Beautiful Defunct Quarry~Photos

Nestled in the woods. Not a soul around.

Empty buildings. Vandalized.

Huge concrete structures. Former ??

Enormous limestone cliffs. Danger!

Deep water. Hidden things.

Beautiful. Creepy.

~P.

I’ve heard there is a little bit of everything in this quarry. Jimmy Hoffa??

Click on the first thumbnail to open the gallery. Thanks for stopping by!

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Lastly, if you know where this quarry is, please do NOT share it. Thank you.

York, PA Saint Patrick’s Day Parade 2015

Last year I walked the parade with the York County Youth Development Center. This year I decided to watch the parade and take photos.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Click on the first thumbnail to best view the photos.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

~Pattie

Japanese Castle Hotel

Fabulous blog about abandoned places…check it out!

Abandoned Kansai

Japan and Germany are both famous for their castles – the ones in Japan are either tourist attractions or (in very rare cases) abandoned. In Germany there is a third kind, the ones that were turned into accommodations. Youth hostels, hotels or private homes; usually located in a very beautiful landscape on top of a mountain. To the best of my knowledge all “castle hotels” in Japan are hotels NEAR famous castles, not former castles themselves. Until a few years ago there was one sort-of exception, a huge hotel that kind of looked like a pre-modern fortress, but was a post-war concrete construction – similar to the tourist trap called Osaka Castle… 😉
Then the Great Tohoku Earthquake a.k.a. 3/11 hit the northern half of Japan in 2011, and while the hotel was spared the flood, it suffered some damages from the earthquake and its aftershocks. Even worse: tourists avoided…

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2014 York Halloween Parade

I had a great time walking the York parade with the York County Youth Development Center. Enjoy the photos of the Halloween parade participants and of the crowds of people in York City who came to watch.

Click the first photo to open the photos to full size.

Happy Halloween!

~P.

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Colonial Philadelphia’s Christ Church

William Penn had this crazy idea to allow all denominations the freedom of worship and with that idea arose the magnificent Christ Church in 1695 located at corner of 2nd and Market Streets in historic downtown Philadelphia. This church, which includes the burial tomb of Benjamin Franklin, is full of history and beautiful inside and out. There are still services held at the church. For more information check their website. http://www.christchurchphila.org/

I enjoyed taking photos and was particularly fascinated by the tombstone in the floor of the church and Mr. Franklin (or is that Mr. Penn?) on his cell phone.

~P.

PWC day 2 044PWC day 2 045PWC day 2 046

PWC day 2 038PWC day 2 040

Click on the first thumbnail to best view the full size photos.

A colonial cell phone?

A colonial cell phone?

Philadelphia is full of history. . . check it out but be prepared to pay for a parking garage or meters!

~P.

Borra caves…a risk worth taking – YCP Hoina 2013

Click this link Borra caves…a risk worth taking – YCP Hoina 2013. and read about a monkey guarded cave in India!

~P.

Something Special about HOINA

Journal Prompt 5: Write about something special that inspired you while at HOINA

HOINA has been an experience unlike any other I have ever had in my 43 years of life. After arriving I learned I was the oldest student to take Professor Fyfe’s service learning course. During our time here I enjoyed telling the children and staff than I was not faculty from York College, but a student myself. Anand, the manager of HOINA, came and spoke to privately and encouraged me to make sure the children and staff knew I was a student myself. He said they would be inspired that I went back to school as an adult. I got a laugh out of everyone’s faces when I told them my age and that I am a senior in college, graduating in the spring. They really found it funny when I told them I am older than my professor, David Anna. (Anna is uncle)

Brother Ananda and all the sisters

Brother Anand and all the sisters

One particular HOINA student sticks out in my mind. His name is Richard and he and I became good friends. My major in college is Professional Writing or in India, Journalism. My minors are Religious Studies and Photography. Richard has a serious interest in photography also and I was happy to allow him use of my camera. During crafts I was so busy assisting the children that I was grateful to Richard for photographing craft time.

Sister Kari and I during craft time

Sister Kari and I during craft time

Sarayna helping with crafts

Sarayna helping with crafts

Me working the pliers during craft time.

Me working the pliers during craft time.

 

Richard, the best English speaking student at HOINA, translates and takes photos.

Richard, the best English speaking student at HOINA, translates and takes photos.

 

I understand that in India it would be difficult for someone who has passed the age of what is considered to be a student to return to study later in life. I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to do so and began a new career. If I have learned nothing else in life, I have learned you are never too old to take in new information and grow from it. This experience at HOINA had done that in my life. The children and Christian values being taught to them have inspired me. While here I did an impromptu fundraiser by posting to my writing website Girlboxer1970.com and my Facebook page, requesting donations for kitchen supplies. The response was overwhelming with so little planning or promotion.

