September 10, 2010

If you are a regular blog readeryou will note that when there has been a hiatus from the blog author, there are the usual apologies and regrets about the delays in regular postings.  I am no exception. I apologize for the lack of posting. I have no excuse, but let me say that sometimes life just gets in the way of ones dreams.

Now that I am back on track–let me continue the story as it unfolded. In early December of 2009 I made an appeal to the London Seventh-Day-Adventist Church for donations to the Anti-Malaria Club. My plan was to give the money to my mother, who would then visit the Club, and Tala–and go through much the same process as we did–make the trek to Umaria, purchase the nets, distribute the nets and give some money to the  club for their operating expenses.

On that Sabbath Day, I collected 525$!! The people of the congregation were more than generous in their trust and their monies. I was excited about the growth of our small work, and excited about continuing with the tide of enthusiasm displayed by the students of Tala.

Much to my dismay though, my mother never did make the trip to Tala, as she had an accident in Calcutta. She had to cut her trip short, and she returned to Bangkok after major surgery and a short hospital stay in India.

Many thanks go to my mothers friends Cris and Pat, who were kind enough to make the journey to Tala to express regrets for my mother not returning, and to continue in part, with the  job of ‘spreading the nets’.

With a portion of money, they again, cleaned out the man’s supply of mosquito nets and went with the students into the homes to hang them, and explain about malaria.

Pictured  are Vedant and Cris, distributing one of the over 40 more nets that were bought and distributed to the people of the region.

They could not possibly take on the task of spending all the money in a way that had integrity and thought, so the remaining money was left in my bank account. It still sits there, waiting to be put to good use.

While there are many worthwhile charity projects I could have donated the money to in the interm ( I am reminded of Haiti and Pakistan) I did not feel comfortable doing this, since the people of the church trusted me in my appeal. The money was supposed to be used for the Bandhavgarh Anti-Malaria Club…and so it WILL be used for that.

The journey continues this winter, when on December 17th, I am flying once again to India to visit our club and our students. With the remaining donations, I will purchase and distribute more nets, and hopefully some sports equipment as well for some of the poorer schools in the area.

I am sad to report as well, that since our second visit that summer ago, one of the students was maimed, then killed by a tiger. She was a promising student, a young girl of 18 devoted to her family and her schooling…and yet for some reason, her life was cut short. She was attacked by a tiger while gathering wood for her family.

Her death  is just an example of the close connection that the people of the region have with the tigers that live in the area. As stated before, Tala is on the edge of the Bandhavgarh National Tiger Reserve, and the people that live in the area are in constant threat as they compete for space with these great animals.

The people of the area are of course, devasted by her death, and the death of other villagers by the tigers. However, they do not hold the tiger in animosity. Their love for the tiger runs deep, and they recognize that they have to share their farms and their homes with these wild animals. It is almost a foregone conclusion that there will be loss of life.

Another sad, but true fact of life.


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