Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rajahmundry Wheelchairs--Completed 24 Sep 2016

On July 12th and 13th we helped with the Wheelchair Assessment Camp at the Shalom Outreach Ministries and the East Godavari Pastors Fellowship Compound in Rajahmundry.

Over 100 people came from Rajahmundry and surrounding villages.

These were the poorest of the poor.

Most had never sat in a wheelchair.

Each person was counseled and measured carefully for the type of wheelchair that best met their needs.

Johnson and Prasanth from Motivation India-- who are trained physical therapists--spent quality time with each person to ensure their chair was right for them.

The children who waited for their turn were excited...

Elder Newton played Tabernacle Choir music and sang to this young lady who had no words but joyfully smiled!

When it was her turn, she became most excited and almost bounced off her chair!

Bishop Sinha and his volunteers served a hot lunch for each wheelchair candidate and their helper.

Sister Thummala Palli from Kakinada Branch is measured and will receive a new wheelchair that will support her body properly in a sitting position that will no longer hurt her.

With our new found friends at the wheelchair evaluation.

Happy faces tell the story!

The wheelchairs arrive in heavy cardboard boxes the week of 19 Sep 2016.

Assembly takes place right away.

Trained hands pull parts from each box to assemble three different types of wheelchairs.

Metal, wood, padding, and fabric are bolted and glued precisely to the measurements taken at the assessment phase.

Fitting may begin with trimming the seat and filing it down to precisely fit the recipient.

Fitting also includes instruction on how to use and maintain the new wheelchair.

Instruction includes how to disassemble the chair to transport it.

Each wheelchair comes with a maintenance packet with tools, tire pump and tube repair kit.

Finally--his chair is ready for the Distribution Celebration!

The wheelchairs are lined up for distribution!

The crowd of recipients, their helpers and community members gathers under a tent to protect from threatening monsoon weather.

The program begins with prayer, a song and presentations of flower leis and shawls.

After several speeches, the Mayor of Rajahmundry, Mrs. Pantam Rajani Kondala Rao, presents the first wheelchair.

One of the recipients is Puspa Leela, a local member of the church. She is happy with her new wheelchair. She is planning on getting a part-time job now that she has better mobility! 

Tamsin Langford, the Head of Programmes for Motivation-UK, came this day from Bristol, UK to see this wheelchair distribution. She is the lady in purple in these photos.

Darla's heart is about to beat out of her chest as she is in "emotional overload" with all the gratitude, love and appreciation that this day brings! IT'S A GOOD DAY!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Jaipur--The Pink City--Oct 2016

Jaipur was founded in 1727. Pink has long been associated with hospitality. In 1876 when the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited Jaipur, the Maharaja painted the city pink. Since then the "Old City" had to be painted pink. 

Over time, and with more and more coats of paint, the pink city has turned orange.

Here is the Palace of Winds--really a building facade with 953 windows which allowed the cool breezes to flow through--where women of royalty could peer out screens of marble down on the city below and not be seen. Royal women were never to appear in public.

On the way to Amber (Amer) Fort and Palace, we stopped to take a photo. Two guys appear on the sidewalk with REAL COBRA SNAKES in baskets--along with snake charming hats and flutes.

Guess who joins them...

The palace is magnificent.

The fort is also on the hill overlooking a small valley with a tall stone wall built around both.
The wall is miles around and acts as a security determent to enemies. Lookout points are located at strategic locations along the wall.

We  joined a caravan of caparisoned painted elephants for the "Ride of the Royalty" up the hill, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years into the palace courtyard.

Our elephant was one of the largest of the herd...

It was great!

This is the court where the Maharaja gave audience to his subjects and met with his officials. They also held celebrations here.

It is beautifully ornamented with carved marble elephants and vines.

The Maharaja converted the rear portion of this hall into a closed-in billiard room.

This is the entrance to the Maharaja's living quarters. 

Mirrors and mosaics bedazzle the "Hall of Private Audience" with the Maharaja.

Our reflection in a mirror set in a mosaic is caught by our guide...

Carriages that were used by the Maharajas and their families.

You can almost hear the clip-clop of the horses and the sounds of the drums and horns announcing the nearing of the Maharaja and his family...

Based on the size of the cooking pots out back of the palace, they hosted a BUNCH of people for meals!!

On the way to our next stop we came upon a religious pilgrimage of Hindus on their way to the Temple.

Those who wear the saffron robes are said to be very devout in their religious observances.

It is believed that saffron clothing removes doubts, gives good health, is the color of fire--which destroys anything--is all powerful and is no respecter of persons, whether they be of high birth or is the symbol of sacrifice, renouncing ego.

We stopped at a textile shop where skilled craftsmen and women make all sorts of clothing.

They also make wood stamp blocks for cloth block printing.

When placed in the sun for several days, or in a saltwater solution for a few minutes, the various inks change color to make a beautiful design.

The tailors measured Larry at about 3:00 p.m.

At nearly 10:00 p.m. there was a knock at our hotel room door. The coat plus custom-fit pajamas were delivered.

This is called a "Modi" coat because India Prime Minister Narendra Modi regularly wears this style. 

We stopped at the display of astronomy and astrology. A museum of bigger than life sundials that measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, months and years.

The Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II was the great warrior and astronomer who created these measuring devices between 1719 to 1737. He became the Maharaja at age 11. This is one of five observatories he built.

They were all re-tested in recent years and shown to be accurate to within one tenth of one percent.

A host and guard at one of the museums is dressed in period clothing of the Maharajas.

The gate and the architecture of the Maharajah museum buildings are spectacular.

Here are the flags of the Kingdom of Jaipur. When the King is in the palace, the small flag at the top is flown.