India Country School

Yeah we are back in the USA!!!! India was really cool place with great folks and awesome kids!!! We helped as many poor kids as we could and plan on going back next winter enlarging how many kids we can help.The kids we miss very much and they were so AWESOME!!!

We have learned a new appreciation for America!!! So glad to be back on our American farm soil!!!And just being born here is like hitting the lottery. Our economy provides so much more opportunity than in India.

So hey and hope all is well to all our wonderful friends and family:)

Jeff and Jodi

Hi everybody:)

Hope all is well in USA. As an update of our activities to help the kids. We have hired an English and computer teacher named Sachin Solomon to educate at two Indian Government schools. At the one school we have added a safety fence for when we bought a soccer ball for the kids it went over a short wall. Well a bunch of boys jumped over that wall and then leaped down an 8 foot bank and rolled into the road. So the fence we installed for them doesn’t allow kids to jump over it and will stop most of the balls which would have went over it.

Still no new news on Bal Ashram orphanage. We won’t let up till the abusive staff at Bal Ashram in Saliana, India is removed! The kids there are some of the finest kids in the world and deserve being treated with love and not controlled by abusive fear. The Palampur Rotory needs to remove the abusive staff and the gentlemen from the Palampur Rotory are honorable men and will do the right thing in time.

Have a great day:)

Jeff and Jodi

Hi everybody:)

Hope all is well in USA. As an update of our activities to help the kids. We have hired an English and computer teacher named Sachin Solomon to educate at two Indian Government schools. At the one school we have added a safety fence for when we bought a soccer ball for the kids it went over a short wall. Well a bunch of boys jumped over that wall and then leaped down an 8 foot bank and rolled into the road. So the fence we installed for them doesn’t allow kids to jump over it and will stop most of the balls which would have went over it.

Still no new news on Bal Ashram orphanage. We won’t let up till the abusive staff at Bal Ashram in Saliana, India is removed! The kids there are some of the finest kids in the world and deserve being treated with love and not controlled by abusive fear. The Palampur Rotory needs to remove the abusive staff and the gentlemen from the Palampur Rotory are honorable men and will do the right thing in time.

Have a great day:)

Jeff and Jodi

Well we are moving positively toward helping two poor government schools. We are hiring Sachin Solomon as the teacher for computers and English.

The kids are very very nice and we are excited to help them all.

We’ll be painting several rooms at the one school and providing Sachin to teach there along with helping the other school.

We bought recess FUN stuff for both schools and the kids were so so HAPPY!!!! However a soccer ball we bought flew over the brick fence and 5 boys jumped the fence as I yelled ,”NO!!!”  The boys then jumped 8 FEET down in to the road and luckily there wasn’t any cars coming. So we will be buying and putting up a metal mesh fence on top of the brick fence.

Have a great day:)

Hi everyone:)

Well we are safe and sound living with our friend Sachin. Luckily we have made so many friends here. The Rotary Investigative Committee never showed up. Instead we were ushered in to see the General Secretary of the Palampur Rotary. We soon found out that he had absolutely no interest in protecting the children and asked us many questions trying to incriminate us. He asked if we took photos and footage of the children. I handed our statement which he had already been given  by one of the Rotary guys. He just threw it at me across the table and said with a mean tone, ” I read it already.” He sat with arms crossed much of the time and not overly friendly tone.  He said we shouldn’t have walked the kids to and from school. I asked him if it was wrong to give fatherly and motherly attention and love while walking with the kids. He said the Warden and Caretaker have been here for decades and won’t hit children. I asked him how he can be so sure of that. I asked him if he thinks  physical abuse is okay for maintaining discipline. We told him that the kids need discipline by someone who they know has their best interest at heart and loves them. We talked about the wonderful elderly couple which donated all the land for the orphanage/school and how they gave so much love to all the kids. The kids need discipline (not a Warden running a prison) and a caretaker who actually cares for the kids. Rules without love is a recipe for disaster.

Hi all:)

Well we have told the truth to the Rotary in Palampur and they are a wonderful bunch of guys. However we have been asked from those in high places to leave the orphanage on this Monday. We won’t leave however until we are given a letter stating why we are being asked to leave. All we have been doing is trying to love the kids and improve their lives. Reporting physical abuse by staff should not be a crime!!! Below is our letter to the Rotary Investigative Committee which is coming to the orphanage to ask questions to the abusers, staff, us (hopefully) , and some of the older kids here.

So here is our latest letter:

 Letter to the Rotary Investigative Committee: from Jeff and Jodi
Thank you for coming to Bal Ashram to investigate and make transparent the child abuse, the many neglect’s of the Warden’s duties and for this opportinity for Jodi and I to provide information to the investigative committee.
We came here from halfway around the world in order to help out an orphanage and show a bunch of needy kids some fatherly and motherly love along with improving their living conditions. We have attempted to do this task and have succeeded in some of our proposed improvements. However, we have been asked to leave Bal Ashram by noon on this Monday. We were first told by the Warden we could NOT install a safety fence. Then the Vice Chairman said we could install the fence and finally yesterday the Vice Chairman said we could install the fence as long as we could complete the task by noon on this Monday. Sorry to say we can’t do 5 to 7 days of work in a day and a half. We only wanted to put up the fence so none of the children would fall down the steep slope and get seriously hurt. Hopefully this doesn’t happen but if so then who is responsible?
Disipline is a must however it must be given by someone who loves the children. The Caretaker/Warden, husband and wife team, do not appear to love the children and the children are at times quite afraid of them. There is a good reason they put the word ‘care’ in caretaker. Care is the main responsibility of a caretaker. The children should know these people love them and care for them. The children will then know you love them and will accept disipline positively if you love them. On one occasion Jodi and I witnessed one of the older boys who is now in College hitting twice on the head the smallest boy in the dining hall for apparently not eating all his food. Mrs. Rukmani (the caretaker) clearly saw the two strikes to the child’s head and I rose to my feet and said,”What is going on? He just hit that child!” Denying that it happened she said, “No hit”, while having a very large smile. I asked again and she repeated, “No hit”, still with a huge smile. Isn’t the responsibilty of the Warden to make sure there is no child abuse? Cameras which have been installed are a good idea however abusers can easily abuse out of sight of the cameras.
Jodi and I would please ask for a letter asking us to leave and the reasons for such an eviction signed by the Chairman and Vice Chairman. We will have to explain ourselves to John Dutch Summers, Industrialist and Philanthropist who gave us our funding. There are still tasks we wanted to complete here which were mainly the result of the Warden’s neglect of duty. We replaced one exhaust fan in the kitchen already. The kitchen staff had complained to us that they were getting headaches when they were working. A likely cause for these headaches would be carbon monoxide poisoning from the open flame cooking with no exhausting of the CO. There are three more fans we have ordered to be installed. The mold has grown excessively in these bathroom areas needing fans which isn’t healthy for the children. COGNITIVE FUNCTION OF 6-YEAR OLD CHILDREN EXPOSED TO MOLD-CONTAMINATED HOMES IN EARLY POSTNATAL PERIOD. PROSPECTIVE BIRTH COHORT STUDY IN POLAND>>> The group of children who completed the 6-year follow-up consisted of 277 babies born at term. Out of the whole sample, 52 children (18.8 %) lived for shorter periods (<=2 years) and 15 (5.4%) for longer periods than 2 years in mold-contaminated homes. General characteristics of the study subgroups defined by the exposure levels of indoor molds did not differ significantly except for the cognitive function level achieved at age 6 (Table 1). Children who lived for longer periods in mold-contaminated dwellings scored about 10 points lower than those with no exposure.
We fixed many broken windows which had been neglected by the Warden and we can show you these. Children were sleeping, eating and studying throughout the winter with whole window frames and glass missing. We will also show you all the rooms we have painted. We wanted to paint all 5 of the children’s bedrooms since old toxic lead paint is falling right off the walls in all the 5 rooms.
By Mayo Clinic Staff Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
We want to provide computers however we wonder if we are welcome here since we are being evicted? We also have promised to Sachin Solomon his salary for one year to teach the children English and computers along with giving them fatherly love. One of the sad parts of being evicted is that the kids really need our love and attention and I don’t think you could find one child who wants us to leave. The saintly couple who donated the land here and gave all of themselves to this instituion were a enormous asset to these kids here. They changed these children’s lives dramatically for the better! Their presence and love is painfully absent now. What the children need most is love! The Warden and Caretaker lack any signs of showing love to these fine children. They run this place with a feeling of a prison, all rules and no love. They are illiterate from what the Vice Chairman told us. With all the enormous numbers of intelligent Indians perhaps someone with some training/degree should have their positions and most of all with a loving heart.
Test scores are a result of many factors. The Warden and Caretaker are extremely resented by the children. We have witnessed them many times indiscriminantly punishing all the children for the infraction one or just several children made. The punishment is always sitting them in front of their books. Most of them daydream as a form of not accepting being treated with a prison mentality. Sitting kids in front of books should not be associated with punishment. Who would like to study after that negative influence?
Please post these findings for the public record. Thank you!
Respectfully Yours,
Jeff and Jodi Andrysick

