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.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

JAN 2010


JAN 6, 2010 HI,

I remember talking to him about a mission some months ago. Well, thanks for telling me.

Definitely focus on keeping your self active and in shape. I'm doing more than a few push ups every morning. I'm not where I want to be yet, mostly because my companions won't run with me, but I'm closer than before.

Don't let mom get too carried away with her work. It's important, but all things in moderation. It's amazing, but the time is flying by. John is coming home, then Spencer, Mark and Matt... myself sometime in the future. Haha, it's fun.

Alright!Thanks for sending that info Mom. I care more and more. Personally, you were right about reporting numbers. It's funny, the housing and family situation in Panama and Costa Rica is the same as India. We too have investigators living in 1 or 2 room shacks with extended families.

People here also walk right through the home like they own it. Very communal living. Then again, there are over a billion people here. If you need personal space.... good luck.

On that note, I have not completely gotten over my "stop touching me" feelings, but that's by India's standards. I'll probably be considered a touchy feely in America now because of how close I can sit next to a man... and because men hold each others hands to cross the street here in India.

Here's an update on some Investigators:1. Anand and Kavitha. They have a daughter in 1st grade and a young son. Anand drives an auto (like a ghetto taxi.) He is very humble and loves to read the Book of Mormon. He is very sincere. His wife speaks very little English, but people are helping her out a lot at church. I'm so excited for them. They are preparing to be baptized on the 7th of February.

2. Thangu, Ravichendran, Ramya, and Raj Mohan. Great family. They speak *very* little English, but have been reading the Tamil Book of Mormon and attending church AND activities. They intend to be baptized in about a month but are working out some complications. They are very happy and live together with extended family. The other elders really like to talk to them because they smile a lot.

3. Umm, and lots more.

I love you so very much!Kyle

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