Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sister Tanner's All Time Favorite

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Republic Day in India is a national holiday. It is celebrated as the day that the new constitution of the now independent India went into effect 60 years ago. There are parades in many cities around the country, but the granddaddy of them all is the one in New Delhi, the country's capital. Those watching the parade number in the hundreds of thousands and it is a security challenge to screen everyone that enters. We went last year and had tickets again this year. I gave mine to a branch member who had never been to the parade before and it was a great experience for him as he escorted Sister Tanner.

I captured the video from an Internet stream from a local TV or government entity broadcasting the parade, not sure which or if they are one and the same. The clip recorded format is such that MovieMaker could not handle it, so you've got it just the way I captured the clip. I could not edit it. But I got what I was after and that is a recording of Sister Tanner's all time parade favorite band. You cannot take cameras or cell phones into the parade viewing area for security reasons.

A couple of notes:

The video is shot from the reviewing stand where the dignitaries were. There were government officials from Korea. The lady in the white coat seen saluting is India's president, Madam Patil. Near the end of the clip is a shot of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. He wears a blue turban. Watch each band's drum major's salute, it is something. The whole event is quite an experience with flyovers, military hardware, bands and marching units from most states and the national military units, floats, it has it all and the marching precision is something that is outstanding. Oh, and it really was as foggy as it appears. We had a prolonged period of foggy weather that played havoc with the Delhi airport, but the parade was only slightly affected.

Sister Tanner's all time parade favorite can be seen beginning around 1:40 into the clip. Until you've seen this mounted band, you haven't seen anything. The mounted band and the mounted group immediately in front of it are from the BSF, Border Security Force, in Rajasthan where there is lots of deseret in a long border with Pakistan.

Friday, January 29, 2010

January Wrap

The month is almost over and where has it gone? Seems like a recurring question lately. It was just yesterday we left for Hyderabad.

Scott Smith is returning for 7 weeks. He is still managing the company he did when he was here, but from the states. He knew he would have to come several times a year to be onsite and since the company is involved with tax documents in some way, he will be here for 7 weeks during the tax reporting crunch time in the states. Nice timing as he was called to teach a Temple Preparation class that will begin this Sunday. Here is dedication. He arrives in the early AM Sunday, but will be at church and eager to teach the class. I know those asked to be in the class are excited to have him back and teaching them.

The following are some miscellaneous things that have happened in the last couple of weeks.

Rajat, Mangra, and Ricky Kol showed up for church with their missionary tags on. Wonderful family that we have great hopes for.

Our new Relief Society presidency. L-R Roma Hukil, 1c, Usha, Sec, Ruchi Gupta, 2c, Monica Gupta, President. How would you like to be called as Relief Society president 2 weeks after you were baptized? These are great and wonderful ladies and their willingness to learn and serve is wonderful to see.

A branch activity that turned out to be a bachelor's night with one exception. We missed Sister Tanner who was a little under the weather and wisely stayed home to rest. L-R Dennis, Elder Tamang, Robin, Elder Golapolli, Elder Willie, Elder Godi.

Monday, after District meeting, we celebrated Elder Godi's birthday with lunch out.
The birthday elder, our own Elder Godi!

District YW New Beginnings Program

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sister Tanner had this event on her calendar from the day she was called as the District YW President. I think she has been working on in it in one way or another for months. It was fascinating watching and listening as she put this evening together and worked with other sister leaders to organize it. I enjoyed being able to help her with some of the gofer preparation work and Sister Tanner's attention to detail and the little touches really made a difference. From the flowers and vase, to laminated book markers, to ribbon wrapped copies of the song, to pendants and special ribbon, to chocolate covered cupcakes, it was amazing. I was truly proud, if I can use that word, of my sweetheart and what she accomplished. She will definitely be missed, but has left an example to follow as she taught by word and deed.

It was gratifying to see all of her work produce a wonderful evening for the young women and those that attended with them. The YW presidency shared conducting the meeting and 8 girls gave talks. Each young lady spoke on one of the YW Values. As each speaker came up, they placed a flower of the color associated with their value in the vase on the podium, a great touch that Sister Tanner arranged for. That was followed by Anu Yaduv singing beautifully the song, Walk Tall, You're a Daughter of God. Sister YW President Tanner, District President Katuka, and Mission President Jackson all gave inspiring and touching talks to end the formal program.

One of the Young Women speaking on a YW value. Notice the vase.

President Jackson spoke on the importance of the women in his life beginning with his mother, then sisters, friends, his wife, and daughters.

Sister Katuka, the District president's wife, and Sister Jackson place a ribbon with a heart shaped pendant with the word "Remember" inscribed on it around each girl's neck.

The District YW Presidency, Sister Rojini, Sister Tanner, and Sister Margaret. Great ladies all!!

The future of the church in the Delhi area, believe it. Guys, just see if you can keep up with this group.

A Tool for All Jobs

Everywhere we have traveled in India, we have seen the tool shown below, a combination hoe and shovel. We have seen it used for digging, trenching, shoveling, mixing mortar, you name it and it's probably been done. When we came out of church last Saturday after Institute, there were some men digging for some type of utility work and since Sister Tanner had the camera, we recorded the "tool".

