Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quarter Acre Project

So the whole purpose of the Quarter Acre project was to help show farmers that they can have nutritional foods for their family, as well as an additional cash flow from various plants on a small plot of land.

Additionally, there is a school right next to the plot (both of which are run by our partner SKS) which needed painting. This plus a service activity for the local LDS branch means we get the project completed in one day!

After going 4 hours by bus to the location, we find that the land is all put into neat plots and we have paint for the school. We originally were going to do a soilet there as well, but SKS decided to wait until the Soilet Conference this tuesday to see how they work/if they want to implement them in their projects.

This project ended up being fantastic. We got some great shots and a lot of people helped make a difference.

The field last monday when we visited, after plowing but before working it into beds

The field into beds!

People working on planting in the fields

The walls pre-painting

Some of the painting

More of the painting in progress...

One of the designs (that black and yellow stripe below it went around the entire room)

Melissa with the young women who helped

The women helping to paint educational materials

The entire group

It was such a rewarding day and it was neat to know that our work will go towards helping local farmers gain different skills as well as help the school with educational materials.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Be careful where you step...

So... apparently yesterday while getting off of a running bus.... it wasn't as slow as I thought it was going.

A concussion, many funny conversations, repeated questions and laughing at the same jokes Drew told me and some drugs later, I'm doing a lot better.

So what can you expect from getting off of a moving vehicle?


That's my right arm from falling off of the bus...

And my face. That shiner is from the concussion. The bandage is from the stitches.

What I give for Help International India. :P In all seriousness though, I am doing a lot better, I am remembering more and more and I'm progressing with work.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Women's Group Logo

So the women decided that they liked my logo and this is the official new logo of the women's group WEE.


Leia Mais…

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's business time!

So for the past few weeks life has been going at supersonic speed. Half of our team has left (so sad) and yet we're still just as busy (if not busier) than ever.

One of the projects I've recently hopped on with is the women's group. There is a group of women at church who through some reason or another, are in need of employment that they can do part time. They have formed a group together and have decided to start a business.

Preparing stuff in the kitchen

Their first thing that they are going to do is cook and sell pickles.

And no I don't mean these kinds of pickles:

I mean THESE:

Look at how yummy they are!





The women made brinjal (eggplant), ladyfingers (okra), capsicum (green bell peppers), and drumsticks (it's only here in India that I know of....), for veggie pickle. They also made a chicken pickle but I haven't seen it yet.

So the way you eat pickles here is you only have a little bit on your plate to help add flavor to whatever your eating/spice up your food. They are all delicious and the women are super friendly and fun to be around.

Laughing and shelling garlic for the chicken pickles

The group they have decided to come up with is called W.E.E., Women Empowered through Employment. It's fun to be able to help them with basic business practices and to get them started on their way.

Today I have been working on a design for their logo and I have a preliminary design. We'll see what they decide on and I'll post about it later.

Either way, this has been a great opportunity and a fun way to realize how much I've learned through my education simple business activities and ventures. I hope the women do well, their cooking is AMAZING.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shri Guru Sankalpam School

So yesterday we had the opportunity to go to the Shri Guru Sankalpam School for the Mentally Handicapped. While we were there, we painted the outside gates and did a small mural for the school.

The bus outside the school

I had not previously had a chance to go to this school before and it was such a rewarding experience.

The handicapped have a rough time here in India. Whether it is physical or mental handicaps, those who have them face stigmas along with misinformation about the diseases themselves. Often the parents don't know what to do with the children and either mistreat them or ignore the symptoms and still try to treat them exactly like a normal child.

The Shri Guru school has come out of a bunch of parents who came together and talked about the difficulties of having children with special disabilities and not having an outlet for them or a way to teach them in a way that they could learn and grow. At the school the children are able to interact with others, make friends and learn vocational skills along with receiving a rudimentary education. It's wonderful to see how something as small as a group of parents talking can change into a school. It's also funded by the profits that are made from the items that the students learn to make. Their work turns into more opportunities for education and growth.

We came to the school and not only found the outside covered in paper scraps (from people pasting up posters and signs) but we also found a HUGE pile of rubble outside where we were supposed to do a mural. So we got to work painting the other side of the entrance while waiting for the rubble to get cleared out by some of the men at the school.

The painting supplies

So we painted the left wall and the gates and by that time the rubble had been pushed away enough that we could paint.

Yay! It's so much better than grey....

After getting the base paint on we started to do the detail work.

Aleesha, Lexi and Ashlee working on the mural

My sketching of the school's logo

After painting the initial detail on the logo, Lindsey went back and did a few touch ups

Aleesha, Lexi and Ashlee worked on the left side and did letters, numbers and a few kids playing

Aleesha with the paintings

Midway through the paintings we had a guy come up and talk to the headmistress. He was a professional painter who was on his way to pick up his son from school and saw that we were painting the disabled kid's school. He offered to help us with the sign for free. It was so nice! And he was SO good at it!

Lindsey and Lexi watching a guy who came to help us with the lettering.

While that was going on I went inside and took some pictures of the kids. They were so darling.

The headmistress

The activities for the students

One of the philosophies of the school. Pretty cool. (click to get a better picture)

These boys were so sweet. The one on the right kept smiling and shaking my hand. :)

Another boy who kept smiling and was quite friendly

The boys in the vocational class

The kids learning with a teacher

This woman is 40 years old. She is able to learn and have an enriched life because of this school. Also she gives awesome high fives.

The kids on the school bus

After going around and taking pictures we were finally done with everything. So we got the teachers together and took pictures.

The teachers with Lexi and Aleesha

It was such a fun and rewarding day. I'm so glad that I went, learned about this school and was able to help in some small way. :)

Myself in front of the finished sign :)

Leia Mais…

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July!!!!

So this fourth of July was awesome. :)

We woke up to our WONDERFUL country directors having made us french toast!

Awesome! That was so yummy and such a wonderful surprise. It was also fun to see the apartment completely decorated with American flag stuff.

I think that the 4th of July is almost more fun in other countries because the Americans who are around band together and are extra festive. Last year in Jerusalem we had a whole cookout and bbq and had fireworks, face painting, a whole patriotic program, bobbing for apples and some other fun things.

This year we were invited to a special dinner with LEPRA. LEPRA is the awesome organization that is fighting against leprosy, HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria with innovative ideas, practices and research all over India. They have been such a great organization to work with and they have been very good at seeing how we can help their organization. So they decided because we have this special friendship to have us over for a special dinner.

It was such a blast to be there with the whole team and the LEPRA people. It was such yummy food (even if the only "American" thing was the deviled eggs I made to bring for them to try). After eating we had a little ceremony where they gave us roses and a gift to show appreciation. It was also fun because they had us sing our anthem and they sang theirs.

The group

The lipstick ladies :P

Ang and Mel are SO excited!

My wonderful patriotic husband in my Egyptian soccer jersey :P (nothing else was clean)

The remains of the food.... mmmm

I don't think I have any normal pictures of her....

Giving out the gifts

Our wonderful Lepra partners! :)

Afterwards, we went back home and then had a little bit of patriotic fun on the roof.

Us waiting...

Let the explosions begin!

Yay fireworks! We had so much fun with poppers, sparklers and those fun ones that just exploded. :D

These things spun and were fun


Playing with the sparklers

These are crazy but so much fun

I got to light this! :)

This was fun and it was fun to light the fireworks. Don't worry, it had rained earlier so most everything was wet. So fun!

Leia Mais…