Home and Caught Up

Back from India and recovered from jet lag.  Most of the photos from all the projects I have dedicated are up on Flickr and organized into Albums based upon donor.  There are a few projects where I am still waiting for pictures as they were under way when I visited so you might not seeing ALL the work but you’ll definitely get a good taste.  Here is the link to the albums – https://www.flickr.com/photos/wellsforlife/sets

If you followed me at all on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you know that I was overjoyed about our work in Orissa and what our partner there was accomplishing.  Here is a link to a PP presentation which outlines what can be accomplished.  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/69995962/Computer%20Center_STEP.ppt

If this is of interest let me know and I can share some more with you and ideally I want to see more of these projects funded through our STEP partner.

The last bit of great news is seen in another PP where our Gujarat partner has revealed the work going on with our Mobile Medical Unit.  Huge props and shout out to Hodgdon Family Trust and PharmaCo Ventures for making the MMU a reality.  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8ih9vkfsbvzdk6e/AACJ8HYCobn9AL_iA38mQmSJa

I head back in late October for another round of project dedications and in the interim I still have more to fund so to get in on being a catalyst for difference making, visit our Give page and make a donation.

Sitting on a train

Making my way towards home today.

Sitting on a super-fast express train which is actually stuck on a siding right now and I’m looking out my window and fields flooded from the monsoon rain. Some houses are underwater while those on high ground have been spared, no real place for all the water to go since the ground is saturated, so the water sits like we do in our super-fast express.

In North India over the span of a day and half I saw 4 completed projects, 2 being drilled and 1 which hadn’t yet started due to a variety of reasons with the well drillers. Actually it has been a Muslim holiday for some time now and they aren’t taking up work, then there were the elections which meant no work until the new government was in place then there was the occasional rain which meant no one wanted to work. I have been assured though that all projects would be completed and photos sent to me timely. Translation is you’ll get your photos and the people will get their water in 1 – 2 weeks. Bottom line is that water will flow, clean water and it seems the common thread I am hearing is we have been waiting for you; 10 years we have been making requests but no response from the state government.

A plug for our video which is on the home page of our website, you should watch it now as it has tremendous relevance to the message being communicated to me by those in Odisha and West Bengal; were waiting.

I will be uploading in a day or two all the trip photos I have downloaded so far from my camera. I would do it earlier but no Wi-Fi on Indian railway as we sit on a siding in our super-fast express. Thankfully my flight out of the capital city of Odisha isn’t for another 5 hours and we should reach the station where I’ll get down in 2. Plenty of time, no problem!

This evening I’ll fly to Delhi then a long layover before flight to the DFW via London Heathrow then on to Kansas City in time for dinner hopefully.

If you are on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram go and find us then Like us only though after you view the photos, captions and short quips I have posted. Facebook we have a Fan page, Wells for Life, Twitter its wellsforlife and Instagram its w4lindia. To view our Flickr feed you can search Wells for Life or maybe it’s wellsforlife, I forget.

It’s tough to capsulize the trip in a sentence or two so let me just say that in addition to seeing lives touched through clean water, I saw the power of vision and faith in action with an entrepreneurial spirit result in transformative development that touches the physical, material and spiritual.

This trip solidified for me the need and the reason for my efforts and may they continue to grow and increase and a harvest reaped beyond my wildest expectations!

Monsoon Rain and water

Not sure how many days I have been in India, it’s all a blur especially with the airline keeping my bag in Chicago instead of sending it with me to India. Then there was the monsoons in Mumbai and Valsad, the shopping for new threads, Starbucks and Coffee Day and the super nice suite at the Marriott Courtyard.

In the mountain region of Southern Gujarat I was able to dedicate a water project sponsored by 2 HS kids from Bonner Springs and they did various fundraisers at school as part of their Senior Project to raise money for Wells for Life. Enough funds were raised for 2 projects, 1 I dedicated and the other I plan on dedicating when I return in the Fall. After this dedication we drove back to the ASK campus, our partner in Gujarat, and dedicated the final bore well on their acreage. They are using the water for cultivation of crops, construction of different buildings on their property and as a source of drinking water for all those in the area.

Amazing work is being done by those involved with ASK; this is the same organization which will be launching a Mobile Medical Unit later on in the year and for which Wells for Life provided half of the funding for. In addition to their work in the mountain region they are running a hostel for college girls and have 17 presently I believe and so I got to spend time with them also which was a treat.

From Gujarat I traveled to Yellamanchilli where New Life Children’s Home is located and arrived a day late thanks to the rains in Valsad that snarled traffic and prevented us from making a timely departure. I did arrive at New Life in 1 piece, just a day late, but with my luggage as I was able to retrieve it in Mumbai before I caught my flight to VIsak which is about an hour’s drive from Yellamanchilli.

Today I dedicate a water project on the grounds of New Life which will be used for a Reverse Osmosis system which will filter the water and provide for an opportunity should it be chosen to sell the water to nearby places and make a small profit as a return on the investment. In addition to dedicating the new water project, the Directors of New Life have finally shifted their residence to New Life and several rooms have been remodeled to create a home for Raja and Neelima complete with a full size kitchen. They have really created a great space for themselves here and leaves me somewhat jealous.

Tomorrow I leave for Orissa; flight to the capital city then a train ride lasting around 3 hours or so. Once in Orissa I’ll take up 7 project dedications over the course of 2 days then make my way home. Seems like a long time ago that I left the US but I guess it hasn’t even been a week yet so there are still more days to go and work to be done.

Enjoying the trip and a trip highlight currently is my super dress, Indian clothes borrowed from a very fashion oriented man, my good friend and brother, Raja! Right now my dress is the talk of the place and maybe I’ll have to go shopping for something similar and wear it home on the plane. I think I would be quite the conversation piece; who is that white person wearing the shiny clothes and pencil cut jeans? Maybe I should wear dark sunglasses and dye my hair black and look like a famous Bollywood actor from Mumbai. Who knows?!!

(To see some more photos go to the Wells for Life Fan page in Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/wellsforlife)