Day Four

   Posted by: Dean White   in India


· Santvana Orphanage

· Dinner with Dr. Samson Parekh

Purpose: Connect and tell the story of Zacchaeus to the children of Santvana Orphanage and do some key connections so to enhance the ministry of Orphan Outreach.

Tomorrow: Santvana Orphanage fieldtrip to Empress Park and the Red Light District


  • Santvana Orphanage & lunch with Dr. Edwards
  • Food & Accommodations
  • Videos
  • Our Team
  • Picture of that Crazy Monkey

Quote of the day: “In India we have a saying, ‘There is never room in the house but always in the heart.’”

Today was a very fun day. There is a festival in town today and many people are celebrating. It is a small festival for a person who helped write one of the holy books in the Hindi faith. Tonight there were fireworks, music blaring and even a stage where professional singers sang popular Hindi songs. And the moon looked almost completely full adding to the wonders of the night. There are not as many lights in the city as we have at home; therefore, the night sky is very brilliant as if you were in the mountains or the desert.

Santvana Orphanage & lunch with Dr. Edwards

Today was another great day at Santvana. We told stories, decorated t-shirts and played with the kids. We also were invited to Dr. Edward’s home for lunch. Her and her husband share a modest apartment with her daughter, her husband and their 3 kids. They gave us a wonderful meal and she said that in India there is not always room in the house but always room in the heart. Man… you gotta love this woman.


I thought I would catch you up a bit on food and accommodations and keep the blog today a bit on the lighter side. I know yesterday was a bit heavy and I am guessing tomorrow might be too. So … what’s for dinner? Well, last night we ate at … you won’t believe it … Pizza Hut! But it was unlike any Pizza Hut you have ever been to. The only thing that looked familiar was the sign on the door. Even my green, mango drink that looked refreshing on the menu turned out burning my tongue because of the chili pepper they added to it. This was the only meal since being in India that I did not like. I have enjoyed the flavor and the experience in the variety of places we have eaten. Below are a few photos of meals I have had. Do they remind you of anything?


Well there are many different things here. In our bathroom is also the shower. One room with a sink, toilet and the shower. The first time I used the shower, I got the toilet paper all wet … it ballooned up of course, didn’t know to turn the switch on the wall on for hot water … I know now!, and I still don’t know what the buckets are used for. To turn a light switch on you push it down, I can’t find a trash can anywhere and end up just carrying my trash for the entire day. There is trash everywhere, but I just can’t get myself to add to the mess. The toilet in my room is normal but many places have a squatter. See photos below. You don’t use your left hand for eating since it is your cleaning hand … I will let you figure that one out. Even at fancy restaurants people eat with their hands. At the end of the meal they bring you a little silver bowl with hot water and a lime slice in it to wash your finger tips. And that reminds me … napkins are not that common either. You use your finger, lick your fingers and then at the end of the meal they bring you a bowl to clean your fingers. It works.


I have uploaded a few videos for you to watch. One is driving through the city of Pune. I am literally sitting on the passenger’s seat and taking this footage. This was an extremely smooth day compared to some other drives which was just crazy. The kids of the Santvana danced for us today and I took video of that as well … please notice Pooja in the center of one of the videos.

Our Team

I also wanted you to see who is in our team. Robbie and Stacey Halleen who have been friends of mine for years. Stacey works for Orphan Outreach and has been our leader/ organizer. Uma, an Indian gentleman who lives in Delhi and works for Orphan Outreach as an ambassador and connects to all the orphanages in India for Orphan Outreach, Raquel Johnson, another friend of mine for many years, Tawaina, a occupational therapist from Montana, Mary, a retired high school math teacher from Texas, Amber, a manager at Olive Garden in Indiana, and me. We have gotten along remarkably well and yet we are all very different. They call me the wanderer of the group since I will see something down a street interesting and go check it out. Just today I found a really cool dessert place where they put actual silver on top of the dessert you eat. Pretty good stuff. And, not so much as wandering, but I had our car stopped today so we could see these baby sheep. Picture below. We had them for dinner later. J/K

Thought of the Day

Indian people enjoy having company. They don’t feel like their home has to be perfect. Their home is not there to impress, it is the interest they take in you that is important. They want to talk about US politics, your hobbies and they take an interest in what you consider important. They are engaging people. How much do I obsess about my stuff? Don’t answer that. And all along I really just want to engage in the lives of others. For my mind to be challenged. For my life to full fuller not by material things but by lives of others.


p.s. Dr. Samson Parekh is the President of a very well known university here in Pune. He has now agreed to come aboard with Orphan Outreach and serve as an advisor and network specialist. He was the one who knew about Santvana and connected Uma with Dr. Edwards. This was great news since he is very well connected and knows which orphanages run well and truly help the children.

I was not able to upload the videos.  So bummed.  They will have to wait until I get back where I have a faster internet connection.  But here are the photos.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 at 1:45 pm and is filed under India. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

5 comments so far

dori rhodes

I can’t believe it . . .I am sitting on the edge of my seat reading – waiting to scroll down to see the pics and the videos . . but no. . I decide to wait and read the whole blog first only to discover NO pics. ah!!!! such a tease that you are Dean. I will encourage the kids to try using their hands next time in the bathroom . . . on second hand, maybe not! Love, you Dori

October 14th, 2008 at 7:25 pm
Matthew Hogg


Sorry I didn’t get to respond yesterday. I was traveling to Shreveport, Louisiana to visit the General Motors assembly plant. I shared your trip with some of the guys in the plant and one of the guys was India at one of their plants there and was familiar with some of the places you’ve been.

I am continuing to pray for you and your trip and the group, sounds like God is working in in many ways within your group and the overall trip.

You mentioned the almost full moon, as I walked out of my hotel room this morning, before I read this I looked up and saw the full moon and thanked God for his majestic handiwork, amazing how we can see the same things in opposite sides of the world.

Shalom brother,


October 15th, 2008 at 4:29 am

You have me hooked now on my daily Dean fix to find out your next wonderful adventure in India. It sounds so amazing & I wish I could be there to share in it with you. I’m also wondering what the heck I’d do, considering I’m left handed & typically eat with my left hand. Hmmm.

October 15th, 2008 at 11:53 am

I’m really enjoying your posts, Dean. I’m really getting a taste for the country from what you are writing. Have a great rest of your trip!

October 15th, 2008 at 9:05 pm
Kenny Kirscher

The bucket is used incase the flush does not work on your toilet.
( and my toilet paper got wet aswell)
Gods love seems to be way brighter in dark places like indea. I am praying for you and the others, God bless

October 16th, 2008 at 1:58 am