Hi all back in the good ol USA!!! Sorry we haven’t written recently we are trying to help the children here at the orphanage have a safe and loving environment.  We have our hands full recently. Please read the letter below written  to the Palampur Rotary which sponsors this orphanage.
 Observations of Bal Ashram Orphanage/Special Kids School at Saliana, India
     Thank you for this opportunity for Jodi and me to present our observations of the conditions at Bal Ashram in Saliana. There are many really good people working there that do a great job and care about the children.  Our concern is for the children and we came here to help them as much as we can. We want them to be safe and learn to become functioning adults and good citizens. Discipline is a must however it must be given by someone who loves the children. The Caretaker/Warden, husband and wife team, do not appear to love the children and the children are at times quite afraid of them. There is a good reason they put the word ‘care’ in caretaker. Care is the main responsibility of a caretaker. The children should know these people love them and care for them. We have already spoken with the Vice Chairman about this issue and he suggested we submit our observations. My father was a teacher for 43 years and told me when he retired that discipline is a necessity but MUST BE administered by someone who loves the children. The children he said will know if you love them and will accept the discipline positively if you love them. On one occasion Jodi and I witnessed one of the older boys who is now in College hitting twice the smallest boy in the dining hall for apparently not eating all his food. Mrs. Rukmani (the caretaker) clearly saw the two strikes to the child’s head and I rose to my feet and said,”What is going on? He just hit that child!”  Denying that it happened she said,”No hit”, while having a very large smile. I asked again and she repeated,”No hit”, still with a huge smile.
        Jodi and I have told the children that if any adult from here hits them to notify us. We try to walk the kids to school and back every day. Usually we both have kids holding our hands as we walk.  So walking to school one day one of the older boys looked depressed and I asked him why? He said to me that the female caretaker, Mrs Rukmani, does hit the little boys and he wanted me to know. He said he is afraid of what the warden and caretaker would do to him if they knew he told us this. And as we tried to talk alone the other boys came in our area and our conversation. I assume since I don’t speak Hindi that the boys asked the older boy what we were talking about. They kept saying “brother” which is how they refer to me in their conversation. Then in broken English the boys started to say  paraphrased “little boys hit by Mrs. Rukmani.” I asked why and they said for not eating fast enough or for eating too slow. What is the science behind hitting children for eating too fast or too slow? What if she hits a child and they choke on their food? Who then is responsible for the child’s death? What are the credentials of the Warden and Caretaker? Do they have degrees in this line of work? Do they have training in paramedics or child psychology? The children’s grades here are not where they should be. The pressure of the warden/caretaker in our humble estimation is heavily effecting the children’s low grade performance.They run this place more like a prison and not an orphanage. (Problematic school performance (e.g., low grades, poor standardized test scores, and frequent retention in grade) is a fairly consistent finding in studies of physically abused and neglected children (Eckenrode et al., 1991; Salzinger et al., 1984; Wolfe and Mosk, 1983), with neglected children appearing the most adversely affected.)
         Jodi and I bought 26,000 Rs of safety fence for a steep bank at the edge of the playground. We provided a map of where we would put the fence several weeks ago. After we special ordered the fence mesh the Warden came out and said you can’t put up the fence. So we lost 26,000 Rs of money we could have used for the kids. So under the current situation we do NOT feel safe buying three new desk top computers along with have our freind Sachin’s computer fixed as the fourth one. Recently a gentleman started to teach the kids here computers.  On the third day he showed up to teach the Warden refused to give him the new password. So that ended the free lessons. We don’t want the warden and his wife to take our computers and close them down with new passwords.  We wanted to be able to skype and email the children to know they are safe and always loved by us.
        The warden and his wife have made us feel extremely unwelcome here. We have never felt any time in our lives so unwelcomed.  Everything we do, every where we go they have us followed by their sons or themselves. The caretaker often puts her hands on her hips and glares at us. We tried to get some firewood for the special kids on Monday. They are burning lots of cardboard for a fire since their firewood is extremely  meager. We were pulling little dried branches which had long since been discarded down the steep slope. The Warden sent Rishi out to tell us that we couldn’t get any firewood from there. I asked where can we get firewood and he said on the premises there is no spot for getting firewood for the special kids. People have been donating firewood and the warden has a large pile for his own use, however he won’t let them have any.
        We have made friends with the really wonderful folks in this neighborhood. When they discuss giving to Bal Ashram all said they would never trust giving money to Bal Ashram. They said it is common knowledge here to only donate stuff like food, clothing. firewood, etc… The warden has a very nice classic Royal Enfield motorcycle which he frequently cleans and polishes during work hours while windows have remained broken over a child’s bed for 6 months (including the cold winter months) and where they study in the library two whole windows were missing and in the dining room which had many broken windows and a whole window missing. Children are being neglected and priorities are NOT in taking care of the children. If I was a donor to this facility I would want to know when was the last time an outside audit was done on Bal Ashram’s books and the new construction going on here?
        We have already painted 4 rooms and would have liked to paint 5 more rooms. We bought primer, paint, and sandpaper to paint the 5 children’s bedrooms. We have been informed by the VIce Chairman that due to peeling in one of the corners of our painted rooms that the work was sub par. We have never been thanked for anything we have done here by the Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman said  to not paint the 5 rooms unless all the ceilings are sanded of all paint on them first, then leveled with concrete and then painted. He said that eventually the ceilings will be painted and that at that point drips could drop on the already painted walls. So we were not allowed to paint the walls first. The ceilings look fine like they are. We have photos if anyone would like to see them. The library we painted that has a little amount of  peeling is the mainly the result of moisture coming down from the ceiling. We are donating all the supplies and labor when we work and have 30 years experience as contractors in the USA. .  It’s disheartening to come here wanting desperately to help the kids only to be stopped over and over again on our attempts to improve things here.  And the walls could be painted first and any drips cleaned up with a wet rag.
         We are going to try to replace 3 more exhaust fans here. Three in the children’s bathrooms where huge amounts of mold is growing as a result of excess moisture. Priorities by the Warden and Caretaker are not for the benifit of the kids but apparently for their own personal gains.
         We don’t have the permission to build the wood fired pizza oven in the location that we requested.  It is an ideal location for the oven because it has a roof which would protect the oven.  We’re very sorry that the pizza oven won’t be built and that there will not be a song and dance celebration held.  We wish we could have treated the Rotary and their families to wood fired pizza and entertainment as a way of showing our gratitude for how welcome you all have made us feel. We will really miss you guys when we return home. I hope we can meet again however I know that John Dutch Summers, our philanthropist friend will not let us put his money into a place where the Warden and Caretaker are not there for the children and are abusive.
        All we came here to do is to just help the kids and we didn’t want to create any trouble for any of the staff. We really love the children. They are all wonderful children and already are suffering from not living at home with one let alone two parents. Their emotional life is already so hard and they don’t need to be abused by staff who should be loving. And no rule or law can make the Warden/Caretaker’s cold hearts warm and loving.
        We are heading home on March 7th. What are your next steps in regards to the Warden/Caretaker?
        Kathy Burns the President-elect of the Hammondsport Rotary (our hometown’s Rotary) has contacted the wonderful Palampur Rotary by Facebook and wants to offer assistance from her USA Rotary to Bal Ashram. However this hinges on the removal of the two abusive staff members and the Vice Chairman.
<Bal Ashram ob