Lots of kitchen supplies for the hard working staff.

Lots of kitchen supplies for the hard working staff.

 

The readers I have back in the United States donated over $300 American dollars to HOINA.  I found this amazing as many of the people who responded I didn’t know on a personal level, yet they were inspired by my writing and pictures while in India and spending time at HOINA. During my stay I also learned the boy’s cricket bat had broken and they were playing with just one bat rather than the usual two. I also learned the soy milk machine that made the children their daily serving of calcium was broken, the boiler no longer building pressure to sterilize the contents making it safe to drink. The American funds generously donated bought knives, vegetable peelers, a sharpening stone, and a small pressure cooker, cutting boards, kitchen shearers, forks, and spoons and serving spoons. They also covered the purchase of a cricket bat for the boys and to the girl’s surprise, one for them also! Both the boys and girls also received two cricket balls and they were overjoyed.

A cricket bat and balls for each home!

The cricket bats and balls for each home!

The broken boiler for the "soy cow"

The broken boiler for the “soy cow”

After several chats with Papa Large, I have learned the old boiler was not repairable and the debate is to replace the broken one or purchase an electric, stainless steel boiler. Either way, only $70 of the money raised has been used so the remaining funds will be used towards the boiler for the “soy cow.” Helping raise the money for these simple items, ones we take for granted in America, or consider an item for passing the time outdoors for fun, are ones that make life at HOINA better and healthier. I feel moved to continue writing about HOINA and raising funds for items needed at the home. Where there is a need, God will provide, and six months ago, I signed up for this course not knowing there would be a long term purpose from traveling here. That purpose has been realized and I feel God has moved me to continue spreading the word about HOINA and helping them with receiving the funds needed to continue the amazing work for orphans and teaching the word of our Lord.

Praise God, for he is Good!

~P.

What is Service Learning in India

Journal Prompt: What is Service Learning in India?

I’ve come to realize there is no specific definition for service learning in India. This course has taught me that in another country one must be prepared for anything. While at HOINA, we have been asked to do a number of tasks. These range from fun activities such as playing board games or on the playground with the children, to studying with them, crafts, correcting their behavior, and setting an example for them. While not required, it is strongly encouraged to attend prayer time and church. We also have been asked to help chop vegetables in the kitchen, sand and paint the playground equipment and fence around the property and white wash a school in the local village. There is rarely a dull moment around here.

This is all a labor of love, just like the work that is performed at the U.S. HOINA office. Actually, if you look at this as having paid tuition to take this trip, we are paying to do work. Fyfe made a point that the work we do could easily be done by hiring a laborer for less than $5 a day. We all would have saved $3,595 had we just each pitched in $5, but that’s not what this course is about. We came here to learn from the service we provide and to touch the lives of children we never would have met otherwise. These children and this organization have really touched my life. While I sit here and write, the little girl I sponsor, Gaya, is sitting a stone’s throw away, happy to just be nearby while I do my homework. She is making a “gimp chain” for her book bag. It’s plastic string woven together into a key chain or a pull for a zipper, something the girl’s from York College taught them how to do; such a simple activity that keeps the children busy and entertained for essentially pennies. Forever we have made an imprint on the children at HOINA and in return, they have done the same for us. That is service learning.

Geetha and her gimp cord

Geetha and her gimp cord

I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything,

~P.

I was on top of the world, and then I tripped

This morning I was up at 5 AM to have a little time on the computer before going for a hike and climbing up a mountain in India. Not something I get to say everyday. The boys were late meeting with the York College students and we didn’t actually start our walk until nearly 6:30 AM. Time is relative in India, we have come to learn, and just because someone says they will meet you at a certain time, don’t expect them to keep their word. Finally, we were off.

It was still a little dark out and drizzling slightly.

It was still a little dark out and drizzling slightly.

The boys said the walk was 2 kilometers in distance or 1.25 miles so I wasn’t worried. (They changed their story after the walk and said it was more like 6 km or 3 and a half miles, give or take. They didn’t want to scare us off I guess.) The walk to the mountain was interesting. As we passed through the village people stared like we were the local sideshow…oh yeah, we are the sideshow this month. It’s not everyday the HOINA boys walk through the village with ten females. Everyone was friendly though, waving as we passed through. It seems to be rare to encounter someone who isn’t friendly in India to be honest.

