Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Back to Hyderabad--More Clean Water Celebrations--24 Oct 2015

We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard.

The room had a glass wall between the bathroom and the rest of the room...

With a pull shade.

We had dinner at a special buffet.

Here is the salad bar...

And the dessert bar.

Fireworks celebrate Diwali Hindu festival outside our windows.

The first village is Madaram. Here the workers are finishing up the preparations...the sign goes up, the garland is hung, and the equipment is ready to be activated.

Village people patiently wait for the celebration to begin.

Sister Newton visits with the children.

Villagers check out the celebration area.

Elder Newton and President John Gutty of the Hyderabad Stake visit with some of the village leaders.

Houses in this village are old and weathered.

Sister Newton is asked to cut the ribbon!

The Reverse Osmosis equipment is decorated with flowers, incense is burning and we're ready to break coconuts!

Above from left to right: the leader of the village, Stake President Gutty, Sister Newton, Elder Newton, Second Counselor President Mekala.

Top: Mr. Reddy, the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) visits with Elder Newton.
Left: Elder Newton receiving a flower lei in gratitude.
Right: Elder Newton presents soccer balls for the children.

Sister Newton is presented with a shawl in appreciation.

About 200 villagers came to celebrate their new clean water!

Women gratefully accept their new water containers.

A real blessing to these women who can now provide clean water for their families!

We're off to the next village--Reddynaik thanda. Here we see rice fields and piles of rice drying in the sun ready for sifting off the chaff.

The building is complete, the sign is up...

Breaking the coconuts...

Sister Newton turns on the RO equipment...

Assemblyman Reddy makes a point to Sister Newton and the village leader.

Receiving leis and shawls from grateful leaders of the village.

And we're off to the next village--Narayana giri about 20Km down the road!

Presidents Gutty and Mekala pose at the sign...

The RO equipment is decorated for the occasion.

Villagers patiently wait for everyone to arrive for the celebration.

Elder and Sister Newton take the opportunity to visit with the people.

Assemblyman Reddy cuts the ribbon!

Elder Newton counts it down...


The button is pushed, the equipment starts and everyone celebrates!

The village leader speaks of clean water for the village...

Presented shawls that were hand-made by the villagers...everyone unique.

Assemblyman Reddy speaks of appreciation for LDS Charities.

Elder Newton is asked to say a few words.

He tells the villagers how much LDS Charities appreciates the village allowing us to come "Help families help themselves" and how, "Though we cannot understand your Telugu language, we do understand your smiles and your hearts."

A beautiful sunset at the end of a beautiful day.

The next morning's local newspapers:

Not front page and center...but it is in the local papers.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Our Apartment--Oct 2015

After five long weeks in a hotel...we finally moved into our apartment on 17 October!

Left: the entry to the parking area on the ground floor of our apartment building.  It is called "Kelam Classic Apartments". We even have our own parking stall! Just nothing to park there.
Right: the view out of our living room windows.

President Chinna and his brother, Ramesh, negotiate with the owner and the watchman.

Our entry door.  The glass all has a light tint to block out some of the bright sun.

Living room/dining area

This will be our office--don't you love the color combinations?

The kitchen is very small

There are two bathrooms about the same size--one off the office and one off our bedroom. Both are a shower room with a toilet and a sink! Our bedroom has a little more subdued colors--orange and yellow with brown and tan cabinets.

The refrigerator won't fit in the kitchen so it is in the dining room.  Air conditioning is a MUST here in Rajahmundry, then fans.  We have an air conditioner in the office and the bedroom and fans in each of the other rooms.  Our water purifier is great! It is reverse osmosis-quality water with a bunch of filters. We even got a combination microwave and convection oven. 

Putting the finishing touches to our office--and the REALLY FIRM bed. It's the only kind you can get here in India. We were asked if we wanted two mattresses--it wouldn't be any softer, just higher.

Our living room. Yes, we do have two HUGE batteries and a UPS unit in our living room...that's India!

Sister Newton at the desk in our extremely colorful office.

Our large and spacious kitchen...NOT!
The stove top is propane fired with 5 liter bottles under the cabinet. The sink looks like a chemistry lab, but it's not. Just a few water lines between the outside water source, the water purifier and the hot water geyser (pronounced "geezer") or hot water heater that you turn on 15 minutes before you need hot water--just like for the shower.

Installing a chandelier. You can program it to change colors--and it plays music, but we removed the zip drive so it won't do that now. It was rather annoying.

We are so glad to be moved into our own space!

More Adventures in Rajahmundry--Oct 2015

On Sunday, October 4, 2015 we had a baptism.  What was unusual is that the Elders found a way to assist a disabled father baptize his 12 year old son. The Elders carried the man into the font and held him as he did the baptizing. It was Incredible.

From left to right:
Elder Sudas, Elder Sunny, Elder Newton, Elder Thompson, Taneti Nageshavara Rao (father), Taneti Rajcsh (son) Elder Dharavath, Sister Newton

One morning we began to hear the call of a very large bird outside our window. It was the distinctive call of an eagle! We gently opened the drape and there was a beautiful Spotted Eagle with its prey. She just stood there and called over and over. We think she was calling for her mate to come enjoy breakfast with her. She stayed about half an hour.

A passenger train whistles as it pulls into the Rajahmundry station.
Interesting observation: I noticed these three workers using an electric jackhammer to remove some cement outside a small retail mall. They had no tools other than the jackhammer. No gloves. No shovels. No picks. No safety glasses. Just their bare hands and the jackhammer. I don't see many tools at all here in India.

Yes, we do have an iron.

Just no ironing board...

Ya' use what ya' got.

Jessyraj has his eighth birthday...

And is ready to be baptized.

Jessy's father, Raju, drives a cab in Rajahmundry and does most of the driving when a Church leader comes to town.

Jessyraj with his President Basina, District President... his dad, mom and sister.

The whole family came to witness his baptism.

Jessy with Elder Newton, Sister Newton, his dad, mom and sister.

The Rajahmundry District gathers for Conference
October 10, 2015
Another great baptism--this time a returned missionary--Bharath Banjarapu baptized his father--Ramakrishna .

Rajahmundry Zone Conference--14 Oct 2015