Hi all:)

Hope every one is well back home. Jodi and I are proposing a big event for the kids here. Lets hope we get the approval. Well here is the proposal:

Good afternoon Chairman, Vice Chairman, Rotary Gentlemen, and Head Teacher,

The children here at the school would like to host a musical/dance event for all the fine people who have helped them out so much through out the many years.

They want to give some of themselves back to show their appreciation. They want to give and not always be in the position of receiving. Which probably would be very helpful for them to increase their self esteems.

They want to do a dance musical highlighting the Sound of Music songs>>>  Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLm07s8fnzM

www.youtube.com
The Sound of Music movie clips: http://j.mp/1EgqF2W BUY THE MOVIE: iTunes – http://apple.co/1RNloSX Google Play – http://bit.ly/1HNX2Bp Amazon – http://amzn.to …

and also with half of their traditional songs and dance. This would help them improve their English.

We would love to make pizza for the event and we are proposing the event for Saturday March 5th or Sunday, March 6th.

If Saturday then pizza from 5 to 7pm and entertainment 7 to 8pm.

Or if Sunday then pizza would be available from 11 am to 1 pm and the entertainment form 1 until 2 pm.

If allowed we want all the V.I.P.s involved with the orphanage to be graciously welcomed.

The big exam is on March 5th and  Jodi and I leave here on March 7th, Monday.

And the pizza oven will take time to construct so it won’t be ready till March 5th unfortunately.

Sorry for a tight window of opportunity for this proposed event.

Jodi and I would build the wood fired pizza oven which would have the following characteristics:

1. Attempting a design which preheats with the abundant garbage (paper and plastic). However  the cooking chamber is separated from the garbage burning chamber. The cooking chamber is heated with fire wood or dried twigs even dry grass. I couldn’t find any plans for an oven which preheats with garbage so this will be a novel attempt. Even if that element doesn’t work out, the oven can still be used.

2. Oven will be sculpted to an artistic final form with soil, lime, and cement like some of the attached photos show.

3. For baking pizza, bread, and cookies.

4. Gives the kids a potentially different form of nutrition and a fun Sunday food. They will be taught to use the oven by Jodi and me. The kids could turn this into a potential business and help them to learn very essential business skills.

5. The cooks and other staff could use the oven for other type foods.

6. Want to host the Chairman and Vice Chairman’s families for pizza along with the fine Rotarian gentlemen and their families on either Saturday March 5th or Sunday, March 6th, with the kids as waiters.  Along with an invitation to anyone else who helps the kids out.

7. We would purchase all materials needed to build the pizza oven and we would do all the labor to build it.

8. The pizza oven could be located under the porch roof of the meeting room building.  We have laid borrowed brick down to show its location.

9. Jodi and I will pay for all the pizza ingredients and beverages.

10. The kids along with Jodi and I would do all the work calling on non of the staff.

The kids would like to give back to  those who look out for them. Just receiving and not giving doesn’t allow them a chance to feel that they are strong enough to be in the giving position. This would help build their self esteem.

Please give us your input on these ideas. Thank you in advance.

Respectfully Yours,

Jeff and Jodi Andrysick

 

 

Saliana Orphanage Projects

Hello everyone! Here are this week’s updates of the projects at Saliana. What is amazing about the whole facilty is that it is a material representation of the many acts of kindness and generosity which have acrued over a very long time. We sleep in a fine building with a warm bed and have delicious food thanks to the graciuosness of Vice Chairman. The other day the former President of the Agricultural College and his wonderful wife brought sweet treats for the kids. The President told us of the many, many, many projects which were started by the Chairman. WOW!!!! We’ve never heard of such vision, dedication, and comittment for the betterment of all.

Here is this week’s update:

>The dining room and library are painted in the orphanage.

>The dining room at the special kids school is scraped, sanded, and washed down.

>The wifi is up and running.

>The safety fence for the playground is ordered. Along with the fence for expanded garden which will be behind the grey building which is next to the orphanage and used for community meetings (see sketch provided please).

>We would like to propose Jodi and I purchasing materials to construct a wood fired pizza oven if allowed. We would like to see the kids take initative and learn to make NY style pizza. Also it would give them a chance to enjoy a delicious treat which is different from their usual meals (see sketch provided please). In addition it could be a cash stream for them, for around the school is appears to be no competitors for Sunday fun foods let alone NY style wood fired pizza. And the neighborhood is affluent and has a large customer base. The kids could learn how to manage a business and with the profits buy what essentials they really need.

>We have ordered a bunch of glass panes to repair a bunch of broken windows. Luckily there are wood frames which we found in the future library area which fit three of the missing windows.

> The nephew of the former President of the Agricultural College (Sorry I am so bad at remembering names of people. I can barely remember how to say ‘no’ in Hindi.) knows of a retired professor who he believes will come over and help with the selection of the fruit trees.

> Quite a few children are going to school with sneakers in ill repair and some have really beat up backpacks. So we need to get some prices on buying all the kids who walk to school new shoes. It is obviously quite hard on them being seen by other kids from an affluent neighborhood as second rate. Also plan on buying socks and yarn. (The girls make awesome knitted clothing and they are a very clever bunch.)

Thank you to every one who has been assiting us in our projects.

Respectfully Yours,

Jeff and Jodi Andrysick

Cc: Chiarman, Vice Chairman, Rotary Club, Head Teacher

 

Day 31: Sunday

Went to Palampur to buy supplies such as glass for broken windows. Kids are sleeping next to open windows and it gets close to freezing some nights. Also ordered fence and posts for safety fence and expanded gardens. Taught the wonderful kids monkey in middle and dodge ball! They laughed their little hearts out!

Good night all and hope your weekend is going well:)

Love:)

Jeff and Jodi

Day 30:

Well folks Jodi and I have died and went straight to heaven!!! All the kids here are totally lovable and its an absolute pleasure working to improve their lives!!! Haven’t felt this happy in well I don’t know how long. We start the day eating breakfast at 7 am with the kids. They get up at 4:45 and have all sorts of chores and studies. They are a very disciplined bunch of wonderful kids. We see them off to school walking them to the school and all we hear is laughter. We work during the day and can’t wait to go to school to fetch them all up. We went from zero  kids to over 50!!!!! How is that for an incredible story!

Here is a list of projects we showed to the AWESOME Rotary gentlemen of Palampur which have done miracles in this area. They built the orphanage/school for mentally challenged, and old folks home by raising funds and working themselves to the bone!! Nicest professional bunch of men we ever met. They are assisting us at ever turn!!! I’ve never heard of ANY Rotary which has and is doing as much as them in this whole area! All of them are this fine area’s most successful men. So here is the list we showed them at the Friday 6 to 7 pm meeting

Sand , patch, and paint dining room, library, kitchen, and other dining room for the special kids

Get internet at the school and three computers(Boys, girls, and special kids computer) And different learning software packages for the kids.

