Archive | November, 2016

Gateway in Maduri India

13 Nov

Up and ready for new day in Indaia. Today we travel back to Mumbai for one more night and then a day and a half of travel back. Some of you may be thinking “why such long trip back to US”?  That’s how we received such great business class rate. $2200 round trip for this adventure.

Now I will catch you up about the Nammakal trip.

We arrived in Nammakal by way of Chennai and Maduri At 1 pm on Friday. Dr Samuels and driver Kartic picked us up in Maduri for the 3 hrs drive. The scenery is so greener and not as cluttered. We had many fun conversations with Sam during the drive and he filled us in on latest news in Namakkal.  Of course the ladies needed a “toilet” stop.  No this is adventure to find a suitable one.  We both said we are ok with holes in the ground!  He decides to go to hotel and use a room.  So…. we get the key to go to a room and Sam says I will not go with you so it doesn’t look suspicious!!!! Judi and I are laughing all the way to the room. We get to the room and we open the door and there is a young man in there. He stands right up and we say “oh we are here to use the bathroom”.  He is like “hello ladies” and explains he is manager of hotel etc. We do our duties and go back downstairs and Sam decides he’ll go up.  I say you are in for a surprise! OMG. He comes down and is laughing and when he saw the young man he said”what the h are you doing in here!!”  Sam was upset that the young man did not leave the room when we were using the loo and when we all left the hotel I’m still not sure if they thought there was a quickie involved!!

Finally we are in Namakkal and the first stop was the CARE Center where it all started for me 8 years ago. There were beautiful kolums which I LOVE and leis of roses and chrysanthemums. We visited with staff and then it was time to go see Gomathi and Murugans home which we helped build.  The house was wonderful with electricity, water and gas stove inside. The village people were all coming by and some remembered me from before as I them.  Last stop was the Hotel Nala. They too welcomed us with leis of flowers and Judi and I were feeling quite Royal. Saturday was full day of driving and visiting the Kolli Hills clinic in the mountains.  Many monkeys were frollicking as we drove through the 70 hairpin turns.  Oh…..the clinic was wonderful. Located just outside a poor village, mothers and their babies and small children greeted us.  Another lei of flowers and a bouquet of flowers. We are overwhelmed by the kindness of this area of India.  We played with the children and passed out nutrition packets. We said our good byes and headed down the mountain where we had a picnic, took photos of wild poinsettias and monkeys.  We visited with 2 more families-one an 18 yr old girl who is paralyzed.  Very sad situation due to no facilities to really accomadate her handicap. Will she foreverp


just live life on the this straw bed?  What she did have was the cutest ornery smile! (I can’t wait to show photos, stupid IPAD)  Last stop was the family of grandmother, daughter and granddaughter infected.  I met them last time and the 10 yr old was then 2 and in the hospital with an injury.   It was good to see her and to visit. Last night at Nala Hotel and our favorite meal of garlic chicken and rice.

Uneventful trip to Maduri and final chats with Sam about new needs for Nammakal.  Thankfully he made arrangements for doctor in Maduri to see my shoulder.  A driver and a young man took me to the hospital. Immediately I was taken go X-ray.  (There is a room full of patients) Next I sit with Doctor and he says bone is fine, must be tendon. Next I go to physical therapy for electrode and heat therapy. Then back to doctor and he gives me directions and Meds.  I pay 1394 rupees which equals about $22 dollars. I’m accompanied back to hotel where I pretty much sleep through night.  Yes I did receive preferential treatment, but I could see everyone in waiting was cared for and when you were with the doctor, other patients were in there with me and was consulting with each of us.  Very streamlined.

Now we are arranging driver to airport and the possibility of MRI tonight because of much lower cost.

The adventure continues. Namaste



9 Nov

What an exciting/scary few days we have had. Of course I was very surprised by Trump winning. Actually I was in shock and sadness. It as very difficult to keep up from over here because the updates didn’t keep up.

Soooo….Judy came home with some news that was even more shocking than Trump.  The 500 and 1000 Rupees are no longer any good.  This means we have a pile of rupees that are worthless.  We are set to fly to Namakkal Friday. Beginning today you will be able to exchange old rupees for new ones but only 4000 a day.  That is equal to $60 dollars. They are also doing away with the 1000 rupee and going to the 2000.  This is all due to the government putting a halt to the black market of counterfeit rupees. No one knew this was going to happen because it was imperative that the counterfeiters would not know the new design of the rupees.  We are here at a very historic time because this has never happened in India!!!

