Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shopping with Shankar

We needed a few things which required an Indian touch, so we asked Shankar if he would come with us and help negotiate the purchase.  
Sometimes white skin means that you pay more, but if you know what the normal price would be, as Indians do, then that levels the playing field.

 Shankar (on the far left) is buying some bananas for us, but this isn't the purchase that we wanted help with.  
We bought a bed frame and mattress for the spare bedroom for guests when they come.

 This is the flower stand that we bought flowers from.  They sell by the length of the fingertip to elbow for about 10 or 15 rupees.

This is the market along New Thippasandra Road, HAL III stage.
It's very interesting to see all the things for sale along this road.

 These photos show the way destruction takes place.  It is totally manual labor by sledgehammer.

 This shows the way construction takes place.  It is totally manual labor. 
The guy mixes the cement on the roadside and loads it into bins.

 The women and children carry the load of cement on their heads and dump it, with help, in the wooden frames.  It's crazy to watch.

 These are our purchases today.  Lovely multigrain bread at the bakers, local bananas from the street vendor and 2 'goas' (never tried them yet) also from the street vendor, with Shankar's help.

 These are the flowers that we bought.  
They usually wear them, I think, but I just love the sweet perfumed air in our apartment!

Our pretty purchases for the day.

Boxing Day Breakfast

Along with the Bangalore Elders, Elder Wigg and I attended the Boxing Day Breakfast at the Mission Home.

President and Sister Funk cooked 'Funk Eggs' and potato wedges with fruit.  Then Sister Funk had made some special 'monkey bread' (similar to a cinnamon roll) with hot chocolate.  It was delicious!

 What a darling little Nativity Scene!

 And this one is cute, too.

 Everything was decorated and beautiful for Christmas.

 Sister Funk has a nice touch in her preparations and decorating.

 Just a few of the Elders that were there: Elder Sampara, Elder Westwood, Elder Massey, Elder Kumbhakar.

 We had a lovely Brunch together.  
President and Sister Funk can prove that they did the cooking as they still have their aprons on!  They look so cute today, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to be together.  Thank you, to the Funks.

 The Elders enjoyed the 'monkey bread' as we all did.

 After we finished eating, we played some games.  We played 'Wise and Unwise', I think it was called.

 Sister Funk explained the rules.  You know the game.  You hear the first half of a saying, one person has the real finishing of it and everyone else makes up something.  Then each person votes on what they think is the real saying ending.
For instance, one saying was "In a chicken's dreams...." Then each person made up a possible ending.  The real ending is "barley is barley".

That evening we saw a beautiful sunset from the spare bedroom window. Beautiful!

Training the Masses

Elder Wigg and I participated in the New Missionary Training last week after we had 9 new Elders arrive in the IBM (India Bangalore Mission).

We always enjoy the Elders as they have such a wonderful spirit about them.

 Elder Wigg was a good sport to wear the Santa hat, even though I know he didn't want to.  
I asked him to, and he says that he always gets the last word, "Yes, dear".

 Elder Wigg taught about the banking and other finances, plus the renting of apartments.

 He always enjoys the missionaries, as well.  He is a 'people' person.

 Here we have Elder Higgins, Elder Westwood, Elder Dangwal, Elder Anand, Elder Thanniru, Elder Thomas and Elder Lara

 Do I look like Mrs. Santa?

 This is Elder Barlow, Elder Chelladurai, Elder Ramaraj, Elder Massey and Elder Watts

 Here we have Elder Thomas, Elder Lara, Elder Dass, Elder Badireddy, Elder Edens, Elder Worton and Elder Fitzpatrick

I did some training on baptismal records and passed out their phone # list and their personal pocket sized passport id that I make for each Elder.

 This is Baskar, our trusty auto driver.

 This is Sampath, the President's driver.  That is the vehicle that Sampath drives daily, in the background.

We are heading back to the Office in the auto that we use most frequently, Baskar.  We think that he is a safe driver and we feel quite comfortable riding with him, plus he knows all the places that we need to go as the mission presidents have used him for years now.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Seek & Ye Shall Find

We went visiting a few members with Elder & Sister Sharma.  
We had a local taxi driver who only spoke a little English (but he could speak Hindi with the Sharmas) take us around to the outlying areas, more like semi-rural areas, to look for the addresses we had been given by the Branch President.

 For a long time we searched these streets and couldn't find the address we were looking for.

 I thought it was good to see these 2 old fellows visiting out on the road.

 Our driver stopped to ask directions at the local drugstore.  Who would know better where someplace was than the druggist?  But, no. Notice that our driver has bare feet.

 This is the local fruit stand and vendor.

 This apartment building looks pretty with the cement cut in a scalloped pattern.

 This little child was just walking along by herself.  She looked so forlorn and lonely.

 Our driver stopped again for directions.  This time the bikers knew the area but not the particular house.
We never did find that house.  They figured that the house no longer exists.

 This fellow is riding an interesting looking contraption.

 And what about this fellow carrying a ladder while riding his bicycle!

 This is the outdoor market, more like a flea market, I think.

 This is the auto parking lot with the best shade trees in town.

Look!  It's the ice cream man!

 And so many school children!

 I just love the flowering trees that are everywhere and seem to grow without any care at all.

 Everywhere in India you will find the cocoanut milk (they call it water) salesmen.  They just cut off the end of the cocoanut and stick a straw in it for you to drink.  
Jerome said he didn't mind it, but it wasn't his favourite.

 Eureka!  (I have found it!)
 This is one of the homes that we visited. Most homes in this area are a 4-plex.  They have one front door, then inside you can turn to the left for A or to the right for B.  The same for up the stairs, C on the left and D on the right.

This lady was very kind to us, offering water to drink. Even though she was not expecting our visit she was friendly and warm towards us.

Her name is Jothi and her little guy is 2 years old.  She is expecting another baby in the Spring.  She didn't speak much English, but we managed a short visit with her.

 I don't remember Jothi's little boy's name.  He was so shy and wouldn't come to us.

This is a lovely street in the area that we were driving, and searching. There's not much traffic on these streets on a Saturday morning.
 Finally another success!  We found Preshanti and had a short visit with her.  
She is 20 yrs. old and comes to church occasionally. Her father is a cook and was making the food for the Branch Christmas party at that very moment.  It was fun to visit with her.

 She is such a tiny, sweet lady who seemed happy and well.  She remembered Sister Sharma from Church.

This sister was very sweet and seemed happy to visit with us for awhile.