Sunday, January 31, 2016

Celebrating Reverse Osmosis Inaugurations--20 January 2016

We helped celebrate the opening of seven new R.O. Clean Water systems in the villages of Nalgonda, Bibi Mandel, Telangana State.

Elder Henrie is cutting a ribbon.

A Hindu priest was present to ensure traditional blessings took place.

We each received a red dot on our foreheads, flower leis and colorful shawls to honor us.

Two students from a local high school spoke about how they had been worried about the sickness caused by high fluoride in the water and their future families. But now that the clean water is there, their future is brighter.

Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Mr. Reddy holds the ribbon as Elder Newton cuts it at the opening of a new clean water system.

Part of the tradition is to crack open a coconut and pour out the milk. 

Elder Henrie, Elder Newton and MLA Reddy do the deed.

Part of the Hindu tradition is to light oil wiks.

This was at a high school and the Principal thanked us for participating in and honoring their traditions. 

Children, school staff and the community look on at the RO Celebration. M. Julius, a teacher at the school for 6 years said "Healthy water, healthy life--you gave us living water. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a good name because you are saints to us."

Sister Henrie especially liked making contact with the children where ever we went

We presented the school with cricket bats and balls, jump ropes, ring toss and soccer balls.

We were invited inside a Hindu temple to participate in their Hindu blessing. We were blessed and our children were blessed by the priest.

Sister Newton spoke to the crowd of about 200 people. She said in Telugu "Namaste, na peru Sister Newton." (Good afternoon, my name is Sister Newton). MLA Mr. Reddy almost fell out of his chair with delight and the crowd cheered! [Thanks to Mike and Laura for the "Learn Telugu in 30 Days" book!]

A young girl from Zilla Parishad High School said: "You fill me with happy to have clean water."

More joy and celebrating.

More shawls and leis to honor LDSC. 

Sooo many ribbons to cut...

The women of the villages were excited to know they will have clean water to drink and cook with as they feed their families.

The press and local television news people were present also. Here is a pile of five newspaper articles in the local newspaper the next day. 

Youtube Link to TV interview at Zilla Parishad High Shool

Sightseeing in Hyderabad--19 January 2016

Gonconda Fort, Hyderabad--14th to 16th Century--the Kakatiya Dynasty

We entered through the "Clapping Gate". One hand clap at a certain point below the entrance dome can be heard at the highest point of the fort, almost one kilometer away. This was used to warn the royals in case of an attack--which occurred rather regularly.

The region is known for the mines that produced some of the world's most famous gems...including the Hope Diamond.

It was 375 steps to the top. There was a special trail for the King that no one else was allowed to use. Usually the King was carried up to the top in a carry chair.

They had a sophisticated water system that brought the precious liquid to the top of the fort.

They virtually had no tools to erect this fort. Every stone was hand cut and carried to its place. It stands today as a monument to early 14th Century architecture and war planning.

Later in the day we went to the "Seven Tombs" garden. Our guide was very informative and entertaining. It is the Royal Cemetery of Seven Qutub Shahi Kings, who ruled Golconda for nearly 170 years.

The complex has approximately 30 tombs. To distinguish the tombs of the seven Kings from the other tombs, a golden spire was fixed over the tomb of the Kings. The tombs were built before the King died so it would be ready when needed. The tomb at the lower left above was never finished because the King was overthrown and killed before his tomb was finished.

Even the King's personal physicians received a large tomb. The two twin tombs above were for the doctors of the King. 

The architecture of the tombs was ornate, customized for the person and highly influenced by Persian culture. We were joined by Elder and Sister Henrie, water specialists from Orem, Utah.

Maternal and Newborn Care Conference in Hyderabad 15 to 19 Jan 2016

After arriving in Hyderabad, we went to a restaurant in the Marigold Hotel. When we came out, there was a VERY LOUD procession for the bridegroom as he arrived at the hotel for the wedding. The groom rode in on a white horse; there was a loud organ and brass band, as well as bright lights. Everybody was dancing in the streets! It was something to see...and hear!!

Saturday morning, January 16th, the members gathered at the Hyderabad Stake Center in West Marredpally to assemble 2,000 baby kits.

It had a blanket, t-shirt, baby powder, hat, booties, gloves and a wash cloth.

The members were amazing...we had all 2,000 baby kits assembled and packed in boxes and large bags in about 3 hours.

There were baby kit bags everywhere! We had to send out for more bags to transport the kits!

Loading the truck with some of the larger transport was a team effort!

When the truck was loaded...we loaded up some kids and off to Vijay Marie Hospital--a small birthing hospital for the very poor of Hyderabad.

A Church groundskeeper's daughter had just given birth, so we took the opportunity to give our first baby kit to her.

The truck barely fit through the gate into the hospital courtyard!

The doctors, nuns and staff could not believe we were just giving them all these baby kits...with no expectation of anything in return.

We handed out about a dozen kits to new mothers.

There were smiles all around!

They pointed in a general direction and told us to put the rest of the 2,000 baby kits in a room "over there." Little did we know it was on the second floor with access only by a spiral staircase. Some bags went through windows on the second level! We suggested that we should unload the big transport bags, but the young people said, "No, no sister, we can do this!" Only in India: CAN DO!

The Sisters at the hospital were very impressed by our young people. They said, "We can't believe these young people are giving up their free time to do this." The young people offered further assistance and even gave the Sisters their phone numbers in case they needed any additional help.

As part of the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) project, three doctors came from the US to train other doctors and medical professionals: Dr. Denton, Dr. Bell and Dr. Clark. While here, we had a Humanitarian Service fireside at the Stake Center. Sister Newton and President Berrett also spoke.

We attended some of the doctor training at KIMS Hospital.

It focused on the first "golden minute" of a baby's life.

That evening LDSC hosted a faculty training session and dinner for 40 people at the AVASA Hotel.

We hosted doctors, nurses and midwives from all over the world.

Church leaders, including the entire Hyderabad Stake Presidency, our Mission President and their wives, came to support LDSC and mingle with the doctors.

January 2016

New Year's Eve celebration at the Church

Raju and his family:

It was Suara's birthday on January 1st. We all went to Eat & Play for lunch! 

Crispy chicken sandwiches, fries and what looked like fry sauce (not!).

We went for a walk along the Godavari River.

Cool and pleasant.

Raju took us to see his Sister's granddaughter and visit with his family along the alleys near the river.

Several members of the Church live in this area.

Great people!!

Larry is offered a deep-fried pepper...and can't turn it down.

No, it's not hot...

Well maybe it's hot...about a 6...

OK, IT'S HOT!!!!!

What a beautiful saree! This is all hand-beaded. 
It took months to make

On the way to Vizag, we saw a man wearing his native clothes.

It was about time for Larry's hair to be cut, so Raju took him to his favorite barber.

Larry got a head massage, a hand and arm massage, and a great haircut! 

He was surprised that all of that cost only 100 rupees.

We went to a small one-room Christian church in East Godavari and helped distribute rice and fruit to a group of about 20 elderly and disabled poor people. There are seven families in the colony (neighborhood) there who pool their resources to provide food to these people each month. After we went to the home of one of the families and visited with them. Great people! 

The Young Adults decided to repair all of the Hymn books in the Rajahmundry church house. What a book crew!!

We stepped outside our door and found our neighbor across the hall and her niece had made this terrific design with sand colors on the floor of the outside corridor. This is part of the Pongal Festival that Hindus celebrate in late January.

The Second Branch sisters invited to their Relief Society activity on Pongal Day.

We had a lesson, did a few games with them and went to a nearby bakery and had a treat!