Build pizza earth oven so they can start making money selling wood fired pizza on Sundays

Enlarge gardens to twice capacity

Garden fences and safety fence for play yard

Buy whole bunch of toys which they are totally lacking NOTE: we bought a HUGE bag of peanuts like weighing 100 pounds and they were all totally grateful for that

Fix and hang broken windows (some kids are sleeping near windows which have the glass broken out and it get bloody cold at night here

Establish  fruit and nut farm trees

NOTE!!! Hire an English tutor for night classes!!! Computer skills and English are absolutely essential if they are to compete!!!

Buy a used chapatti machine since 6 kids lose one hour a day to study while making chapattis at 5 to 6 am

We got to go pick up ALL our kids!!!

Love:)
Jeff and Jodi

Day 28:

We are below Palampur in Saliana Orphanage/School  and the people are all WONDERFUL! We are safe in the countryside. So please don’t worry about us.

The kids are very needy and extremely nice!!!

We are happy and are purchasing supplies to paint their dining room and library. We’ll carry nearly 20 gallons of paint/supplies in backpacks on a transit bus.

We need to get them Wifi at the school for the students so they can start improving their English  watching a software package and The Munsters, Little House on the Prairie, etc… So we had to go by bus 30 minutes into town to get internet. So please don’t worry and be patient for updates.

We want to expand their gardens with fencing and plant lots of fruit trees . Nature gives back much and it will give them increased nutrition. Along with a HUGE WISH LIST for the kids. There are around 30 orphans and around 15 mentally challenged kids.

Love every one:)

Jeff and Jodi

w

Day 27:

Finally we are off the see the Wizard of Oz (final orphanage school we visit):)

With a lion’s courage , the tin man’s  heart, the scarecrow’ s brain , Toto’s bark, and Jodi with Dorothy’s kindness, we set off for the last orphanage/school we will check out.

Hopefully no mean Wizard there and NO FLYING MONKEYS!!!!

It will take us about 8 hours to reach the destination by taxi. We couldn’t find an exact address. So we get close and ask.

Hope every one back home is well and happy:)

Jeff and Jodi

Day 26:

The kids at the orphanage yesterday were so great to see. They never saw their image in a view finder of a camera before and wrestled to get to the camera while giggling like crazy. Which for us is light finally at the end of a long dark tunnel. Monday we check one more orphanage/school out and make the big decision. We’ll have to let the other school down. Both schools have much hope to win the lotto so to speak. One of the schools we checked was heavily funded from Norway and the building was as fancy as a American mansion. Handcarved woodwork every where, marble tile floors, etc… An ex female police officer from Norway went over to India to help with orphans and decided to start a orphanage/school. Luckily her parents are very gracious and provided lots of capital to build it. So that school was an easy decision to say no.

My sister Lori graciously sent us  The Impossible Dream  from the musical, The Man of La Mancha. and it is really awesome ( We are going to try to get the kids to paint the poem on one of the hallways):

Sing this loudly with bravado:

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where

The brave dare not go

To right the unwritable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest

To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march,
March into hell
For that heavenly cause
And I know

If I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart
Will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be
Better for this
That one man, scorned
And covered with scars,
Still strove with his last
Ounce of courage

To reach the unreachable,
The unreachable,
The unreachable star
And I’ll always dream
The impossible dream
Yes, and I’ll reach
The unreachable star

Day 26:

Well I looked like a hyperventilated ZOMBIE when I reached the top of the Triund.

Jodi was in great form.

And I didn’t even puke which some folks do getting to the top.

I’m the only grey haired Zombie that was up there and some of the young Indians climbing to the summit congratulated me for toughing it out. This country is full of young people and I’m the old allegedly wise one.

Today we check out two orphanage/schools.

Have a good day all:)

Jeff and Jodi

Day 25:

Well we are done with our panchakarma. Yeah!!!\\Dr. Kusum and Dr. Ashish were totally wonderful people along with the staff.

Friday we climb one big mountain reaching the peak on the Triund. There is snow up there and the air is thin.

On Sat we visit two orphanage/schools. One Tuesday we tour another orphanage/school. And will in all likelihood make a decision of where to offer the help.

Hope all is well with every one over in the great USA:)

Best:)
Jeff and Jodi

Day 24:

There is so much need here. We could go one block and give all the money we have been trusted to get to the children. Beggars grab your arm and say things like, Baby needs milk:(With baby in tow). Store owners shout for you to stop at there shop at every turn. You are a westerner and sadly viewed as a walking ATM machine. A 10 dollar bill with two legs. Everywhere you turn is massive need and you represent a solution which they try over and over to break open. Always asking when exactly are you leaving so they can make their final pitch. A shoe shine gentleman who we some what got to know asked over and over if we need any help that he is here. So we let him fix Jodi’s boot and my shirt and bought several shoe laces. In the midst of him fixing he sits there no socks and its 48 Fahrenheit and just a flimsy shirt. He has three kids two of which are in private school which is generally superior to government schools. He needs help with the third and appeals with smile and warm, “Can you please consider helping my third son to get to school.” Your heart breaks as you tell him we have been given money to help a school and not just one kid. His English then fails him and he asks again, “Can you please help. “So we give some of our own money which we have been doing on occasion. He ask ,”Do you have any of your cloths on backs which we can give him.” He won’t fit mine let alone Jodi’s cloths. However we have HAfunland which takes all our money from Jeff and Jodi Progressive Builders to expand and make it finally financially solvent after 7 years of concentrated efforts. We work almost every day at our businesses and can’t explain we are still struggling ourselves to achieve a level of financial security. And we walk away from the shoe shine guy and meet the hail of hello stop here. A man  goes by on a motorcycle.  He waves and comes back and I barely know him. We ate in his café twice. He asks me can I deliver a book to NY,NY. I say sorry I would have to mail it and that would cost me around $10. So we head to our café with internet. Jodi has been struggling with guilt about her father’s health.  Her mother said, “Hope he makes it till you get back.” He is one oxygen and kidney dialysis. Her father graciously said, “I’m might not make it till you get back. If I don’t please don’t come back. Finish your mission. I’ll see you on the other side.” And this tears at her heart often with guilt and sadness. Also my step father has had a stroke and is in the hospital since we are away.  Guilt is always on our shoulders. So many hurting desperate people and we are so human and without much money. And the problems here are so extreme and would require the wealth of a rich industrial nation to chew into the pile of need. We come trying to bring light and we feel within moments of such darkness. Luckily I have Jodi or I would have pulled the plug and headed home. But we are fighters and warriors of the light and WE WILL ACHIEVE OUR GOAL OF HELPING DESPERATE POOR KIDS OUT!!! So we pray for God’s help to keep strong and be able to discern where the most need is. Darkness is our friend at night as we lay awake hugging each other.

Day 23:

I don’t want folks back home to think Indians aren’t very warm and friendly people. We have made some really great friends here! However like any culture there is some peculiarities here which I wrote in the last post.

Jodi and I are still compiling a list of orphanage/school combos. And we will visit a bunch of them starting Sat and pick the one in most need of help.

So hope your all well and warm:)

Best:)
Jeff and Jodi

Day 20-21:

Finding a good lead for the school has been EXTREMELY difficult!

There was an option in an area of India in the far north east and it is an area contested by the Chinese. They invaded the area in the 60s and still say it’s their turf.

There is a lead in the central part which is the wild west. Armed bands of men attack trains etc…

There are leads to schools so remote that only helicopters can reach this time of year.

The Tibetan schools we visited appear to be funded well enough by westerner support.

