As soon as the train arrived in Almaty we headed straight to the hotel to shower and ate then got back on the road by 11 am. We are exhausted but still running strong. This trip has been very physically exhausting. Not so much from working but all of the traveling has been hard on us.
We headed to Karakastek, a 2 hour (one way) drive. The orphanage has 42 children, ages birth to 4. We stopped in Uzynagash to buy cookies and bananas, and arrived at the orphanage around 1 pm. The toddler kids were sleeping so we delivered donations (we brought slippers, blankets, hoodies, Desitin, pajamas, medicine and snowsuits) and went to play with the babies. They were so dirty, this is the worst orphanage we have visited out of the 5, by far. Everyone loved on the babies until we were "spoken to" for stimulating them too much and whisked away.
We had lunch in the kitchen, it was very hard for us to eat because of the smell and lack of cleanliness of the orphanage. Then we started scraping and peeling paint, prepping walls, and hanging murals. When we are finished the walls are going to look so beautiful and give some much needed color to this place. We are praying it will help the children with sensory issues, they need it badly.
Before we left we went to play with the toddlers. They were locked in their room by themselves, banging their heads and crying. We brought bananas and they shoved them in their mouths as fast as they could, most cried when they couldn't have another. Some were even trying to eat the peels. It was heartbreaking to watch and disturbed us all. We all wanted to stick every one of them in our pockets and take them home.
Remember the babies we are trying to bring to the United States for life-saving surgery? This orphanage is where they live. We met the girl and took video and photos for the doctors in the states. Please keep praying we can bring her to America. She is in desperate needs of this surgery.
The boy has already had emergency surgery here because his situation has worsened. The surgery was last week and he has been moved out of intensive care. He is doing well. Please continue to play for both of these children.
The orphanage director and the staff loved looking at the family pictures and seeing how much the children have grown!
After Karakastek we went to have Chinese food with some local friends. We wet a lady today who works as the Kazakhstan country manager for the SPOON Foundation. Her name is Saida and she is a beautiful, wonderful lady. We learned all about the great things SPOON is doing with nutrition in the orphanages. They have changed the menus in the orphanages with much resistance at first but now they love the change. Currently they have 8 orphanages on vitamins and new menus. Some have both, some only have one. SPOON was told from an orphanage that receives both that the children are much less sick. It really is much needed and a great program for these babies.
Tomorrow we head back to Karakastek to start our painting. We have 7 rooms to get done in 2 days. Pray we get it done and cleaned up so the babies can move back into their rooms!
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