Monday May 3rd
Today began construction on the playground. We split up our team into three groups. The first two groups were on the playground in the morning while group three went inside the orphanage to do crafts and play with the kids. After a fabulous lunch of chicken, potatoes, bread, and salad provided by the orphanage cafeteria, the groups switched. We also had 4 additional people from Kazakhstan helping us. Throughout the entire day the children were watching us and this afternoon some of the older kids came over and decided to help out. It was an awesome experience to be building alongside the children.
Today we dug holes, set poles, mixed and poured cement, assembled slide, bridge, tunnel, climbers, roofs, rock wall, and tic-tac-toe panel. We are very excited at the progress we made on day one and think that the playground will be completely assembled by tomorrow or Wednesday morning at the latest. We will still have to fill in the dirt and gravel around the playground.
The teams that went inside to play with the children brought stickers, Wikki Stix, bubbles, and t-shirts to paint. The children were so excited to see us and came running over asking to be picked up. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same, especially seeing the older children. Knowing that some of those children have been there since 5 is so hard to imagine. This orphanage is very well taken care of. The children have great classrooms for school and it is very neat and orderly. The grounds are clean and the director seems to take a lot of pride in her orphanage and the children.
It was awesome to see the playground in person and know that we ALL did this together. It is just amazing to see the year of hardwork and dedication in person. Our team is just fantastic. Each person brings something different to this experience to make it one we will all never forget.
After our day at the orphanage we went back to our house and had dinner. We have a Kazakh woman that cooks for us and last night she made plov. Plov is a rice dish with veggies and meat, it was so yummy!
We are having some issues with blogger and can't upload pictures right now. We will try again tomorrow.