Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mysore Excursion with the Grundys--Oct 2016

Mysore is primarily a tourist destination located about 3 1/2 hours south of Bangalore.

We first saw the Sri Ranganatha-swamy
Hindu temple at the end of a street lined with vendors of souvenirs of all sorts.

Elder Grundy joins in song with a street singer...

This is the Dasara Festival. Buses are decorated as part of the festival to show people's thankfulness for transportation to Mysore.

We first visited the summer palace grounds.
The guide had a thick accent and we thought he said that the obelisk at the top right of this photo was a "Prison House". We thought it was a pretty small prison and that it might get hot inside. Then we realized he was saying "Pidgeon House" where the mail pigeons would gather an leave with the mail.
The palace is made primarily of teakwood. It is in remarkably good  condition after over 230 years.

Sister Pam Grundy and Sister Darla Newton

This is the access to the river at the back edge of the summer palace grounds.

Here is where people gathered to fetch water, wash clothes and bathe.

Then it was off to the Mysore Palace grounds.
A guy found us who had VIP tickets into the Palace Grounds Review Area. Such a deal! We could see some covered bleachers!!

We could imagine ourselves lounging in chairs in the shade... leisurely sipping cool water and waiting for the decorated elephants and a chance to see the Maharaja of Mysore.

Little did we realize that we would be in the hot sun with 5,000 of our best friends struggling to get a glimpse of an elephant or anything else except the back of the head of the person in front of us!

At last some movement...
elephants and a band began to play.

More elephants...

More police presence...

In a few minutes they were gone...

Then somebody important...we are not sure if it was the Maharaja, the Chief Minister of Communications, or who. The crowd goes wild!!

Then there is a drop or two of rain...nice.

It starts to cool down.

Then it starts to rain pretty steadily.

Not too bad. Still better than that steamy hot weather...

Now it is starting to get serious about dumping some REAL water...

People break out  the umbrellas...

Then the RAIN CAME IN HUGE BUCKETS---It rained "pitchforks and hammer handles" for about two hours!! People put their chairs on their heads to shield them from the onslaught of water!

Some people got pretty creative...

Like this policeman who used a sign tipped up to hold back the water...

Others just crawled under the bleachers and hid for a time.

By now I am sure the elephants are thinking to themselves... "Don't you guys know when to get in out of the rain? I could very well get chaffed here"

It rained and it rained...

I think I saw some guy named "Noah" head for the gate mumbling something about needing to tie down an ark...

The rain continued...

The parade mushed on...


We headed for the gate!

After a brief but poignant 
discussion with the police, who would not let us out of the gate, we found an auto and crammed five adults into it and found our van.

The drowned rats make it back to the hotel...

But not without a challenge getting on to the hotel grounds by foot because the van could not get there...

We had a lot of fun with Elder and Sister Grundy; we would have been lost in the crowd and drowned without them!!

It took three days to dry out our shoes.

Mysore palace and other sites at night...

A giant Ganesh statue along the road.

The Maharaja 
and Queen of exile at Mysore.

On the way home we stopped at a giant Banyan tree that covers three acres.

It is also called the Monkey Tree because so many monkey families live here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mandapeta Wheelchairs--Completed 30 Sep 2016

On 10 August 2016 we traveled about an hour by car from Rajahmundry to a village called Mandapeta to join Motivation India and Bishop Sinha and the Pastors Fellowship to assess about 50 people to receive wheelchairs. Thirty-seven are on track to receive chairs later this month.

The poorest of the poor people come from miles around to receive help.

The come any way they can get there.

They crawl through the dirt, gravel and mud.

<This man is counseled about what a new chair will mean for him and his family.

>This man is measured for his customized chair.

Both will receive new-found mobility they have never had.

Beneficiaries and their helpers wait patiently for their one-on-one interview.

A bongo band entertains throughout the day.

They are happy.

This young woman came to see what was going on...she didn't really need a chair. She had polio but can walk with her braces with a little balance help. She is a speech therapist and could use a tricycle wheelchair to get to work, but said "Give my chair to someone who needs it." She is fortunate.

This man pauses for a rest after his assessment.

It is hard work for most of these people.

This woman tells of the stroke she had three years ago.

Smiles tell it all!

On 30 September 2016 we returned to Mandapeta for a few people to be fitted to their chairs and to distribute 30 more.

At last the wheelchairs are ready to go to their new owners and families.

A man patiently waits alone for his long-awaited wheelchair... 

There were speeches by several people--including Brother Augustus, Elder Newton and Sister Newton. 

There was always someone to interpret what we said into Telugu.

Bishop Sinha expresses his appreciation for LDS Charities (top)...

Member of Legislative Assembly Jogeswarao (bottom left) expresses his appreciation on behalf of the citizens of his Mandal...

Johnson Rajasekar from Motivation India speaks of the teamwork between  LDSC, the Pastors Fellowship and Motivation India. (bottom right)

Leis, shawls, and something new...

Thank you photos framed for Elder and Sister Newton

Happy faces of some of the people who received their new-found freedom through mobility.

We cherish the time we spend with the people we can help.

A new wheelchair can strengthen the individual and the family.

Happy faces.

Happy families.

Notice the lone man in the picture above finally has his so much needed mobility! He looks comfortable in it!