This blog is produced by the Shep Family... we post letters and photos that Kyle sends us from time to time...

A resident of Chennai is called a Chennaiite. As of 2001, Chennai city had a population of 4.34 million, while the total metropolitan population was 7.04 million. The estimated metropolitan population in 2006 is 4.5 million.In 2001, the population density in the city was 63,926 per mi, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The average literacy rate is 80.14%, much higher than the national average of 64.5%. The city has the fourth highest population of slum dwellers among major cities in India, with about 820,000 people (18.6% of its population) living in slum conditions. In 2005, the crime rate in the city was 313.3 per 100,000 people, accounting for 6.2% of all crimes reported in major cities in India. The number of crimes in the city showed a significant increase of 61.8% from 2004.

The majority of the population in Chennai are Tamilians. Tamil is the primary language spoken in Chennai. English is widely spoken especially in business, education and white collar professions.

According to the 2001 census, Hindus constitute about 81.27% of the city's population, and Muslims (9.37%), Christians (7.63%) and Jains (1.05%) are other major religious groups

Chennai is a major centre for music, art and culture in India.[77] The city is known for its classical dance shows and Hindu temples. Every December, Chennai holds a five-week long Music Season celebrating the 1927 opening of the Madras Music Academy

Among Chennai's festivals, Pongal is celebrated over five days in January, is the most important. Almost all major religious festivals such as Deepavali, Eid and Christmas are celebrated in Chennai. Tamil cuisine in Chennai includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the city's restaurants offer light meals or tiffin, which usually include rice-based dishes like pongal, dosa, idli and vadai,


Chennai has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate. The city lies on the thermal equator and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature. The weather is hot and humid, for most of the year. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known locally as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or as Kathiri Veyyil,[32] with maximum temperatures around 38–42 °C (100–108 °F). The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures around 18–20 °C (64–68 °F). The lowest temperature recorded is 15.8 °C (60.4 °F) and highest 45 °C (113 °F). The average annual rainfall is about 51 in. The city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north-east monsoon winds, from mid-October to mid-December. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city. The highest annual rainfall recorded is 2,570 mm (101 in) in 2005.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


Tell me how the superbowl goes. Maybe the teams don't matter but it sure is fun to
watch and be with friends and eat junk food. What's going on at work? It sounds like
you're working very hard, but you're changing jobs? I'll continue to pray for you
and family of course.

Pongal is... I'm not sure. A full week of holiday for some Hindu reason. It means
that nothing gets done... more. There are tons of holidays and plenty of days for
taking off of work and not going to school. Which is sometimes good for teaching,
but sometimes it means that everyone leaves Raj. My companion is excellent. He's
been out for 13 months now. He's a relatively new convert so his testimony is strong.

I've notice that for relatively recent-converts that they tend to either be very
gung-ho or pretty passive. They have strong testimonies, but sometimes they like to
say things very boldly and quickly. They don't realize that they were taught slowly
and line upon line. Haha, they challenge the beliefs of others quickly and love to
demand that investigators believe instantly.

The most recent letter that I've received from you was a drawing of myself looking
much thinner than I actually am. It was quite entertaining. I also received a package
from sister Dickson. Please tell her thank you very very much and the contents were
delicious (what was left of them, seriously, the Indian postal people opened the box
and ate half of the butterfinger bar and a package of koalas (this is a fact, it
wasn't rats.)) And for mom: they sell or sold those koalas in America also, some
people had them in their lunchboxes in elementary school, they were good enough to
have remembered them that far back.

I'm working hard of course. We've *almost* moved into the new apartment, we'll be
shopping for a fridge, washing machine, and stove today, so hopefully we'll be in
later this week.

I love you soooo very much, and I'm working on humility every day.
Keep sharing the gospel!

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