We reached the area where construction is taking place. There were piles and piles of stones where there will be schools and condominiums built. Some of the boys decided to run across the piles of stones. I walked around them as they weren’t very stable and I still had the mountain to conquer. The boys got a kick out of sinking into the stones and sliding down the sides. The billboards proudly proclaimed some major construction coming in the future. I know India is hurting for living space but it seemed a bit sad to see the trees coming off the mountainside.

sprinting across the stones

sprinting across the stones

The future of the mountain

The future of the mountain

So we took the sometimes really skinny trail toward the top of the mountain. It was only cleared about 3/4th of the way up. The “road” and I use that term lightly, came to an abrupt end where the bulldozer sat waiting for someone to fire it up and resume clearing the mountainside. The drill holes where the dynamite was dropped in was obvious. The thought of dynamite in this country scares me…

The view was amazing but a bit hazy. I think it a combination of humidity and smog. It might have just been the weather also because it was raining but hot, unlike home which is raining and really cold. Freezing cold and that’s not happening in India, not even in the freezer.

Top of the world...ok, just the side of the mountain, but close enough.

Top of the world…ok, just the side of the mountain, but close enough.

Our mountain guides

Our mountain guides

So on our way back down I couldn’t help but notice the rock wall that beckoned me to climb it. A couple of my classmates walked up to it but just didn’t have the guts to go for it. I said, “I think I can climb that.” My new brothers were adamant with, “No, sister, too dangerous.” They don’t realize I enjoy a smidgen of danger and sometimes a spattering! So I handed over my camera and bag and went for it, and it was easy to scale. I just didn’t stop or think about it, only focused on moving forward and up and in no time, I was at the top, pulling myself over the ledge. No problem, my brothers! After they saw the “mom” of the group could do it without a hitch, they all followed like sheep.  Baaaaa!

Sheep Leader

Sheep Leader

My sheep

My sheep

After the climactic climb, we made our way back down the mountain. The view was just amazing as the fog/smog burned off. At one point I yelled down the mountain to Caitlin…amazing how the voice can carry. The villagers probably heard my shout out to my sister from another mother. We saw some vintage farm equipment on the way back. I guess it’s vintage, but around here, you never know. It was decorated for Christmas either way. 😉

Taking the easier way back down

Taking the easier way back down

This roller wishes you a Merry Christmas

This roller wishes you a Merry Christmas

We were nearly back to the village and actually walking on paved road. Yes, there are some smoothly paved roads out in the middle of no where. It was pretty amazing considering we have spent so much time on dirt roads, bouncing around like beans inside maracas, and the next thing I know gravity has taken over as my left ankle took a bad turn. I can’t get over that I can play cricket with teenagers and climb a rock wall, but I can’t walk down a paved road with out nearly breaking my ankle. I didn’t actually trip (just sounded good in the title) nor did I fall to the ground, but I did manage a nice sprain. I took it easy the rest of the day and with some pain killers (no prescription needed in India!) I’m feeling pretty good today, maybe not on top of the world, but much better than last night!

The sprain was a drain

The sprain was a drain

Loving India but can’t wait to come back home!

~P.

 

Hospitals in India

Healthcare in India

I had my first ever tour of an Indian hospital on Wednesday. Those who know me well know that it takes something rather monumental to bother me. This not only bothered me, I didn’t go into the second hospital until my professor came outside and told me to come in, but that is getting ahead of my story.

The first hospital, King George Hospital, is run by the government. I knew it was a bad sign when the departments were spelled incorrectly outside the hospital. I realize India uses the British form of English, but trust me, even the Brits aren’t this creative in their spelling.

As soon as we walked into the lobby area I was mortified to see a sign hanging, posted with used syringe needles. Are you freaking kidding me? How can these people be nurses and doctors and still use a needle to hang a sign thanking 2013 for the lessons they learned and claim to be prepared for 2014? Just the fact the sign is hanging there, held by needles, meant they haven’t learned jack shit.

Our first stop was the emergency room area. There wasn’t any action at the time so you would think someone would take time to clean up after the recent rush of patients, but that wasn’t the case. My skin began to creep looking around. The stacking plastic chairs transformed into wheelchairs…wow, that is creative in fulfilling a necessity. Rust is obviously a huge problem in India as the humidity is enough to keep my hair curling and turn all metal into dust. On our way to the dermatology treatment room I noticed the direction to pick up the swine flu. We did not go that direction, thank you Jesus.

