Sunday, 29 May 2011

West Marredpally My New Home

This is the local neighborhood cow.  It pretty much just chills along the road near our house eating the trash.  It also gets fed by passers by.  Pretty gross but kind of funny.

Side mirrors just get in the way so most people fold them in or remove them all together (yes that is how close they get to each other on the road).  They rely on others honking instead of mirrors, super sketchy.  

I was about to take a bathroom break here on the side of the road when this sign stopped me... 

The sign was accompanied by a bunch of shoes strung up along the wall.

We generally get around town in these autos.  They are two stroke little three wheelers, I am no engine expert but isn't a two stroke the same as a lawn mower?  They don't go very fast, especially when going up hill.  They claim it is for four people but if you don't want to sit laps you can only fit three.  I have counted 13 people in one before.  I still don't understand how they all got in there.  

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Okay so this picture a little weird.  This is Rem (in our group here) and the lady that saved our lives!  She was so nice to us I was amazed.  We were heading to this rehabilitation center that was pretty far from our house and the driver made it seem like he knew where it was when we told him, but come to find out he didn't.  He kept asking people for directions but no one really knew and so finally he just stopped and made us get out and pay him.  Ha we had no idea where we were.  This lady came over and asked us where we were trying to go (she spoke really good english, most people have a hard time understanding us).  She didn't know the place either and non of us had any phones so she walked with us to a store to use a pay phone and call the place for directions.  She talked to them in Telegu then she took us with her in a auto and paid for it!  Then they dropped us off really far away and she walked with us for a little over a half mile asking people along the way for directions till we found it.  It was scorching hot outside and she would have to walk all the way back by herself because there are no autos to get take in that area.  So we walked in with us to make sure that it was open.  We would have never made it.  I asked her if we could pay for her trip home and for the auto we took and she wouldn't let me give her any money, I at least wanted to pay her back.  The picture is not very good but I felt weird asking her to take her picture, I should have just done it.  It turns out she is the director of a program for mentally handicapped children so we got her number and we are going to see with we came go to her organization and help her out some how.  People here have been so nice to us I can't even believe it! 

This is just some of the houses that we passed on the way to the rehabilitation center.  Everyone has clothes hanging outside, even the really nice houses.  I have not seen a washing or drying machine here.  

More houses/apartments, this is a nice part of town.

I love how colorful the buildings are here.  

This is a little hard to see but it is a field with a whole neighborhood of huts, shacks, tents or whatever you want to call them.  It is crazy these are all over the place throughout the city and they are filled with so many people.  

This is a little lime juice stand.  I have not been brave enough to try any of the stuff from these stands yet.  They sell all different kinds of stuff all around, kind of cool. 

This is a mango stand.  They have these carts all of the place as well.  They sell bananas, coconut, watermelon, and pretty much whatever you can think of.  These carts line the streets.  

These are some huts on the side of the road.  It is crazy that people live here.  These are very common though, I see them all over.  

Thursday, 26 May 2011

India Public Health Projects

Missing Children Project with partner CARPED

Millions of children go missing each year in India and are never found.  Many of the children that go missing simply get disconnected from their parents and end up in orphanages.  The children many times do not know where they are from.  It is CARPED’s mission to reunite these children with their parents by speaking to the children to get clues about where they are from by listening to their dialects and other clues about their homes.  From these clues the children are then traced back to their homes and reunited with their families.  To assist with this effort Help International volunteers in India will be helping CARPED to construct a database where information about these missing children can be stored as well as helping to find more volunteers here in India that are able to speak many languages so that they can assist in speaking with the children and collecting clues. 

Rights for People with Leprosy 

Earlier this week we went to a convention to increase the rights of people who have or had leprosy.  This was the statue in the front of the complex where it is was held (it was a really nice place).  

There are a lot of miss conceptions about leprosy in India and the people with the disease suffer a lot of discrimination.  Many times their children are not allowed to attend schools, they are denied work, and they are also forced to live outside of the community.  Many doctors also refuse to work on these people.   They have been treated and are no longer contagious but they still face this discrimination.  It was an interesting conference and I only understood about half of it.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Love Marriage Church

This is our neighborhood 'love marriage' or 'a/c' church, as the locals call it here in India.  It is by far the nicest building around.  I have not once heard of it being called the LDS church or even the mormon church.  They call it love marriage because it is one of the only churches where the marriages aren't arranged.  That is so crazy to me.  The people in the ward so so nice to us.  Most of them are converts but they are hardcore about the church, it is way cool.  

