We are driving to an Indian desert safari for the night. Jaisalmer is surrounded by little villages. Some of the villages have people in them and some do not. Some are crumbling, and some have been fixed up. The first village we went to was not welcoming. The adults hid and the kids followed us around asking for money. These villages probably get tired of tourists showing up. They are very small, more like collections of a few houses with a wall around the complex.
This is a view in so you get the idea of what I mean about the structure of the village. This is the traditional style house in this area.
Cricket! This is a cricket obsessed country.
We saw more and more goats. Some were unattended and some, like these, had a shepherd with them. We were picked up at our hotel by a driver in a jeep. There was another group, a father and his daughter, already in the jeep. Their names were Carat and Pooja. We lucked out they were Indians from American. Lucked out because we hit it off right away, and Carat spoke Hindu and perfect English.
The experience in this village was completely different. The woman in pink looked over the edge and waved us in to the village. When she caught my eye she said, “Lady you come in, please.”
Look at that roof. Perhaps this is the type of village the man who wants to come work in American is from. Actually it must be a village similar to this one. At least these were the only type of villages I saw surrounding Jaisalmer.
The group of women and kids who invited us in. They were all warm and welcoming. They invited us through an entrance into a courtyard with a few buildings in the courtyard.
Sean loves kids and animals. They are drying clothes in the sun, check out the solar panel.
The two baby goats were being kept under the domes structure, penned in.
The bangles from elbow to shoulder mean these women are married. Years ago ivory was used for this, now the bangles are made from plastic. We just started seeing the bangles in Udaipur, but only occasionally. They are more common in the villages outside Jaisalmer.
I asked the woman in green where she cooked. She brought me into her house to see this. It was not smoky smelling inside like you might think it would be.
Many times kids have asked us to take their photo so they can look at the image. This is taken inside the house, note the floor, walls, roof, and shelving.
This is used to grind grain and beans like dal. Indian people use a lot of different grains and even some beans in their breads and crackers. Many of their breads are unleavened so gluten content is not an issue. (Yeast breads rise better when the gluten content is high. Gluten is naturally found in wheat and some other grains.)
Here is a nice example of a nose ring. We have not seen them very often. They have ranged from small hoops to huge hoops. They are more common if I include studs. Here I just mean actual rings.
Here is the roof of their house.
Then we were driven to this “lake”. The lake was surrounding by funky unnatural piles of dried mud. “Really. Why are we here?” All the Americans wanted to know. This small open body of water is used as the water source for 15 or 16 villages. The water is sucked into the blue water tank, then it is driven to the village. The piles were from dredging to make the lake.
We would drive a while through the desert landscape, then all of the sudden something would be up ahead.
Here is a fort that is being reconstructed so it is more interesting at a distance. There were peacocks EVERYWHERE!!!
The fort is being reconstructed in what looks like the crumbling ruins of a village.
This was lying on the ground.
Jim and Carat wandered off, and I handed candy out to local kids who showed up asking us for rupees.
How did they live? Why did they leave this village? What would it be like to have so few people in your life? But to know them so well? Have you ever heard the story of how Alexander the Greek, LOL, met Roxanne? The tribal woman that he married. I wonder if she came from a village like this, except one that was in the mountains. A town filled with love, and life, and dancing, and brilliant colors; now filled with peacocks, dust, and solitude.