Playgrounds in progress!

Emma and the mayor check out the picket fencing.

Emma and I want to let you know that the Our Sofievka: Parks, Playgrounds, and Peace project  is in progress and moving along nicely. We learned in early January that – thanks to many generous donations – we were fully funded. Peace Corps processed all the paperwork for us, and we were able to withdraw money at the end of the month. Our local carpenter and his crew had already begun work on the playgrounds, thanks to the community contribution procured by Sofievka’s mayor, Petro Yuriovich. We’ve since paid two more installments towards their work, with one more payment due upon installation of the structures.

We’ve been holding meetings every other week or so with our community partners and the mayor to track our progress. For the last meeting we went to the carpenter’s workshop where we finally saw some concrete (well, wooden) results!

The first thing we saw were the completed sections of picket fencing. These cute little fences will surround the playgrounds, keeping stray dogs out and stray kids in.

Petro Yuriovich inspects the playground steps. That's a sandbox behind him.

Perhaps more impressive was one of the covered sandboxes, which was almost finished.  As you can see from the photo, it’s very sturdy-looking. It’s also bigger than I imagined – you’ll be able to pitch a tent under that thing and pretend you’re camping on the beach!

The actual playground structures aren’t there yet, but they had already built the step ladders for them. We also got to see one of the trash cans.

Overall, progress looks good! We’re very excited to see things starting to come together. Our next step is to begin organizing volunteers for the work ahead. It’s still too cold to work on the playground sites, but we can start painting fences at the workshop as soon as we get some materials.

Alex wants to throw something into that beautiful trash can.
The carpenters are getting into the community spirit. They say they're going to turn that big log into a balance beam – free of charge!

8 thoughts on “Playgrounds in progress!”

  1. Alex, thanks for the playground update. The equipment looks wonderful. I’m imagining a little girl playing and her mother saying, “Little Nadia, do you remember that wonderful American couple that created this playground? You know, Nadia, that young woman with the blond hair, the winsome smile, and the thoughtful ways; and that old arm wrestler of a man with huge biceps and delightful personality who turned 34 March 3!” Little Nadia and so many others will remember you for years because of your project. In 20 years, Nadia will bring little Boris to play on the same equipment she played on when she was a child. And so it goes!!!

    Great job!

    Happy Birthday, Alex. May you and Emma have a little Nadia or Boris of your own some day…soon (or whenever you’re ready)! Keep us posted on the responses of the schools!
    Papa G

  2. Hooray! Can’t wait to see the community response to some playground space and outdoor seating that will bring folks together! Yall are the best!

  3. This is awesome!! And I’m so glad you’ve been able to see some real progress while you’re still there.

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