Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Ark and the Tree of Life in Talgar

The senior couple in Almaty, Elder and Sister McClelland took us to a little town outside of Almaty called Talgar.  There are some orphanages there that we wanted to visit.

The first place is run by a Father Guido from Italy.  The name of the camp here is "The Ark."  He has taken over a former Soviet youth summer camp and converted the buildings to be livable in the winter.  He makes it feel like a home to these young orphans.

 Some recycled tire art
Some kids in their "home"
They are allowed to decorate their home and rooms however they want to.  Some art students come from the college to help with their art projects.  They keep their rooms very neat and tidy.

This young man is severely handicapped, but is an artist.  He told us about the painting of the tree.  He said he had a dream about it and wanted to paint it.  The wall in the back of the tree is supposed to represent the wall of Jerusalem.

His version of the Tree of Life!

Father Guido and the McClellands are admiring his art work.  They will sell it at the bazaar so he can earn some money.

The school's dining room.  They sleep in separate homes, but they all eat together.

 A few more rooms and crafts that this school has.

This school even has a dentist that comes from time to time for the children here as well as to help others in the community.  They are very well organized and supported by other organizations.

The other orphanage is called Wholesome Family Children's House.  The church provided a new stove to this organization in the beginning of this year.  Some boys were excited to have their photo taken when we arrived.

We were going on a tour of their facility.  We saw the library.  The director had been a literature teacher for many years before she retired to run this organization.

Then we went to see the kitchen, and they had prepared a lovely lunch for us!  And, insisted that we eat.  A lot!  When we were full and thought we were finished, they brought out plates with more food for us!  They are lovely, hospitable people!

Then we finally got to tour the kitchen.  I thought they use the bathtub to wash their dishes, but they said that would be silly!  It has filtered water.  I'm guessing it is to wash their food to prepare for cooking.

This is the dishwasher!

The dorm rooms have 10 to 12 beds to a room.  They are only for sleeping.  "Big Mama" made that very clear to us.  She said they need new bedding and closets for their clothes and things.

These girls look so cute in their school uniforms.

So, where do they shower?  In the shed across the parking lot behind the garden! 

This is my friend Timulon.  He is learning English too.  He was happy to hear that I would show his photos to my friends in the United States.

The school has a little clinic for the children
As we were leaving, we noticed that they were slaughtering a goat.

We stopped at a produce stand on the way back to Almaty.

Many people have noticed that Almaty resembles Salt Lake City a bit, but the mountains are on the wrong side of the city.

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