Monday, August 1, 2005

Dateline Taldy, Part Deux <edited>

Thanks to Pat Ameling for forwarding this to me.  They must have their own internet connection ... oh, and thanks, Pat, for picking the dill off of Quentin's pelmini so he would eat it, and thanks for getting the dirt out of his eye!  You always need a mom around, don't you?

Dateline Taldy….

Well, we arrived in Taldy-Korgan on Saturday afternoon, and went straight to the babyhouse to unload the truck, which went very quickly as we knew everything had to come off. We then went to the hotel to check in and get settled, and then went back to the babyhouse to start working. Given that the temperature is hotter here than in Almaty, an executive decision was made by the group to work early morning and late afternoon, and take a long lunch break in between. So we started building Saturday evening around 5:00 pm, and actually finished the playset by 7:00 pm. The babyhouse director was also there, so we discussed where to place the other items (tot-tree and other animals) for about an hour – moving everything around here and there – and eventually ended up right where we started….go figure.

Anyway, we left the hotel around 8 am on Sunday morning to start work (while it was slightly cooler and there was some shade in the courtyard), and by lunchtime (which is when I’m writing this) all the holes for the benches, animals, and one swingset were finished, so all we have left is the finish the other swingset. The problem is that given the space limitations in the courtyard, we are installing a different type of swingset which has just one central pole at each side, and then the pole the swings attach to on top. Thus, the holes for these have to be 3 feet deep and two feet wide. Unfortunately, it appears that this babyhouse was built on the site of an old airport, and the area we are trying to dig is full of rocks (most quite large), which has slowed us down somewhat.

Given the amount of concrete that will be required, we have ordered a truck to come on Monday, as trying to mix the concrete by hand would take a long time. We have asked that the truck arrive at 10 am, so hopefully it will come somewhere near that time. In Almaty, the dumptrucks with the sand were supposed to be there at 9 am, and arrived at 4 pm. So, we’ll see.

Quentin Says: Today was probably the most boring day so far because all we’ve done is dig holes. I am not able to help with that so I slept on the slide. Although I did get to climb into the hole we were digging to pick up rocks. I want to eat some horse because apparently it tastes like lamb. We ate goat and some shasleek (is that spelled right?) It was good. We went to visit Melanie’s old baby house group yesterday, and I must say it was weird because the kids were all half-naked and running up to you. Yasmine and Aida remembered dad.   When we get the cement and the sand we will finish pretty quickly.

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