Wednesday, August 29, 2007


For those of you who have children, especially boys, you know how hard it can be for them to get along. Long car rides can be a nightmare and don’t even get me started about 25 hour long train rides. The Bible is filled with stories of brothers treating each other horribly, Cain and Able, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers. So it is a cherished moment when we as parents can sit back and watch our children not only getting along, but actually working together to achieve a common goal.

Joshua and Dominic working together

Dominic stopped laughing at Joshua collecting scrap metal when he realized that Joshua was walking away with money in his pocket simply by picking up what others have discarded. Now the boys are working together to locate and retrieve scrap metal together. They have actually found pieces so big that it took both of them to carry it. They split the money and so far haven’t had any arguments about it. I was so impressed with their business skills (Dominic is keeping a log on the computer of how much money they make, for tax purposes I think) that I went along with them to help out. I freed up some large pieces that were under some rocks and concrete and helped them get it to the scale. The man and woman who buy the metal are a very nice couple. They get a kick out of the two American boys who sell them scrap metal. They are impressed by Dominic’s and Joshua’s determination to hunt down scrap metal so they can buy ice cream and chips at the store.

The scrap metal man laughing as he weighs the boys' scrap metal

As we were leaving the scrap metal place, an older boy walked up to Joshua and asked him for three Hryvna. I asked Joshua why this kid was asking him for money. Joshua replied, “Well, do you remember that place where there was scrap metal, but you said I wasn’t allowed to climb the fence and go over there? Well, this kid was really nice and for three Hryvna he picked up all the scrap metal and threw it over the fence for me.” Well at least he didn’t go where I told him not to.

Dominic is thinking about buying a small scale of his own because some of the other kids have expressed an interest in selling him scrap metal. He reasoned that if the other kids bring him scrap metal and he buys it at 25 kopeks per kilogram, then he can sell it for 50 kopeks per kilogram without having to do any of the work of finding and collecting it. I almost signed off on this little business venture but decided that storing scrap metal in our apartment might not be such a good idea, not to mention the steady stream of kids knocking at our door. I can’t complain though. Dominic is trying to find ways to be self sufficient, at least when it comes to extra spending money.

The boys sold more than their combined weight in scrap metal today, but before you think about getting into the scrap metal business here in Ukraine, you should know that they made a whopping $5.40. That works out to be about 4 ¼ cents a pound, but the average ice cream cone costs about 12 cents. So who cares, right? All I know is that our boys are working together and aren’t fighting over who made faces at who.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9

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