Where are we now?
View Where are we now? in a larger map Jo, Annie, Miles and I are living in Northport, Alabama and working at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. We've been glad to be in one place for a bit after what appeared to be semi-permanently traveling (in actuality for a period of 2.5 years).We started this blog to catalogue some of the adventures when Jo and I were sequentially conducting our dissertation research in India and Brazil. While we've fallen off the blogging bandwagon somewhat during recent trips to Brazil, we're trying to pick it up again now that we're back in India!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
ematic, I know, but as a pseudo-scholar of community-based tourism, i thought i'd go for it. On the four hour tour (sorry, i just can't tell a lie, it wasn't three and gilligan wasn't there), we visited six villages, most of which were just one house in the middle of a scrub desert. The different houses were quite interesting, and I included several photos from them. The people lived under very "simple" conditions, in mud houses, where they were busy grinding millet (see photo). unfortunately, i didn't get too much more info as my guides english skills left something to be desired. All of the houses were part of the Bornoi sub-caste. This group is particularly interesting, because they believe that nature (trees and animals) are so sacred that they are worth dying for. We went to the site where two hundred years ago the maharaja had tried to chop down some trees. Local women protested, tying themselves to the trees (the origination of the chipko movement!). Unfortunatley, the raj's soldiers cut these women's heads off. As the story goes (I am slightly skeptical), people kept coming, until 363 local villagers had been killed while trying to protect the forest. Now the area is a little park, complete with Peacocks (see photo!).
Two of the other houses we visited were owned by weavers, who showed me their very interesting looms (and unabashedly continually tried to sell me rugs, luckily for me i learned my lesson last year!) (see photos). The last house we visited was owned by a potter. Here in rajasthan, pottery is used quite commonly for drinking vessels as it remains cool. In fact, the roadside lassi (yoghurt smoothie) stands use disposable terra cotta containers for their drinks, which i guess are then simply recycled into clay. This bloke was making these containers, an interesting process i got to watch.
Upon returning to Jodphur, I went up to Meharagangh (sp?) fort. An incredible feat of engineering, it is perched ontop of this rocky outcropping that rises above the old city. It too falls into the impressive ornate fort category, sorry i can't give too much more of an accurate description than that! It is an incredible fort, and was accompanied by an equally incredible walking audio tour of 'international standards' (something Indians are big on proclaiming, often falsely). For me the neatest part of the fort experience was seeing the outer walls and how it had a curvy entrance way (to prevent elephants from gathering full steam when they charged the gates).
After wandering around the fort I weaved my way through the incredibly narrow streets of the old city, at its bluest. It was really pretty, but most so from above where you get a birds eye view of how all the blue coalesces. The rest of the afternoon i have spent sleeping on a park bench, and on the internet, two quite different modalities of being, much in keeping with India. ON to jaisalmer!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
David and Joesphine
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
We arrived in Delhi a week ago, yet have been travelling or on-the-go almost continuously (big surprise). After meeting at the Delhi airport (we took seperate flights, i had spent the night in heathrow while jo took a direct flight) we took a "rest" day, and then an interminable 13 hour taxi ride to the quiet Himalayan town of Naggar, situated on a hill in the Kullu valley, where we have been staying for the last few days.
We have spent our days hiking in the beautiful old-growth deodar forested hills and passing through beautiful villages. The weather is much cooler than the blistering heat of the lowlands, and every day there is a deluge here around three o'clock (luckily we have missed it every day). The nights are cool, and we have been enjoying delicious indian dishes from the roof top restuarant of our hotel. The surrounding villages are very beautiful, and the houses are built from incredibly intricate woodwork (reminiscent of my travels last year).
We will spend another few days in the area, and then head back towards Delhi and then onto Jaipur. Hope everyone is doing well.
Jo and Dave