This is a picture of the girls in my group/the insta-choir.  They asked us to sing at a baptism right after church so we just hit them up with a little "I Like to Look for Rainbows" on the spot and they loved it!  My eyes are closed but everyone else looks great! 

Don't even worry I found the Nordstroms of India almost within the first week.  This one street that is pretty close to our house has a few of these big "department" stores.  They don't have anything that I would really wear everyday but they do carry designer saris if anyone back home is interested.  They have all these guys that follow you around and show you all the different fabrics.  They have some really amazing fabric and it is cheap!  I got approximately 6 yards of fabric for like 4 dollars and it is way cool.  So if anyone wants to fabric for something let me know and I can send you some pictures, they have every pattern you could ever imagine and I am sure I could get it cheaper then that if I go to a market.

This is just upstairs in the store.  They had this really pretty chandelier so it was pretty legit.  

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Best lunch ever!!!

I just needed a break from the spicy food today and the golden arches saved the day.  This McDonalds was a little different ones in the US but the food was still good (if you are into McDonalds).  It was funny though the place was full of young adults and they were bumpin techno music and rap the whole time.  The cd they were using kept skipping which was pretty funny.  They still had pictures of little kids all over though.  It was a weird environment altogether. 

This may not look that great to you but it was.  It cost me about 100 rupees and there are about 45 rupees in one dollar.  So you can do the math if you want but it was pretty inexpensive.  I think it might become a problem if I want to eat here everyday.  

Mmm, Mmm good.  I'm lovin it.

I don't know what is so fascinating to them but everywhere we go we tend to attract a lot of attention. This car had like 20 people in it and they we all waving at us.   

This is Buddha  on the lake.  This lake smells from a mile away but it a really cool to look at and they have nice park on the side that everyone was sleeping in.  I will have to get back on how everyone just sleeps everywhere here.  It is like Byu but on the streets... 

Nope not the bakery, but this is a local hot spot and a land mark.  Everyone here knows about Paradise, apparently it is the best india food restaurant around.  We had some food from there the other day and it was pretty good but it all just tastes spicy to me.  This place was packed when we drove by.  All the people around are people on motorcycles and scooters.  There are so many.  There will be more to come on this.  

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Today we visited a bridge school with the MV Foundation.  This organization finds children who should be in school but are forced to work.  They then bring the children here to this bridge school where they for stay for up to two years until they catch up to the students their age and are able to attend a public school.  

This is one of the classrooms that we were able to visit.  Many of these girls have had no schooling.  They don't have desks as you can see they sit on the floor in this small school this room is also where they sleep on thin mats.  At first this seem like a rough life but these girls are so grateful to be in school.  They came from working full days in very poor homes.  

The man who is in charge of the schools showed us around the school today.  They were so kind to us and even made us this really nice lunch.  As you can see they don't really do the whole fork and knife thing here so we had to eat with our hands.  You thought I was a slow eater before, no utensils and it might take me all day.  The Indian food has been a little rough, but hopefully I will get used to it.  Everything they have here is super spicy (at least to me).  Every time I eat something here I get really hot and my nose runs.  I am hoping that I become more tolerant to the hotness of the foods.

These are a few of the girls at the school.  This particular school is an all girls school.  The MV Foundation has 10 schools total all in different areas.  

They really liked taking pictures and they all run in to see it after. 

They were all squealing about his little lizard we found.  It was pretty funny.  

This is their library. They all spend about an hour each day reading here.  We were able to bring them more books that were donated to us to add to their collection.  They get books in Hindi, Telugu, and English, smart girls! 

They have a small play ground, but I think they mostly play in the  yard.  

This is a street near by the school just to give a idea of what the streets look like.  

This is also just a typical building near the street.  Some of the buildings are quite nice and some are more run down.  There are all kinds intermixed it seems.  

I finally made it to India after traveling for two days.  I slept through the night on an airplane twice in a row.  At first I was a little freaked out, but now that I have adjusted I am loving it here.  The people have been so nice to us, for the most part they are super friendly and ask where we are from.  Some of them even want to take pictures with us.  

This really nice family in the ward near our house took us to a battle fort ruin.  It is this huge fort up on the hill in Hyderabad over looking the city.  This is Lexi with one of the little girls from their family.  

Hyderabad is know for it's huge rocks.  There are really cool rocks like this all around.  It is really awesome how this fort is built all around these rocks like this. 

This is the lower part of the fort from up above.  The fort has something like 600 stairs and it was blistering hot outside.  It was worth the climb though.  Thank you BYU swim team for the nike dry fit t-shirt that kept me from killing over in the heat.