Sharing The Good News With Clean Water

Clean Water Installation - Guatemala

Clean Water Installation – Guatemala

In November, 2007, I had the privilege of being a minor member of the team that went to Guatemala to install the first of many Clean Water  Systems for the families and children of that country.

Why do I bring this up now?  Today, Mark, the leader of that trip and the many other trips since then, wrote a little blurb in your church newsletter that I thought was worth sharing.  It gives the background of how it all started and how that trip has snowballed into supplying clean water to upwards of 13,000 families in Guatemala.

Below are two JPEG images of the text, but it might be easier to read in pdf form using this link:    Sharing The Good News Sharing The Good News_Page_1Sharing The Good News_Page_2I hope that excites you about the possibilities of making a difference.

Scene from Guatemala

Of course, the camera came along and captured images of a gorgeous country such as the photo above.  Lots of photos here: Guatemala Mission Trip

Kids Everywhere Love to Have Fun

But what I remember most was the beautiful people and especially the precious children.  It is the children that suffer so much from effects dirty water and it is the children that probably drives most of us to want to keep returning to do it again and again.  Once you spend time with these kids, your heart will be broken for them and I found that to be a very good thing.

Here is a gallery of photos from the Sunday we spent playing games with a group of children from the orphanage.  Gallery of Photos of those Precious Children

Time to renew my passport for another trip.  If you are inclined to consider serving as part of one of these many teams, let me know and I can help you get more information.   The teams have had 3 year old through 80+ year old participants and all can find a way to contribute in meaningful ways.  If you go, not only do you help others, but you will find your life changed.

Ron Ludekens – September 13, 2013

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Still A Kid At Heart

Fireworks ImageI still love fireworks.  As a youth, it was the fun of shooting them off and whatever other mischief we could get into by making them louder.

Today, I really enjoy trying to capture images of them (less burned fingers this way). This year we were invited by friends to the Visalia Country Club for their celebration on July 3rd.  It was a very toasty night after 107 degree day but the slight breeze kept the skies relatively clear of smoke.

Fireworks image 2Besides the friends we were with, there were two other reasons I liked this display of fireworks.  1) There were much smaller crowds.  In fact most of the crowd was much closer to the shooting point and I was all alone on one of the back fairways.  2) What makes these photos special is there is a lake to capture reflections!

Fireworks Image 3Fireworks Image 4  One minor gripe about the evening – the clubhouse left its outdoor lights on and it shows in most of the wider shots.

There are 116 photos from this evening if you are so inclined to browse through the gallery:  3rd of July Fireworks 2013 – Visalia Country Club.   Enjoy.

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Cup Of Jazz

210 Patrons Enjoying Saturday Morning Jazz

210 Patrons Enjoying Saturday Morning Jazz

Do you enjoy music or having a good time?  Enjoy food and good company?  I know a place where you can find it.

For some weeks I have been hearing rumblings of fun times and good music coming from the Saturday morning gathering of musicians and music fans at 210 in downtown Visalia (210 Center Street).  Last Saturday I was able to break free from work and experience it myself – and I plan to return soon!.  Of course, camera in hand, I took some photos.

Musicians, singers and dancers making music together.

Musicians, singers and dancers (some from the audience) making music together.

I have not done any proper journalistic investigation on how this all started, but I gather the very talented man behind the piano, Richard Garoogian, has gathered some friends to  play a variety of jazz each Saturday morning from 10:00 AM to Noon.  And the talent is tremendous!  Did I mention, this musical event is FREE too.  (Apologies up front that I could not stay longer and get the names of everyone).

Richard Garoogian

I liked that Richard gave stories of how some of the music/lyrics were created from the artists he has rubbed elbows with over his career.

Jazz on the Flute

Jazz on the Flute

Jazz on the Harmonica

Jazz on the Harmonica

Add some delightful singing

Add some delightful singing

Larry on the Base

Larry on the Bass

Singing with audience participation

Singing with both musicians and audience participation

A little Soft Shoe next to a Barista doing Tap Dancing

A little Soft Shoe next to a Barista doing Tap Dancing

When I took this next photo, it was with the idea of showing the yummy goodies to eat at 210 – and the person eating it had character.

Eating one of 210's delicious pastries

Eating one of 210’s delicious pastries

Then I watched as he grabbed the microphone and belted out a number of hits.  Clearly “New York Dave” has done this many times before.

“New York Dave” belting out the hits

Latin Dancing to Beethoven's Für Elise

A little Latin Dancing to Beethoven’s Für Elise – probably my most favorite creative piece of music for the day

Once upon a time in another life, I dabbled at the piano.  When I was young my Aunt Sue played magnificently Beethoven’s Für Elise in our home and over a long time I pecked away at it until I had memorized it.  So I was surprised when Richard starts playing the traditional piece on the piano and soon it magically morphs into a Latin Tango, yet you could still recognize Für Elise in it.  Magnificent!  Wished I had shot video of it to capture the music.

I had a delightful time and cannot wait to return to more musical enjoyment.  Hope you stop by 210 on a Saturday morning and take it all in.  Bring your appetite too – the food is good.

146 more photos of this morning posted here: Cup of Jazz

   Ron Ludekens 2-13-13

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