In the room that is designated for skin care I couldn’t help but wonder how the hell people don’t develop more skin diseases from just entering. This was supposed to be where you go to get rid of a rash, not pick one up. There should never be a standing bowl of water for a wash area anywhere in India. It’s an invitation for the mosquitoes to gather and multiply and the one sink that was in the room I wouldn’t touch with gloves on much then yet wash my hands. Either the sink couldn’t be completely turned off or no one ever bothered to try because the water that is supposed to be conserved just ran in a thin stream the entire time we were in this horrid room. I’m sure we left with a skin disease.

We passed the laboratory and I chose not to enter. I couldn’t get past the fact that Dr. Frankenstein probably had a nicer set up. We exited King George (he should be rolling over in his grave to have this joint named after him) and everyone but me re-entered in another area. I had zero interest in seeing anymore filth. I told my classmate, Caitlin, I wasn’t going in and she passed the word to our professor. He wasn’t concerned, but while I was out there a local started trying to talk to me. I had no clue what he was saying since I don’t speak Telegu. He pulled out a plastic sleeve similar to what our car insurance card might be used for and it said police on it. I almost laughed since he obviously was NOT a police officer. He must have thought I was a foreigner who just fell off the turnip truck. I just kept saying English, English and then another local stopped and translated that this man wanted to know if I needed help. I said “No, I am waiting for my friend inside.” The second man passed this on but I suppose the wannabe cop wasn’t happy. He went and found a real policeman and said something to him. The officer asked me if I needed help and I repeated myself. He nodded and motioned that I could resume sitting. No sooner had I sat down and Fyfe came outside and told me to come back into the hospital of King Vile, I mean George. I went along, not pleased, and viewed more unbelievable sights.

After entirely too long we finally left the first hospital. The next one was a hospital that practiced Ayurvedic medicine. I stayed on the bus with six of my classmates. We had seen enough. Caitlin, the only one of the six of us who is studying to be a doctor said even she had seen enough and preferred dead people over the tragic condition of King George hospital. Caitlin is studying to be a coroner. I hope after she graduates medical school to follow her around at work one day. That will be incredibly interesting and dead bodies can’t smell worse than India. I did snap a few pictures of the city while we waited for the rest of our class. It’s amazing how many houses can be built in one small area by just stacking them on top of each other and praying to the god of support beams they don’t come crashing down on a family of fifteen in the middle of the night.

We drove past the Bay of Bengal on our way to the maternity hospital. The ships on the water were eerie and the caught fish drying out along the road did not make anyone hungry. Imagine that.

I chose to go into the maternity hospital because I just love babies and was curious to see if there would be some hygienic improvement because infants were being born here. It was minimal. With the great concern about the spread of AIDS in this county, the methods of handling blood and newborns was just shocking, and I’m not easily shocked. There is NO privacy for any patients. We were allowed to look at patient records, walk through treatment rooms and get this, enter a delivery room while the mother was being stitched up. Her baby had JUST been born and she had passed the placenta. Had we not been at the Ayurvedic Hospital, we probably could have witnessed the birth. They cleaned the baby off and wrapped her in a blanket, placing her under a warming lamp. I asked if I could take her picture and the nurse said yes. Amazing.

Next we went to the maternity ward where the recent mothers and babies stay for about two days. I felt crowded when I shared a room with another mother. I can’t imagine giving birth and spending two days in that crowded nightmare. After passing through the ward we went to the NICU or infant intensive care. We were all shocked when they welcomed us in, just had to take off our shoes. The doctor had on ripped jeans and was all about prying the baby’s eyes open to show she had jaundice. I would have taken his word for it. He even offered to let one of the nursing students touch the baby’s back but she politely declined stating she didn’t have on gloves. We saw boxes of gloves, but I don’t recall a single employee using gloves. I guess the gloves are reserved for heavy bleeders. The doctor said babies born at six months or earlier do not live. He said it so matter of fact it took us a while to realize that preemies had zero chance of living in India and even those born at full-term were still at risk.

So many women have the HIV virus in India that there is a constant line of pregnant women waiting to be tested. From what I understand, having the virus while pregnant does not mean your child will be born with the virus so all mothers get tested. If they are positive, they are informed that breastfeeding will pass on the virus, but so many mothers have no way of buying formula they nurse their child and infect them rather than let them starve. I, and I’m sure everyone reading this post, cannot imagine being in a situation where I either let my child die of starvation or infect them with a disease that has no cure. This experience has opened my eyes to the amazing health care we receive in America and how grateful we should be that our government gives a damn. There was nothing about this Indian hospital that made me believe there was any true desire on the government’s behalf to improve the quality of life and health care for Indian citizens.

After returning to the HOINA campus, I seriously considered pouring bleach over my entire body.

I may never recover from seeing this. Click the first thumbnail to view India’s governmental disgrace. (Purely my opinion, of course)

~P.

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