I will not put Jodi in ANY danger if I can help it. We will achieve success but I’m sorry we won’t risk life and limb and the money so graciously entrusted to us. Many areas of the country are in such need that westerners are considered good marks to take. So you have to watch who you trust and remember Cigarette Smoking Man’s motto in X-Files:

“TRUST NO ONE!” Until they prove otherwise.

So we keep looking for a place to help and that is so frustrati

atlas

Day 20-21:

Well Jodi and I are really getting ants in the pants over getting to the school and getting busy!!! Our panchakarma ends on Jan 22nd.

Dalit Freedom Network which claims to be building 10,000 schools is absolutely dismal in their speed of contacting us. Here we are two general contracting builders with 30 years experience and ENERGY to do good and they don’t seem to eager to solicit our help?Which includes financial help from one of America’s titans of business. And also another titan of business John Hewitt shook hands with Jodi saying when the school is started he’ll help. So two of America’s financially elite businessmen and they don’t seem to want to couple up? And what we have learned is American businessmen are in a league all of their own in world standards. America is the incubator of great business empires!!

We have learned that generally the private Indian schools are the best here. Next the Tibetan schools which receive help from international aid to the Daliai Lama and finally the government schools finish last in resources. Now the one lead we have near Raipur has NO INSTITUTIONAL HELP!!! Built by a workers collective through hard work and tremendous sacrifice. The one teacher is very inspiring and wants only the best for all the kids. Thing is its near a big city (Drunk crowds of men going crazy over Jodi’s blonde hair which as ONE man is a staggering struggle for I’m frankly out numbered. Today we are cutting from the woods two Iroquois war clubs as “walking sticks.”), its also not in the beautiful Himalayas,  has air pollution, no mountains, and tigers. Yet it looks so far as the most in need.

There is also a common school in the Himalayas with Indian and Tibet kids. Tibet kids are very respectful of their elders. So maybe we have to go to that school first and check it out?

It is hard not knowing what will be our path and weighs on us heavily. Be happy you don’t have the weight of Atlas on your shoulders because this is tough. Doing good is NEVER easy!!!

Day; 19

We also have a good lead for a school started by a very famous labor organizer: (Details below) NOTE!!!  However Jodi and I are reluctant to go where there is a abundance of drunk/high men for the school project. Around a month ago a Tibetan man with his girl friend was jumped by three Indians here. He won the first fight and they came back on motorcycles. One man roared the engine to drown out the other men stabbing him to death. They also disemboweled him. All over them wanting his girlfriend.

We have a potentially double problem. One, we are considered rich foreigners. Two, western woman are considered loose and especially blondes are for them the absolute ultimate sexual object. I love Jodi more than anything in this world and the universe> PERIOD!!! So her safety is a top priority. Indians are very wonderful people however there is a real problem with some f them respecting woman. Indians from what I’m told have many times arranged marriages at around 27 to 29. Indian woman protect their honor and men here can have boiling testosterone waiting for any opportunity. Western woman are considered easy and loose. So we would like to be in a remote safe place hopefully.

Here is the lead we received on a school. One problem its outside a city of ONE million inhabitants:(

“….a school in the industrial outskirts of Raipur. I now spend most of my time at the school and am looking to rent a little place in Raipur.

The school is a part of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti – a workers collective that was born of the working class movement begun by Shankar Guha Niyogi in the 70s. Some of you might’ve read about the movement, but I thought it might be best to give some context – Niyogi was a skilled worker at the Bhillai Steel Plant in the mid 60s where he became a union organiser. After being fired for his politics, he spent several years traveling around Chhattisgarh, drawn to peoples struggles across the state – from the forests of Bastar to the agricultural lands of Keri. Living and working with people shaped his understanding of the land and built his skills as a mass organiser. He began working with mine workers and by the late 70s, had organised one of the most successful unions in the country. Over the next two decades, the working class movement grew enormously under his charismatic leadership – attracting lakhs of workers from factories, forests and fields. The movement grew into what came to be known as the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha. Unlike any other trade union movement of its time, women played an extremely important role in the movement. This enabled the struggle to extend beyond trade union activities and into the homes an houses of workers. Issues of education, health and campaigns against alcoholism became trade marks of the movement, setting it apart from mainstream trade union politics. In 1991, Niyogi was shot dead by company goons. The struggle after Niyogi’s death lives on, but today, our challenges are different and we’ve also learnt some valuable lessons. In the mid 2000s the Morcha split and the Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti (which runs the school) hopes to reimagine traditional forms of centralised leadership that have failed the left time and again. Instead, it is built around worker committees. The main work of the sanghatan comprises of some trade union activities, organising of agricultural workers and organisation against displacement in rural and urban areas. The sanghatan also runs two schools and has a strong womens group.

Recent changes in labour laws, rapid industrialization, increasing informalization of labour and heavy State repression make organising a very difficult task today. But the real struggle is in the everyday. And the real challenge is to engage in constructive work alongside the larger struggle. What drew me to the sangathan is the possibility of such work.

Over the last year, we’ve been trying to transform classroom practice at one of the schools. We’re also trying to work with some young girls from the basti, hoping to run some late night math classes and build a library which can serve as a space for young people to come read, watch films and think about the world together. Our work is nascent yet, and there are many questions that linger – what mathematics is relevant, can building number sense help ask important questions, can it help us study plans that threaten to raze our bastis, how do we begin to design a pedagogy that is meaningful to the lives of learners in the current economic scenario? The work we are doing will hopefully help us navigate answers to some of these questions. …..

For those of you who are interested to know more about the history of the movement, Sanhati has an archive of articles that you can look up here: http://sanhati.com/shankar-guha-niyogi-archives/ .”

Day 18:

Sorry we didn’t blog yesterday for I am slowly recovering form the worst respiratory ailments I can remember and now Jodi is full blown with it:(

However we went to the Dalia Lama’s and Prime Minister’s office yesterday and they gave us email contacts to make a request.

So here is our humble request from two little folks:

Dear Your Holiness the Dalai Lama,

We have a tremendous respect for all that you have achieved for the Tibetans and around the world.  Thank you for your amazing efforts.

Our names are Jeff and Jodi Andrysick.  We are a couple from a farm in upstate New York, USA.  We have been blessed with the opportunity to fulfill one of our dreams.  Our dream is to start/help fund a school in the countryside of northern India.  Recently we met a wealthy man through a mutual friend that is willing to give money towards this goal.  Our success with the school would likely bring in future funding also. Our sponsor wants all the money he has graciously given to go directly to the kids at the school. Jodi and I are using our own money here to live and we aren’t taking any compensation.

We are staying in Dharamkot at Ayurveda House completing a course of panchakarma until January 22nd.  At this time we’d like to go to the school location and work on the school until March 8th when we fly home. In USA we have two businesses. One Jeff and Jodi Progressive Builders (we have brought tools to work in our backpacks) and www.HAfunland.com (There you can find a blog about our thus far difficult journey to help the poor kids.).

We also make documentary films and will shoot footage for two films while here. One on panchakarma and the other the school. (Shadow Into Light)

Our website for existing films: www.JeffandJodiFilms.com

We do not have a phone with us.  The number where we are staying (Ayurveda House) is 94181-35759; Drs. Ashish and Kusum Rana.

A lists of existing schools near the Himalayas would be very, very helpful. We are especially interested in “common” schools. (Tibet and Indian kids)
Thank in advance for any help you can give us.
Respectfully Yours,
Jeff and Jodi Andrysick
__________________________________________________________________________________
Dear Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay ,

We have a tremendous amount of respect for your rise to the top of the Tibetan in exile political system from very humble beginnings. A Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard is a really huge feat in itself!  All of the Tibetans we have talked to have a great deal of respect for you and your reforms.