I have actually used one of them and it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. When our neighbor's cat was run over last summer, I borrowed one from the construction guys down the street and dug a grave in front of our house with it. Well, I got the hole partially dug before the neighbor's guy insisted on taking the shovel/hoe from me and finishing the job.

The pick was for the asphalt, but the rest of the hoeing and shoveling is done with the "tool".

As a hoe or broad pick ... I have no idea how long my back would last doing the job the same way this young man is doing it. Yes I do, about 10 minutes. I guess my neighbor's help did me a big favor.

As a shovel ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Noida Connection in HYD

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Somewhere back in this blog, there may be a post about Prabhakar who was baptized in the Noida Branch in late 2008. At least I know his picture with me is there somewhere. He was staying in the Noida area looking for a job. He participated in a Career Workshop we organized with Elder Brown and attended Sister Tanner's English classes. After months of job hunting frustration, he got word from a friend about an employment opportunity in Hyderabad, closer to his home and family. Two weeks after being called as Elders Quorum president in Noida, he left, or shifted to Hyderabad as they say here. I contacted Elder and Sister Laduke in Hyderabad, the humanitarian couple there, and they made contact and kept track of Prabhakar. He did get his job teaching in an IT school and more ... he was married last May and his wife accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was scheduled for baptism. When he learned we were coming, the baptism was re-scheduled for the Sunday we would be there. We were also in contact with Sandeep (Elder) Chilumula whose home is Hyderabad. He had served for some time in Noida on his mission.

Sunday morning we headed for the Hyderabad 1st Branch building which was a great surprise. It is a beautiful two story building, built and owned by the church, and shared by 2 branches. It includes District offices, etc., a stake center in waiting. Imagine Sister Tanner's surprise going from our little branch to attend a Relief Society with over 40 sisters present.

What a sweet reunion it was to hug Sandeep and Prabhakar again. One of the things I like here is being able to hug each other.

Prabhakar is an elder now and he baptized his sweetheart, Krishnaveni.

Looking good Sandeep!! Your smile is as big as ever. What a great young man. He is the branch mission leader and conducted the baptismal service.

After church and the baptismal service, we went to Prabhakar and Krishnaveni's home for lunch. While the food was being prepared, some of the neighbor children couldn't resist seeing who the visitors were and came in to see us.

With the new couple in their home. L-R Prabhakar, Elder Tanner, Sister Tanner, and Krishnaveni who is as shy and kind as Prabhakar, her husband. She is also a good cook and prepared a wonderful lunch of chicken curry and rice.

After lunch, we all went to visit Elder Godi's family. He is currently serving in Noida and asked us to deliver a package and visit his family.
L-R front, Devadas Godi (father), Sailaja with daughter Mini in her lap, husband Uday Gali. Back is daughter Raveena with E/S Tanner. We had a great visit with these wonderful people.

Sister Tanner has never met a child she didn't want to hold and love.

Next, we went to Sandeep's brother's home for dinner, but I didn't know where the food would go. We were still full from lunch. Here are his sister-in-laws and a niece as we get ready to eat.

Sorry Sandeep, I cannot remember your brother's names.

If I remember correctly, Sandeep's older brother made the fried chicken and it would give the Colonel a run for his money. Very good!

Here is the whole family, almost. A 4th brother was not able to make it so we have 4 of the Chilumula brothers, 2 wives, 2 nieces, and a cousin next to Sister Tanner. A wonderful and fun family we were blessed to spend some time with.

After a long and very rewarding Sunday, we're still going strong. It was after 11 PM though when we got back to the hotel and our room. A bed never felt so good.

Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh

Tuesday, January 4, 2010

The doctors, Richard Bell, Robert Clark, Lonnie Miner, and Mark Sheffield, all arrived at the hotel this morning around 4 AM. Dr Clark left a note under our door that they would be ready to go around noon for a cultural day in the city. Susan Clark with AAP, also arrived on their flight and is part of the training faculty. She was invited to join us since the car will handle 7, so we've got a tour going. Following are some pictures of our afternoon tour of the Hyderabad area.

Hyderabad and Secunderbad are called the twin cities and roughly surround this lake that is in the middle. The statue in the picture is actually of Buddha.

Sometimes we just have to laugh at the Indian signs like this one at a construction area.

This structure is the Charminar and has a mosque on the second floor. It was supposedly constructed in honor of 4,000 people who died during a plague in 15 or 1600. One spire for each 1,000. There is also a tunnel that terminates here that leads to the Golkonda complex in the pictures that follow. We elected not to climb the stairs which was a good choice as it turned out.

The entrance to the Golkonda fort and palace complex.

Our group inside and standing on some of the 700 steps we climbed to get to the top of the top you can see in the background. Everything seemed to be in units of 7, but I cannot recall all of them.

Looking up, you can see the minarets of a mosque near the top.

This was a barracks area for soldiers.

