Sunday, 14 February 2010

An elephant blessing

Temple elephants are a regular feature of the bigger temples in South India. For a small donation, the elephant will give you a blessing. This is Jean, up front and personal with her elephant and receiving a blessing!

I found it quite scary being so close to such a large animal, particularly as you do hear stories of elephant rage! However, it is worth it, to be able to tell the story to friends and family when you return home.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Sometimes life is so hard in India. Meena is from the quarry community who were freed from debt slavery by IRDT some 5 years ago. Her family have moved to Karpakkam and only visit their friends and relatives near Mettupalayam on feast days. When we were there last month, we noticed that she was showing classic signs of leprosy and had hoped to arrange for her to visit the government hospital for diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately she has returned home before this could be arranged. Venkat is now going to send one of our farm workers, either Patchyamman or Gopal, on the bus to try to find her and talk to her parents about treatment. Ideally we would like her to stay in Mettupalayam for 6 months so that we can make sure she takes the antibiotics which will stop the disease from spreading and doing further damage. I hope to be able to confirm this later.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Billy Bear in India

The children at Leeming and Londonderry School, N Yorks very kindly agreed that Billy Bear could accompany us on our annual visit to the project. He really enjoyed his visit, meeting all the children at Mettupalayam School and he returned to school on Monday with his companions to tell all the children about his adventures! At Mettupalayam School, Billy was a star attraction, only in Tamil he is known as Billy Bommai!

On a serious note, Billy has provided many opportunities to explain to our children about life in another culture, in a different part of the world and he enables us to build very strong links, developing cohesion and understanding.