Our names are Jeff and Jodi Andrysick.  We are a couple from a farm in upstate New York, USA.  We have been blessed with the opportunity to fulfill one of our dreams.  Our dream is to start/help fund a school in the countryside of northern India.  Recently we met a wealthy man through a mutual friend that is willing to give money towards this goal.  Our success with the school would likely bring in future funding also. Our sponsor wants all the money he has graciously given to go directly to the kids at the school. Jodi and I are using our own money here to live and we aren’t taking any compensation.

We are staying in Dharamkot at Ayurveda House completing a course of panchakarma until January 22nd.  At this time we’d like to go to the school location and work on the school until March 8th when we fly home. In USA we have two businesses. One Jeff and Jodi Progressive Builders (we have brought tools to work in our backpacks) and www.HAfunland.com (There you can find a blog about our thus far difficult journey to help the poor kids.).

We also make documentary films and will shoot footage for two films while here. One on panchakarma and the other the school (Shadow Into Light).

Our website for existing films: www.JeffandJodiFilms.com

We do not have a phone with us.  The number where we are staying (Ayurveda House) is 94181-35759; Drs. Ashish and Kusum Rana.

A list of existing schools near the Himalayas would be very, very helpful. We are especially interested in “common” schools. (Tibet and Indian kids)
Thank you in advance for any help you can give us.
Respectfully Yours,
Jeff and Jodi Andrysick
 _______________________________________________________________________–

Of course we don’t expect to met such important men. We hope to get addresses for schools in need.

Have a good healthy day:)
Jeff and Jodi

Day: 17

Central heat goes a long way to keeping up your health. Jodi is now also with head and chest cold. It’s a very powerful pathogen and when it hit me first it felt like a small Indian elephant had sat down on my chest:(

Yesterday we enjoyed some really awesome times at Kuldeep’s café with three young dudes from Delhi. They were the same one that Jodi loaned wool socks and hiking boots to. They said no one in  India would trust strangers and loan their boots to them. We figured it was the right thing to do. What if one of them would have slipped and fallen to their sure death. Many people die climbing to the Triund. Ravi our technician said his friend a guide died last year falling to his grim demise. He had been drinking some a BIG NO NO!!!

One of the Delhi Dudes is in a quite successful rock band. They made a song to support the poor innocent lady that was gang raped and all over the world news 3 years ago. Here is the link to their awesome song and hats off for them increasing awareness to a real problem. They are very talented and should go on the world stage in time.

One thing is annoying to Jodi and me here. When she walks into an area with lots of men in groups usually they stare at her like a peace of meat. Talking to each other in Hindi saying who knows what. I try to act fearless and show no sign of weakness. I’m on average about 6 to 8 inches taller than most and out way them by 50 pounds. I’m not cutting my beard and hair which I have found makes me more dangerous looking and in the past I get guys excusing themselves even when they’re not in my way. We don’t go out in the darkness unless close to our room in our small town. Yesterday two car loads of VERY high drunk rich guys from some city (city guys have money here) met up with us on a remote road. They reached their hands out from the windows yelling Blondee. We hustled back up the road and they stopped and starting coming in reverse. Luckily they could not go in reverse easily on such a narrow road with straight down drop off  cliff as drunk as the driver was. And then two cars came head on to them. Their was around 7 guys in each car. Raping western woman is a big no no here. The prison sentences are extreme. In prison guys will try to kill them before trial and they usually commit suicide to escape their punishment. This is a resort area for the big city wealthy and almost all are absolutely complete gentlemen and very warm. However LSD, hash, and booze is used by small percentage of their wealthy. We need to get to where the school is being established away from the drugs mixed with alcohol off a resort destination. Locals luckily can’t afford hard drugs.  There is a large population here.

t 2Day: 16

Dr. Kusum and Ashish Rana are gone this coming week serving as local representatives for the local government. So no pancha karma for a while. YEAH!!! Since you have to really tough it out to get the quick results it offers.

Many Delhi intellectuals say that Nepal is much more needing of schools. And it takes a day or two to get a visa to enter. However it is a days drive from here. So it might be a possibility? Freedom Dalit Network is also in the works and we will also meet the Dalai Lama’s people this week. Perhaps a remote Tibetan settlement? None of the rotaries have contacted us back so far. So it’s still drifting in the winds and that isn’t fun for us for it worries us.

Jodi’s two pairs of hiking boots are still up on the Triund.

Have a good day:)

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama

Day:15

Good day all:)

I’m feeling a little improvement and the nasty bug which is every where has moved into the lungs. However I feel better than yesterday and slept decent. We ran into a nice bunch of guys from Delhi which were going up to the Triund (photo above). They had flimsy slippery bottom sneakers so I said why not borrow two of Jodi’s hiking boots and two pairs of wool socks. So Jodi is in India type converse sneakers and her boots are up on top. Most Indians are wonderful people.

The good news is Kathy Burns has contacted Dalit Freedom Network for us by phone, for we have laptops but no phone.  We contacted them about 7 days ago. However we made the mistake of contacting the top 6 people and it may of flagged as spam. So thanks to wonderful Kathy we have made a connection. She stressed the clock is ticking.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
― Dalai Lama

Day: 14

Well every one except Jodi is sick at the clinic recently. 3 with chicken pox and 4 with strong head cold. So last night it was rough. I had to fight for deep breaths all the night sleeping only a few winks. However not to read like an obituary the day got better after a serious long steam and naysa (head massage and steam) And we ended up going for a walk first through a snow fall and then it cleared at a mountain vista and we fell asleep on a big giant rock. Much needed sun on a cold day with NO CAFE with central heat! There is no place with central heat except for a café miles away.

Well we found a very nice glove and I carried it hoping to find its owner. Jodi watched an Indian fellow from Delhi walk by with one glove and said,  “Hey are you missing a glove? He was tickled for expensive clothing is a rarity here. He was so very grateful!  Two times lost pup found earlier in the week and now the lost glove. There is so much material lack and even my cheapest gloves from the states are unfortunately coveted. The American economic system is UNBELIEVABLE compared to here. However  they have much closer social connections and are generally happier. We have more STUFF.

Sacred cute cows are EVERY WHERE!!! The milk, paneer, cheese. ghee (clarified butter),etc… are its gifts! Along with cow poop patties dried for heat. Its nice to see cows treated so nicely:) Have a good day and stay healthy:) J+J

Day: 13

Well lost pup is squared away luckily!!! The café pup has become the mascot and they have decided to feed him. We gave 1000 rupees which amounts to $15 and that will pay for her fixing, food, etc… The two sweet American girls were there waiting for us as well. They have paid previously for pups vaccinations. And for pups food so pup is lucky in many many ways for an Indian street dog. So we walked away with a feeling of relief from that burden:)

We have contacted a considerable number of NGOs and still await one response 🙁  I’m sure it takes some time to pass through all the channels within the organizations. But it is frustrating to wait. Government schools in the last 3 years have been started in many places. When we watched documentaries most 3 years and older there was a tremendous need for schools darn near every where. So it looks like a remote location will be where we are needed. And EVERY Indian we have talked to about this issue says you’ll never get up and running by March 8th starting without an Non-Government-Organization (NGO) let alone in a years time. Too much red tape and many bureaucrats slowing things up and saying things could speed up with a bribe. Our doctor said ,”In India many hands out.”

So without an existing project it is impossible. Our staff at the clinic are all sick except for Dr. Kusum Rana. Her husband Dr. Ashish Rana recovering from chicken pox along with both their fine children. Our technicians Ravi and Malti both with head colds. So this morning my nose is running. All of the staff are wonderful warm people. Winters are tough here without central heat.

Plan for early next week:  meet with the Dalai Lama’s people about their need for a school.

