happy to report that they would finish that field in the dark. He said he wasn't hungry, but wanted to take out some hot tea for the guys, and he brought them a few slice of pizza to snack on (as he pointed out I didn't like it anyway).

One of the boys had told him something was wrong at the new barn, so he went over to check. They were busy sorting milk cows from the dry cows and heifers that they had brought in from the barnyard today with the cold weather and rain coming tomorrow. Shortly after nine pm, just after Garry went to bed, Max came in to say they were nearly done, he brought the seed wagon back to put undercover. I bribed Polo out for the night with the last slice of pizza after Max left and locked the door.

Now to make a quiz for English class at 8 am tomorrow, and it's one of the boys birthday, too. Never a dull moment.

We are supposed to have the senator and his wife we had lunch with visit this weekend on their way to the airport. Garry was a little surprised when he mentioned us in his closing remarks and even  tried to get us some more work teams to come. Not that we'd say no, if you want to come help us next spring, we have plans to expand a little more, and the BC team is coming to build a little cheese plant.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Visitors touring the village again

Tomorrow we are going south to  Molachansk for the celebration  of the 15th anniversary of the Mennonite Center there. We will make a short (5 minutes) presentation about our work. The Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine will be there, and today, he and a few other people came to lunch at our house.

the old barn
We also had Canadian Senator Harder and his brother along with a few other people for pizza, salads and brownies. Victor and his wife Elena came from Dnepro and brought oliviah salad and piroshkie buns. The ambassador's assistant Anne has (Mennonite) relatives who were from this village, and after lunch they went on a walking tour of our project and the village.

We toured at the new school building and even got a peek into the boys apartment.
We recently added gravel to the path after the first muddy day
Inside the classroom

In the boys apartment (Kolya was home- and his cat)

We popped into the "new" 2015 group home for a minute. Sergey was off driving most of the second year students to classes in Dnepro.

Larrisa was cooking with a couple of the girls who were home.

We also looked at the shed, shop and pointed out the "New barn" in the distance, before taking their van down to the old Mennonite school and church building.

Afterwards they continued their tour and we walked back to the house.

The school, which is still the school 

Some of the Mennonites, inside the school

The church (which is now the gymnasium for the school)

Thanks Maria for taking the photo of most of the group
(the Senator's brother was also taking one)

Us with the Ambassador 

Backing the wagon the shed

The guys tried the grain drill a couple times today, but it was still too wet to plant the wheat.