We arrived in Hyderabad on Friday afternoon, September 25, 2015 and found KFC and McDonalds right there at the airport! We were greeted by a representative from the Marriott Hotel and escorted to a car for transport to town.
Along the way we saw a unique building--it looked like a fish!
The driver said that the company that occupies the building is some kind of fish production company.
We met Elder and Sister Evensen--a senior missionary couple who are serving as both Public Relations Specialists and as Humanitarian Services Missionaries in New Delhi--and talked about current humanitarian projects throughout India. The Evensens informed us that their visas to India had expired and were not going to be renewed. They were reassigned to serve in Malaysia. We spent most of the afternoon and evening being briefed on the current humanitarian projects throughout India that are going to be our responsibility.
|We rode a camel on the way to the villages--|
no, not TO the villages, just around town!
Elder Evensen had purchased 13 soccer balls to give to the children in the villages we visited. The balls were all flat, so we pumped them up as we drove down the road. Some people wondered what the heck was going on in the car!
|As we entered the village areas we passed goat herders on the road|
The village holy man greeted us and blessed us with a red dot on our forehead--a representation of spiritual sight--as well as flower petals and rice for our hair--symbols of a good heart and prosperity--as he continued chanting a blessing of all things good.
The holy man also tied small green rolled up leaves on our wrist--a symbol of continuous life--much like an evergreen tree.
The ribbon cutting to open one of five reverse osmosis water filtering systems this day by Elder Evensen.
|The new water filtering system is blessed by the priest--there was incense, breaking of coconuts on a rock; colored powder, rice, flower pedals and flower leis are also placed on the equipment.|
Sister Evensen turns on the system as officials look on.
The happy faces of the children tell it all.
Everyone was elated to have clean water in their village!
This man could not use his legs and walked with his hands. Elder Evensen and Sunil, our Service Center Manager, are shown here helping him put on a new set of heavy leather gloves so that the scorching, rough ground would stop making his hands raw as he moved about the village.
The people of the village presented shawls and flower leis to us...
A high level Minister at the federal level who represents the people of the village was present, spoke and received petitions from village members regarding conditions that they felt needed attention.
|Members of the Hyderabad stake presidency as well as from the Church Service Center and Mission are present as well.|
There's dancing and celebrating throughout the village!
The village drummers strike up the band and a brief parade snakes through the dirt streets.