 

Day :11 

Jodi and I had another sleepless night. We both worry if we have gotten ourselves over our heads and of course we will NOT QUIT! That isn’t an option. Some people speak English which we can understand. And my hearing problem is magnified by their Indian accent. At the clinic I will get oil drops soon and hope it helps. I tell folks we have been sent on a two fold mission: One: for me Jeff to ask dumb questions and make people very happy:). I have succeeded greatly at this task. Two: To help establish a school.

Yesterday after having an enema I thought I was safe walking around. A lost pup was following a lady which wasn’t the owner. She was a ver beautiful Indian lady with fancy cloths and bright red lipstick and an Australian accent however lacking in compassion. She said 30 minutes ago the pup had encountered her way up the mountain and joined her walking travels. Instead of turning him back then she just kept walking with pup in tow. So we grab poor little pup and up the mountain we go carrying a shivering pup. Got to the cafe where she said the pup joined her but no one knew the owner. I’m holding and thinking about a porcelain fixture. So back down the mountain to our normal cafe. We said to the owner we’ll give money for the next several weeks to have the pup fed chicken and rice and eggs. We ask for a box for a dog coop and a rope. We tie him to a post out front of the cafe with a sign: Lost Pup traits: ESP> he knows when you’re sad and will lick you, etc… And in case your wondering I made it to the toilet. Yeah!!! The owner Kuldeep was very graciuos and let us do this.

However this morning no pup:( He cried too much and the had to let him loose. So it is up to God now, sadly for we worry for he was so small:( with tears.

Sleeping is not easy worrying about how will we succeed. And it doesn’t help with no heat with brick walls, concrete ceiling , and tile floor with temps almost always drop to the teens. Days it gets to 50*F. So it is always the temp of a refrigerator. The mattress is only 3 inches thick and lays on plywood and our hips hurt on both sides. We sleep in our cloths and throw our coats on top of the limited blankets to get warm. Folks with money come here from Delhi and all over the world to escape, enjoy the Himalayas, and have fun. With our own choices we come to go through one of the most intensive detoxification procedures. I felt like I was sick for the first week of it as my body flushed out lots of toxicity. It is now getting easier however the clinic has only small electric heaters and getting a massage with our breath showing at times ins’t the most enjoyable:) Normally it is warm here and they don’t have winter customers that often. A big macho Russian took the oil drinking and cold treatments for one day and left.

So I wish I could say we our having the time of our lives. When we finally get to working on the school and FINALLY seeing the many happy childrens faces it will be worth it. Till then…

We wished we could click our heals together and like Dorthy in Wizard of Oz and be at Home Swet Home with our cats, family, friends, heated house, and cast iron bath tub to soak my back.

Day: 10

Thanks to one of our friends inputs we want to clear something up. He was concerned about our generous contributor for the school. You see originally the school’s philanthropist said why don’t you just fly over and check the place out. We decided why not spend an additional month and a half and establish the school the first trip. You see we need to not swim right off the bat in  the deep end of the pool. Or go into an NFL football game with out knowing the rules. We would get creamed! We are done with pancha karma by 1:30 pm every day and pursue learning the deep end of the pool through our many new friends. Along with contacting potential school options. And the pancha  karma is bringing these near ‘Zombie Apocalypse” bodies back to life. Its nice to feel improvements now starting to come. The detox is starting to be mixed with rejuvenation. You see you clean the body then feed the body. Every other day a cleanse enema and then a nourishing enema. Some folks may be un-comfortable us sharing what is happening. We are only doing this transparency for the sake of the improvement of others down the road. If with our film one person regains their health then any embarrassment we may feel is worth it.

And we have recently met a new friend which is so wonderful and we feel like we have known him for years and years. He is very intelligent, compassionate, and a laugh riot! He has a degree in chemical engineering. Delhi is stacked with highly educated nice folks. India has so many folks who will treat you so very, very warmly.

We also have found another mission. Just what we needed a another mission:) We found a puppy.  So we have walked all over heck asking every one we passed. We have paid Kuldeep (Cooldeep) so we can keep him out front of his café. We gave him a box to sleep in and ol burlap bag for a blanket. So we are here for another 2 and half weeks and will pay for his grub every day. Making bright signs tomorrow saying WONDERPUP > ESP = he knows when you are sad and licks you, etc…

Day:9

Remember back in the day when Granny gave you castor oil to clean out the pipes??? Well it was a memorable day yesterday for me Jeff ! For after the purgation I hustled my buns in a sprint to the porcelain chariot and rode at a full gallop for 2 hours!!! Hahahaaaa The liver is your master gland doing over 500 functions. Mine has been like an over worked secretary who has piles and piles of stuff on the desk. Purgation clears off some of the clutter. My liver is as Ayurveda says with much fire and it affects my colon overheating that also.

Eating breakfast at our favorite café and it is very warm here today.

Have a wonderful Sunday:)
Jeff and Jodi

Cleaning out the ol pipes:)

 

 

Day:8

Why are we first detoxifying and rejuvinating and not vigorously establishing the school? One, we are in culture shock. Two, we didn’t know anyone here. Three, we are beat since the last time we had a vacation was in 1990 for three weeks. Ever since then we have worked normally 6 days a week all year long. And since opening the market for the last 5 years, 7 days a week for 6 months out of the year contracting lake jobs and running the market and for the other 6 months doing hard labor construction and improving the market. So our bodies and spirits came here worn down. We will do panchakarma for 4 weeks and have been making plenty of good contacts. Always telling folks who look like they are kind and intelligent what are purpose is. Many are wondefful people from Delhi. We will meet with the Dali Lama folks soon. And have contacted Dalit Freedom Network whose website says it is building 10,000 schools here. We are waiting for a response from them. We have been filming lots for our two films we are making. One on Panchakarma and the other “Shadow into Light” about the school.

So what is in store for me today at the clinic? For some reason I’m not very excited about it? For I’m purgating, cleaning out the ol pipes. Fun 🙂 My body imbalance involves excess pitta (fire). My liver needs to be cleaned out and rebuilt. Our MD wanted to know if I abused alcohol or drugs for the shape it is in. No I earned it the ol fashion way through hard work. I didn’t get there partying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYPAXOIllcs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c2LwUwOtWo

Jodi has a vata imbalance (air) and her treatment today is massage, steam, and basti (enema). Her body is overly dry and the nervous system will be rebuilt through the process along with an amazing other results.

WARNING!!! Viewers be advised of nudity.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aomd5O29myk

Namaste:)

Happy New Year:)

Day: 7 Happy New Year!!! Lots of quarter sticks, M 80s , etc… brought in the New Year here. The locals get drunk on raw sugar turned into moonshine. Alcoholism is unfortunately rampant amonst the working class. Delhi rich come … Continue reading

Posted in Standard | Leave a comment

Ancient and modern exotic India

  Day 1: Flight into Delhi India We landed at 3 am into Delhi with tired legs. For we were called to Virginia Beach to do 2 weeks of contracting work for John Hewitt, CEO and founder of Jackson Hewitt … Continue reading

 

Day: 7 Happy New Year!!!

Lots of quarter sticks, M 80s , etc… brought in the New Year here. The locals get drunk on raw sugar turned into moonshine. Alcoholism is unfortunately rampant amonst the working class. Delhi rich come here to celebrate and are here in throngs. Very friendly intelligent folks with better English than I. It will be their world in the future. They are lean, in great shape, and warm. Many with high degrees. The forges of evolution with many people competing for limited resources has made for strong constitutions and intelligence. Junk food and excess weight is uncommon. Quality natural foods which are tasty are every where. Haven’t seen a McDonalds which is lucky for them. We are on a restrictive diet and after drinking sooooo much medicated ghee I don’t want to eat much and have become a CHAMPION BELCHER!!! Belching is a fine art only gained through plenty of practice.

