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

Saturday, July 15, 2017

This week- English, visitors, driving the van and lots of bales

So before I tell you about my week teaching English in Dnepro at SEI (Summer English Institute- the 25th for the EFCCM), let me give you some highlights of Garry's week. Many people at classes have asked me why Garry is not teaching this year, as he has for the last several years, and I tell them he does not have enough time to get everything done in the village when he teaches for three weeks.
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If you are wondering, this is pea straw -what's left of the plant after combining 
Image may contain: cloud, sky, tree, outdoor and natureThis week he has been particularly busy, since they have baled alfalfa in squares which are up the getting pretty full haymow, and pea straw in both round (hired a guy) and small square bales. They hope to start combining the wheat (tomorrow) Saturday. We actually had a bit of rain Thursday night, although it really was not much moisture, since baling still happened today.

There were some drops on the windshield when I left for Dnepro this morning, and a few puddles in the holes in the street. It was disappointing compared to last weekend, which got things growing a bit. They even stopped watering the irrigated field for a couple days early this week.
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The sunflowers are starting to bloom in Garry's fields along the highway. He says that the field in Maroshinna  looks really good, he thinks they got more rain in that nearby village than here, he says the field was muddy when he looked at it tonight.

This week while I was in the city Garry had some expected and unexpected visitors. First the mayor of the village stopped in with some regional ag officials, who wanted to know how they could help our project. Garry may have upset the mayor when he told them that he promised to help many times but doesn't and put the new town dump next to our barn three years ago (Garry has avoided him since). Garry mentioned getting title to the land under the barns would help, so we'll see what happens. So far the mayor phoned Victor and wants (threatened?) to register our male students for the army draft, so not sure anything will change.

Then Thursday morning Garry spent a couple hours with a group that had phoned him, and just this evening he talked in Russian with 40 German Mennonites on a bus tour! (no one spoke English on the bus). He said before getting back on the bus they sang him a hymn in Russian.

Of course he says he is enjoying the experience of being a group home parent. Me less, since I can't understand them, and they still ask me for things anyway...they cook food at 9 every night, let in lots of flies when they don't shut the outside door while talking to people in the doorway and the bathroom is like a sauna after they take four very hot showers, and that is the one door they close tight! Garry has been trying to get them in their room at ten pm and up for 6 am milking.
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Meanwhile I leave the house at 6:45 to drive the  van to Dnepro. On Tuesday I had one of the girls with me for the dentist, on the way home I brought a new tire back for the baler. Since then I have been going by myself (although next week she goes back to the dentist). The only time I have to be more careful than driving the other van is in the city changing lanes with the longer van requires more space, at least in my mind.

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However. the part of the four lane highway where the construction is can be a bit unnerving at times, since both directions are on one side and it does not really slow down the passing much. Remember in Ukraine you must be alert for the expensive usually black car with the right to pass you at at high speed at all times and in all places... and you can imagine what happens now. Somehow the passing traffic squeezes in with a few feet or inches to spare or everyone creates a center lane for the passer if necessary to avoid collisions.

Thursday morning I was proceeding along this section (on the shiny new pavement part), when the small bus ahead of me pulled one of these maneuvers, passed an old Lada Universal (station wagon) and a slow moving truck. Apparently this inspired the driver of the Lada and he decided to try to pass the truck after a few more cars had zoomed past us with success. I have an "only where the road is wider and the truck is very slow passing policy", patience is a good thing. I watched as he would swerve out a bit to see what the ongoing traffic was like, then get back in line. The thing that amazed me was after the first time he did it, I watched him pull out his seat-belt and put it on and then after much arm waving, his female passenger in the front seat did the same. In Ukraine only front seat passengers on the highway (not in the city) are required to wear them, but it is not something that everyone does. Obviously they felt they were taking their lives in their hands, but they never did find a good place to pass before we were back on the regular highway.
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Anyway week one is done, all is well, and the annual SEI picnic is tomorrow. I could use more sleep, but I am finally over jet lag, after about half of this week.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeupGarry was going to drive Kolya to Solone for his soccer game Wednesday evening along with some of the girls who wanted to watch and ended up with fourteen passengers since eight of the village team needed a ride there.

I found out the 5 dollar used Nike soccer shoes I bought in the thrift store in Steinbach did fit Kolya and he's wearing them for games. He had bought a new pair to start he season that had fallen apart after a couple games.

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Some of the players ended up getting home another way, Garry, Kolya and girls got in the van and left. Kolya says next time they will know that when Garry says  ce chas (now) he means it. They did win big, scoring five goals.

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