Day Two

   Posted by: Dean White   in India


·         City of Pune

·         Maharashtre Fellowship for the Deaf (school for deaf children)

Purpose: Minister to the deaf children: bring them backpacks, magic show and crafts

Tomorrow: Santvana Orphanage and Red Light District


  • Drive to Pune
  • City of Pune
  • School for the Deaf Children
  • Food of India

Quote of the day: “Pune has many students who have a lot of time and money and is the reason why AIDS has spread so rapid.”

I try to write my blog in the evening about 10pm (9:30am your time) but I was so exhausted last night I went straight to bed and I am writing instead this morning (8:30am my time, 8pm night before your time).  The night before I didn’t sleep at all.  So I wrote the outline for a book on the rights of passages every boy takes as he travels on his journey to become a man.  I know… it is just how my brain works.  We will see if I ever get it written and published. 

Drive to Pune

Pune was about a 4 hour drive from Mumbai.  I took a ton of photos of the country side that was laced with tall vacant old buildings, factories, slums, and large billboards.  About 2 hours outside of Pune the countryside changed and out of nowhere this deep green and beautiful landscape appeared as if God dipped his paint brush and began painting a masterpiece.  The richness of the green shades as they deepened and lightened from the valleys to the hills was breath taking.  We drove through tunnels of which I know I have seen in a Mission Impossible or Indiana Jones movie.   


Pune (pronounced Poo Ney) is the education hub for India.  There are many people, tons of traffic and a vast difference in the economical status of the people.  Right next to a very nice coffee house you might see what would appear as a trash dump and is actually a place someone lives.  Cows walk the streets freely and cars, bikes, buses, 3 wheeled rickshaws all try to weave around them.  In addition, there are goats, pigs and wild boars scavenging through piles of garbage alongside the poor who are also looking for a meal.  Pune also has the highest HIV positive concentration of individuals in India.  I know I have just began to discover this city, for tonight I will visit the red light district where the sex trade lives and grows and my eyes will be opened in ways my heart is not prepared.

School for the Deaf

Around 2pm, we arrived to see 31 beautiful deaf students all ready to perform for us.  We sat in plastic chairs as they danced and danced … and performed stunts to our delight.  Each one of them had huge smiles and gestured their arms and hands in ways to communicate their appreciation of us coming to see them.  After their performance, it was my turn. I was a bit nervous.  I rely so heavily on my words to win a crowd over that much of my magic is done with explaining what I am doing or what I want the volunteer to do.  They were a great audience as you would imagine … even when one of my tricks did not work, … so I tried it again, … and it didn’t work again!  After the magic show we did a craft and played a few games with them. 

The school actually houses and teaches 116 children ranging from 3 to 18 years old.  There live in dormitories and only go home for holidays.  The children are all very sweet, well behaved and grateful.  Orphan Outreach collects backpacks from throughout the country and we were able to give each child a backpack.  They were ecstatic!  We passed them out as if it was an awards ceremony with each volunteer taking turns as the kids stood up and received their gift.  At the end we said our goodbyes and one child gave me his craft signing that he would miss me. 


The food here is colorful and not only because of appearance but also in taste. The spices are so unique.  They are spicy but not too hot.  Full of flavor and in some ways I feel my pallet has been awakened for the first time.  Luckily my stomach has been able to handle the new experience as well.  So far so good.  I cannot say this is the same for the whole team.  But most are doing well.  As you know, there is no beef, and in fact, very little meat period.  Most menus are mainly vegetarian and then in the back you will see a very small section that says, ‘non-vegetarian.’ Last night we ate at a Mughlai India restaurant.  We ate three types of curry sauces with our Nan bread.  The bugs on the wall and table were just part of the atmosphere. I think I saw one large bug eat another one.  Hey why not … it’s dinner time.

Thought of the Day

I walked down the street late last night by myself, looking for a place I could walk in and use their restroom.  I asked stranger and he pointed to a business that was called Myrumi and under the sign it read ‘Ultimate Pleasures.’ The glass doors were smoked and it looked like a nice place compared to other establishments around it.  Plus I really had to go.  So … I walked in.  Luckily for me it was a restaurant!  But it made me think how often we make an assumption before finding the truth.  India has caused me to rethink many things, and what I first assumed I would discover here is much different.  In India they embrace life, accept differences and find ways to blend together. 


p.s. we are now staying at the YMCA in Pune.  Not bad & not the Ramada.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 12th, 2008 at 9:11 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.

4 comments so far


Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to include us on your trip to India. I feel like I am right there with you taking in all the new sights, sounds, and tastes. I can feel the excitement, hear the din of the crowds, see the colors swirl and blend before me. I love the pictures-The children are beautiful. I am praying that all of you stay safe and pjhysically strong- Can’t wait until the next blog. Love, Denise

October 12th, 2008 at 10:30 pm
The Hambright Family

Hi Dean,
I feel like I’m traveling in India with you! Thank you for taking the time to write so eloquently. I feel as though I’m there experiencing it with you! You didn’t choke on any of those scarfs did you? Is there a certified CPR person with you? How blessed were those children to share in your magical talents. My girls still talk about our special lunches with Dean and his magic!! We need to introduce Cole to your gift. He LOVES magic! Heather is in her second year of sign language at Lutheran High and Santiago College. She is planning on majoring in deaf studies. She chooses to spend her weekends with the deaf community and would LOVE to be with you at that orphanage! Gods richest blessings. We are covering you in prayer.
Hugs, Debbie, Vince and the gang!

October 13th, 2008 at 11:58 am

That little girl w/the blue eyes is georgeous! Like that National Geographic cover from years ago (except she had green eyes). ANYWAY, thank you for letting us all share in this. Funny, emotional & inspiring. I wanna be like you when I grow up.

October 14th, 2008 at 10:57 am
Martha Leal

I just sat down to review my emails and follow-up on your request. When you said you where in India — I thought vacation. You are creating an amazing journey and I thank you for sharing it. I love the pictures and the stories. I am going to share them with my family. Be safe in your travels and endeavors. I’ll keep you all in my prayers.
Martha Leal

October 14th, 2008 at 4:19 pm