So many of you are wondering what is Panchakarma (5 paths to wellness). Well we are not in a backward cave with a mystical healer dosing us with potions. Hahaaha The clinic is called Aurveda House: http://www.himalayanayurveda.com/ . Very warm competent MDs and staff! We really like all the staff and have become fast freinds. So just what in the heck is Panchakarma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=er1D9o7K3ws.

90% of Indians unfortunately are poor. Most folks have limited clothing and we haven’t seen a Thrift store yet. So folks make their own clothes or buy store bought clothes new. Rich are supposed to give their 2nd hand to others less fortunate. Ravi and Malti are our wonderful technicians. We will take them into town this weekend to buy them more warm clothes which will make a big differnce for them.

NOTE!!! Jodi and I are covering ALL the costs of our treatment, transportation while in India, housing, and food. The money given us to start the school is going to the school.

 

 

 

Jodi and I try really hard to give back to the world. We believe only empty hearts and minds cause much of the suffering in the world. In addition to our documentary films (see Jeff & Jodi Films tab above), we have also attempting to start a country school in northern India called Ever Better Academy. The Academy would not exist if not for the very generous contributions from John “Dutch” Summers a distinguished highly successful industrialist and philanthropist. If you would choose to contribute please know that Jodi and I take no salary and 100% of the  generous donations go to supporting the school.

Ancient and modern exotic India

him 1

 

Day 1: Flight into Delhi India

We landed at 3 am into Delhi with tired legs. For we were called to Virginia Beach to do 2 weeks of contracting work for John Hewitt, CEO and founder of Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax. John has always treated us very fairly and we couldn’t leave him down. So we did 6 consecutive 16 hour work days and then took the 10 hour car drive home. Next day we gathered up our stuff needed for India. We took off and flew for around 30 hours. Sleeping a little on the plane. So when we arrived in the giant city of Delhi we were tired and honestly scared. We knew no one and had no one to greet us and escort us along safely. We ran into a very handsome Indian with cowboy boots and a warm heart who was picking up his cousin from America. His cousin drove taxi in NYC. They said “welcome to India” and we sensed they were good men. We said we needed to get on the train and take an 11 hour trip north. So they helped us get our tickets. However there were only general tickets for sale. They said it is illegal for foreigners to travel in general train cars (standing room only) however the other more comfortable train cars were unavailable without reservation. So with our general tickets we were to bribe the conductor for a sleeper car. Our attempt at bridery didn’t work so at 4 am we were stuck. So we had tickets we couldn’t use. Another friendly Asian immigrant who worked for the government said get a refund at a place 3 kilometers away. Too far to walk with each having a backpack and two bags in hand. And we were a curosity to say the least and had groups of men follow us which we didn’t know their intentions. So the Asian fellow got us on a rickshaw and we traveled through the city rapidly beeping as we bored through. Were we going to an office or to crime scene 2? Very scary and fortunately we ended up at an “Office of Tourism.” Where we were told no sleeper trains without reservation, no buses due to landslides, and ONLY taxis. In which they just happened to have drivers and plenty of cars ready in wait. Being scared carrying cash and belongings we acepted their terms. $570 (US dollars) for an 11 hour taxi drive to Dharamshala. The driver was nice and the biggest potential race car driver we have ever driven with. Beeping, weaving, bopping his way through the most insane traffic I have ever witnessed. Once we settled down outside of Delhi Jodi fell asleep spread out across the back seat. I stayed awake only dozing off for a minute here and there. And the driver was fighting sleep and dozing off also. So I was ready to yell and grab the wheel at certain times. The driver informed me of what a tip was and it should be 10%. So we arrived at in Mcleodganj a city in the mountains in the Himalayas at dark. The driver had not found our destination Ayurveda House, for our two to three weeks of panchakarma detoxification and rejuvination. So the cabbie promptly stopped and opened the trunk and ejected our stuff and said you are here. I said we are not here at which time his English failed him. So we walked looking for a room in the dark. We found one for $2500 rupees which was three times what we should spend. We were so beat that we accepted the hosing and FINALLY showered and like Rip Van Winkle went to sleep for 12 hours.

Day 2:

We walked with backpacks and a bag each hand up steep mountain roads, cars and bikes beeping as a courtesy to make you aware they were passing or going around hairpin turns. For the roads are very narrow with steep drop offs at the edge. A truck was broken down with three nice Indian gentlemen. So I dropped my packs which included rudemantary tools such as drills, tape measures, hammer, and 200 watt generator for a homemade bicyle powered generator for the school power source. So my backpack weighed 90 pounds! I stripped off my shirt on a chilly morning down to a Tshirt and their eyes stared in utter amazement. A ‘rich’ westerner who cared enough to push a heavy truck full of stuff up a slope until it FINALLY went down a slope. Jodi kept here heavy backpack on and pushed also. We made it and they thanked us very very graciously. We then went to the clinic and a man selling potatoes on the street out front said Ayurveda House was closed. that the doctors (Dr. Kusum and Dr. Ashish Rana) were NOT here. They were on vacation for one more week. They said there is a newer clinic and their home on the other side of town. So we walked there asking where it was. A nice Indain gentleman called the clinic number and YEAH someone answered! They sent Ravi to fetch us up in 15 minutes and he helped carry some of our bags to the clinic. We met the very friendly husband and wife Ayurvedic medical team. We settled into our room. At this time is when we realized that most Indians have no central heat for winter nights which drop to around 35*F. So with only two blankets we shivered through part of the night dressed in our street clothes. Dr. Ashish gladly gave us more blankets and we learned that you DO NOT take a shower without running the exhaust fan; for the first night we increased the humidity greatly. So we got it down and still sleep in sweatpants, sweaters and socks. I also throw my winter jacket on top of the blankets. And we are now grateful and warm snuggled up together.

him 2

Day 3:

We start our treatments drinking small amount of oil and getting massage and steam box by the very freindly staff (Ravi and Malti). They also adminster drops into our nose and massage our head and steam the head. Dr. Kusum advised me to get off caffiene since I am a caffeine fiend drinking 3 to 5 cups a day. Whipping the tired horse to survive and thrive. After treatments we go mountaineering through the MOST AWESOME nature walks on earth!!! Period!!! We met two Tibetan monks one being 6 foot 5 inches tall! We told them we want to help by funding a small school perhaps for the Tibetans. They said they would take us to the Dali Lamas office. So…

Day 4:

Quite severe headaches on forehead and back of neck as I unwind to a caffeine free Jeff. Most of the Indians and Tibetans are very friendly and warm. And in our short stay we have been smiled at and greeted to what would amount to a years worth of warmth in USA. Although there is somewhat of a worm in the apple for some just view as a walking bank :( Paradise is close but not complete.

Day 5: More panchakarma treatments with increasing oil drinking each day. Toxins in body are stored mostly in fat tissues so they increase oil in your body, massage and steam to loosen them up. We really love Dr. Kusum and the staff!!! And we LOVE the many cultures and the majestic Himalayas!!! We will want to come back many many many times if possible!!!

Day 6: Dr. Kusum has informed us that Tibetans recieve lots and lots of foreign aide and also goverment help with free schooling. So no need for school here :( The Tibetans have nice motorcycles and smart phones and are much richer here than the Indians. Foreigners sponseor kids for around $600 for each kid who remains here at home. Some families have 9 kids so this makes them very rich here. There is also a potential place for a school at a migrant worker camp. However school is free for them and most go that route. And the migrant workers do hard labor building homes and businesses here. They have decent incomes and unfortunately most of the men drink lots of alcohol every night to relax spending small fortunes on booze. So I didn’t sleep much last night worrying about where do we go for starting a school. Also this is a tourist mecca and has been “Westernized” with drugs and increased crime :( So its looking like after treatments we may have to move to remote parts of the country where government schools are not available.

him 3