Welcome to India

This blog is intended to make a country that most Westerners find to be otherworldly not so much so. We enjoy sharing our experiences, noting our observations, highlighting our impressions and otherwise recounting our adventures in India while helping our blogwatchers to be vicariously closer to this grand country. Welcome to India.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Super Woman of the Century

Aren't you just so interested to know who this is?

As we push forward with our summer camps here in Ongole, where the average "feels like" temperature during the day is about 112 degrees, and where we are conducting 5 different three-day camps through May of 100 children each, and the needs of our little Jaya have not stopped just because of our important work, a deserved shout-out to my Super Woman of the Century is only appropriate.

As any of you know who have met Paige, my wife pretty much kicks butt wherever she goes.  At no time is this more necessary than now.  Keeping things in line for camp, with the overall purpose of providing the kids a truly quality experience and not just mayhem, AND taking care of Jaya is an overwhelming task, especially in the heat.

Paige, with all her passion, zeal, might, energy and love, pushes through it all and leaves me with a familiar sentiment:

"Impressed, but not surprised," I always say about my Super Woman of the Century.

(I knew when I was vowing to Paige, I was signing away a boring life.  Sure enough...)

Here's a special Rickshaw Writer posting to my wife, my co-director, Jaya's Mom and beloved daughter of God as she overcomes so many odds and pulls off what no one else could.  Just another month with the Super Woman of the Century.

I love you, PB, and as always, am so privileged to journey alongside you on our many adventures.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

CCH: Inside the Numbers

Some pictures from past Summer Camps.  This year's version begins in less than one week!

1:  Major city in Andhra Pradesh – Hyderabad (established 1591)

12:  Total CCH indigenous staff members, up from 1 staff member when we started in 2011

70:  Churches and pastors (and pastor’s families) involved in housing/raising/guiding these 550 children

90:  Children in church homes when we arrived in 2011

200:  Number of average hits the Rickshawwriter blog receives in the following three days when we post about CCH and India

400:  Number of average hits the Rickshawwriter blog receives in the following three days when we post about Jaya

550:  Total once-orphaned or –abandoned children currently living in CCH church homes throughout Andhra Pradesh

725:  Dollars-per-year to sponsor one CCH child (food, education, Christmas gift, Summer Camp, school uniforms)

1000:  Goal for number of sponsored children when we plan to leave India in 2016 (see below)…

2011:  February, when we arrived to help get this Covenant Children’s Homes program off the ground

2016:  When we anticipate leaving India, late in the year, but will always be advocating and involved with CCH children and partners!

22,000:  Estimated villages in Andhra Pradesh

106,195:  Square miles in the state of Andhra Pradesh where our work is focused, roughly the size of Colorado, but much more treacherous on the roads…

415,000:  Dollars is the current annual budget for CCH, a mind-boggling amount, but $725/kid/year for general food/education and annual “supplemental” gifts/uniforms/camps, plus a little more for staff salaries and operations support lands us here.

31,000,000:  Estimated orphans in India – some are “semi” orphans, which means they have lost only one parent and most likely their father, which all but ends their chances at having a life that thrives.  Even the Biblical word for “orphan” is most precisely translated as “fatherless.”

1,258,018,339:  Population of India, as of May 6, 2014 at 2:08 p.m.