About once per month you gotta get that missionary haircut...
This time it came with a head massage!
We visited the Kakinada Branch--located about an hour and a half by car north of Rajahmundry.
What wonderful people!
Elder Newton met another Newton there...
His name is Isaac Newton!
How cool is that?!!!
February and March seem to be the "wedding season". Sometimes we are awakened early in the morning--3:30 a.m. or so--to the sounds of a bridegroom and his entourage walking down the street in a small parade--with drums, horns, and candles--singing and chanting as they accompany him to his wedding.
Here, we see a bridegroom going to his wedding in the daylight hours.
Here we see a parade in the late morning with an elaborate carriage pulled by two white horses. It appears that the bridegroom's family is with him in the carriage.
Our landlord invited us to his daughter's wedding--Kalpana. Here we see the wedding stage and the two Hindu Priests are preparing for the ceremony.
The Hindu Priest blessing and preparing the bridegroom. The photo at the lower left is of the parents of the bride and the bridegroom.
The bride and groom are facing each other with a cloth screen between them. The groom never saw the bride until 11:14 p.m. when the actual marriage took place.
The Hindu Priest sets the exact time of the marriage.
Music is an integral part of a Hindu wedding. The Priests control when the band plays and when it stops playing.
The band has one volume:
Our building watchman and his family came to the wedding--Subbaro, Sitha, Satish and Pavan. They are good friends.
On P-day all the Elders in our Zone played a cricket game. We had about 10 people on each side.
It was a hot day, but it was fun.
These guys take their cricket VERY seriously!
Cricket is NOT like baseball.
The rules are complicated; the field is a circle with the bowler, a second runner and batter in the middle. If the ball is hit clear over the outer marker fence, it is scored as 6 points. If the all bounces over the outer marker, it is 4 points.
Phone calls from the Hong Kong Area Office...
Elder Pereira does some heavy thinking with Elder Newton while he is on the phone.
Shekar Alamury, our Clean Water project monitor from Hyderabad rode in a truck over 12 hours, along with three other people, to deliver 2,560 donated children's books for us to give to elementary schools.
There are six different award-winning and well-illustrated books of Indian fables written in English.
The author, Kumuda Reddy, has been practicing medicine for nearly 30 years--is currently an anesthesiologist at Bethesda, Maryland--and is the author of a number of books on keeping families healthy.
Shekar also donated over 1,500 notebooks for us to give to school children to write their lesson in since many students must share their workbooks in India.
The day before Valentines day we were in a gift shop picking up a couple of wedding gifts for two weddings that we had been invited to and a photographer from the local newspaper in Rajahmundry asked us if he could take our photo. We said "sure" and the next thing we know our picture is in the newspaper. We are told the Telugu translates to something like "Love is eternal." I guess because we look so old...