There were diamond mines inside the fort area and the Hope diamond was one of the famous gems taken from them.

I was impressed with how the walls were built on and around the natural rock formations of the hills.

In the background you can see the domes of the tombs for the kings and their family members, there are 7 total, but you can only see 3 in this picture.

Sister Tanner loved how this house was painted. Do I sense a project coming on when we get home?

Taking a break on more of the 700 steps

Getting closer to the mosque near the top.

Looking down on the harem area which once housed 360 concubines and 4 queens. The king apparently took a day off each year.

Getting near the top and an outside view of the king's residence area.

The topmost building of the complex. We passed a Hindu temple that had been built after the moguls were gone. It is between the mosque and the entrance to this residence area.

The queen surveying her kingdom from the top.
Note no jackets. Hyderabad was in the 80's, relatively clear air, and sunshine.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NRT 5 - A Humanitarian Project

Tuesday, January 5, 2009

This is probably the last LDSC NRT project in India and it was the easiest by far. The Indian Academy of Pediatrians (IAP) in one year since Bangalore in January, 2009, has made absolutely fantastic progress with their First Golden Minute (FGM) program. They ran the show this time around, 100%, and we only needed to be there to represent LDSC for the first day recognitions and to handle logistics for the LDSC team of doctors. Sister Tanner and I were given a great introduction and invited to speak. Each of us gave a short talk expressing appreciation for the opportunity to partner with IAP and shared some comments about the church we represent, its humanitarian efforts in India, and our own volunteer service. Our comments were well received.

It took 4 pages just to summarize what has happened in the past year with NRT in India and the progress in addressing birth asphyxia has been amazing. Now we're hoping to see positive affects once the infant mortality rate (IMR) is assessed again. I'll include just one paragraph from the report that might be of interest and provides a micro-summary of its own.

"There are 3 general birthing venues, and their associated birth attendants, to be concerned with in covering newborn care. The first venue is private institutions, the second is public institutions, and the doctors and accredited nurse midwives (ANM) in both, and the third is births outside an institution usually attended by non-ANM midwives or traditional birth attendants (TBA). IAP’s FGM program is aggressively and successfully addressing, on a national scale, the first venue, private institutions and their providers. The significance of the GOI NSSK program is that it addresses, also on a national scale, the second venue of public facilities and personnel, and will eventually extend to the third venue per the GOI’s stated objectives. Also worth noting is that India was selected as one of two pilot sites for the AAP HBB program which is targeted at the third venue, non-institution births and attending TBAs. The HBB pilot in Belgaum, India will begin in January, 2010." (Helping Babies Breath - HBB)

I posted about the GOI NSSK program launch back in September when we went to Jaipur for the launch event. The bottom-line is the LDSC efforts have proven to be a catalyst to the efforts of IAP which led directly to the GOI program and LDSC also provided program input and seed equipment to the GOI program launch via IAP. It is something we can look back on with a great deal of satisfaction if it has a positive affect on the IMR.

Nothing really exciting to report on the Hyderabad Pedicon NR training event. Tuesday began with a faculty meeting of the American and Indian doctors who would be doing the training that afternoon. This session was essentially a review of the new curriculum that was adopted, the one the Government of India Ministry of Health developed based on the IAP model which was developed from the LDSC and AAP models. The mix of doctors with egos, and some unwillingness to listen at times, made for some self-serving conversation and a little rancor in the discussion. It all worked out though when everyone finally realized it was all about resuscitation and as Dr Bell put it, by Wednesday afternoon everyone was having a kumbaya moment.

I have to laugh looking at what was just written and all the acronyms, but what else would you expect from an ex-IT guy in India, a country that loves acronyms and abbreviations? It was hard to understand some newspaper articles for a while until we began to accumulate enough common use acronyms. See the banner picture farther down.

The faculty meeting of Indian and American doctors who would do the training. L-R Dr Mark Sheffield, Sister Tanner, Dr Robert Clark, Dr Naveen Thacker, Elder Tanner, Dr Jagdish Chandra

Most events in India begin with a lamp lighting ceremony that has its origins in the Hindu religion but has evolved into more of a ribbon cutting type event in many cases.

Here is Dr Richard Bell doing his bit.

Dr Naveen Thacker, with the mike, has been the visionary, champion, and driving force behind what IAP has accomplished with their NR program. Susan Clark (AAP) and Bill Keenan with the blue shirt (AAP), who is credited with being the father of NRT, are to Naveen's left.

The training was held at the NICE Hospital for Children, one of the nicest venues we have trained at. Sister Tanner loved the ambulances. The large vehicle is not a common site in India as the smaller version is almost exclusively what you see.

IAP - Indian Academy of Pediatrics
AAP - American Academy of Pediatrics
LDSC - Latter-Day Saint Charities
NRP - Neonatal Resuscitation Program
TOT - Training of Trainers

Finally, the talking is over and its time to train in hands on practice sessions.

Dr Lonnie Miner from St George. He actually lives fairly close to where we have our home.

Dr Richard Bell mentoring some Indian collegues