Tuesday here is your Monday. The company that Rich, Judys husband, works has started a give back to the community missions. Tuesday we visited the children’s cancer ward at the Government Hospital. The mission is called Cuddles. 3 years ago they began the program to help with nutrition for the children in between their cancer treatments. They also provide food for the families during cancer clinic days as the the long hours of waiting and while their children are having chemo is grueling.  We passed out hard boiled eggs, an ensure like milk, a small meal and bananas. They are so grateful because before this program they would be sitting on the floors in the hallways where it is so crowded and very warm with nothing to eat. The children would not anything to eat after their chemo treatments.  Also many of them have traveled as far away as 12 hours and will be doing that trip the next day.  Now they will have nutrition to help them through their treatments. They will have food sent home with them. The ward had about 40 children receiving their treatments. I felt like they were being well cared for and there were nurses and doctors there checking on them. The walls are painted with giant Disney characters.  They are in iron cribs that looked antique. The Cuddles employees were fabulous and have very busy jobs. The company provides milk and anything else that they may need for 2 months. There were all forms of cancer being treated and ages from newborn to around 7 are the ages of the children we met. The families were very sweet but you could see the sadness in their eyes for their little ones.

I am so disappointed because I haven’t figured out how to get photos onto the page. Hopefully my descriptions will suffice for now.  Our next mission of the day was visiting with girls who had been rescued from sex traffickers. I cannot go into details but when I see you in person or if you come to a presentation I will tell you more in detail.  Just know that the work the social workers do is over and beyond what is needed to help these girls. It was heart wrenching to know some of the stories.

Of course my mind is racing on how I can help and Judy and I hope to come up with something along with the company employees.

Today is market day to look for fabrics. We hope to be able to use credit cards but many merchants may not have that capability. I imagine they will have a hard week until the rupees really get back into circulation. Our friend Lorna is joining us. She is an ex Pat from Michigan.

We had a wonderful dinner last night at The Good Wife in the banking district of Mumbai.  Padua and Angi treated  us. Much laughter. Beautiful buildings and architecture.

Interesting tidbit: Just because you live in the slums doesn’t mean you aren’t working or have nothing. Many families own that little piece of land and then as they have more income they add a level and sometimes even another level.  That takes many years. Now as we drive through many slum areas, I envision their wealth by the size of their shanties.

I did see some kite flying on one of our journeys. I am so glad I don’t get car sick anymore.  With all the slamming on the brakes and starting back up there is a lot of jerking around.  I will never complain about bumpy gravel roads in La Veta or anywhere else again.  You don’t know bumpy like bumpy is here.  Many homeless dogs on the street and it seems they like to do their barking at night.  It sounds like they are all talking to each other.

That’s it for today.  Next big adventure is heading to Namakkal tomorrow. We are flying to Maduri by way of Chennai and then Dr. Samuels and driver will pick us up and we’ll drive to Nammakal.


Back to Blogging

6 Nov

I thought my India trip would be a good time to start back writing.

This summer was rather difficult for me emotionally and I felt I couldn’t write about what was happening. Some issues were resolved but I still have a couple of problems to still deal with regarding next season. Can you believe that will be our 5th year. Whew. We have many reservations already.  It has still been a great fit for Denny and I.  He still keeps the park and buildings in immaculate condition. I still keep everything in the office and house in a chaotic state!! Thankfully I hired my friend Terri to work at least one day a week and she was a great organizer. She once said to me “It amazes me how much you accomplish being so unorganized”. I thought that was funny.

It is now 12:04 am Monday morning. Still struggling with sleep times, but that is okay because we are on such a laid back routine. I so love being with Judy. It is incredible how our lives have been so similar since high school. We have had some great conversations. Her husband Rich is an engineer and has been working over here for 3 years I think. They have a lovely apartment that overlooks the city from the 23rd floor. Today I met some of their friends. Extremely fun brunch and conversation. Lorna was so hysterically funny with her stories and Robyn and I had many interests like I have, including quilting. I’m a little concerned about my fabric shopping because she said much of the fabric is not the best quality but we have plenty of time look and I hope I can come across some great prints.

Looking forward to this afternoon.  We will meet Judys friends at a hotel for Lunch and Mahjong! Who knew. Then we both have massages at 3. Can’t wait for a yummy massage. Back has been cooperating pretty well. I was really flared up from running through JFK with no shoes on and a heavy backpack. Was so thankful for being in business class and those wonderful reclining chair/beds. Forget tiny homes, I could live in a tiny cubicle like on the plane. There was storage, tv, tray table, cabinets, etc. All  I would need is a tiny sewing machine and a few yards of fabric. 👍

Denny should be in Brownsville . He drove a trailer down with furniture, tools, sewing machines, golf clubs.  I hope he can play some golf before heading home. I’m excited about being in Brownsville and getting our place all decorated. Our friends Sherry, Dave, Robin and Dean are already there. We have a lot of traveling to do when I get back and we really won’t be totally settled until January.

Thats it for now. Will try to write as we do our many activities the next 10 days.