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Vivian D'Almeida

April 2006 was a memorable time for me. A trip from Perth, where I am settled, to Brisbane to spend time with my married son, Christopher and his wife Lisa; and also to catch up with my good friend and hostel-mate Joseph James (1969) and wife Jacinta. Joe and his wife had been given a thirty-year wedding anniversary gift by his children and the gift brought then from New Zealand to Brisbane. Some of you reading this might remember Joe as the Mr Loyola winner of 1969. That year he also won the gold medal in the Jesuit Schools Essay competition for his contribution of "Push the doors of life open".

Lighting the Lamp

18th of February, 2007, morning 7am: The LAA Medical team of doctors, pharmacists and volunteers leave in 4 Sumos and a Toyota Qualis for Tepasai via Chaibasa. We have packed breakfast and stopped at Chaibasa for some tea at about 9 am. The road thereafter is along the hilly terrain of the Saranda forests. We reach our destiation at around 10.45 am and are greeted by the school children.

Fr. Vattamattam with a child

Jhilling is small village in Purulia District of West Bengal, about 85 km drive from Jamshedpur. Jhilling, like our other medical camp destinations, is marked by poverty and inaccessibility to modern medical services. We have been visiting them once each year now for many years; maybe not be enough, but some thing is better than nothing.

We started at 7 am, the roads were bad and it took us 3 hours to reach there. We were 11 doctors and 7 volunteers including Fr. AugustineVattamattam. We travelled in 4 Sumos and stopped once en route to have packed breakfast, since the route is devoid of any reasonable dhabas or eateries.

Held on Saturday, 29th April 2006, at the Fasy Auditorium, Loyola School, Jamshedpur.

Attended: 61 Members, 30 member spouses & 15 Invitees: teachers, volunteers and doctors.

President, Fr. Augustine Vattamattam: Extended a warm welcome to all the attending members, their spouses and Invitees. He thanked all the senior teachers present in the meeting and extended a special welcome to Dr. Amit Chatterjee.

A mother and child

This the first camp done in partnership with Telcon Ltd., a large Jamshedpur based earth moving equipment manufacturer. Telcon has been doing charitable work in and around Haludbani and hence this location. They financed the entire cost of the camp. Haludbani is off Ghatshila, approximately 65 kms from Loyola School.

On Sunday, September 3rd, 2006, the day of the camp, it is cloudy and could rain. LAA Medical Camp team assembles at Loyola School and leaves for Haludbani at 7 a.m. sharp.