Posts Tagged With: laundry

SIX HOURS ON A BUS TO NAGAUR

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On our way home from our respective home hosted dinners, we spotted several weddings. Ranvir tells us he rode a white horse to his wedding. It is a tradition, a white horse, black horse or an elephant.

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Revelers were waiting on the groom and his entourage. Ranvir told us anybody would be welcome to join if they just showed up.

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Ranvir asks the bus driver to drive slowly so we can see, but that is a pretty tough thing to do in heavy traffic.

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We catch a glimpse of this beautifully dressed groom on his way to his wedding. No flash,  a window, a moving bus, it is blurry, my apologies. But look how colorful his clothing is.

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As we pass the window to our hotel, there is a wedding celebration on a lower floor. I decide sleep is more important and to bed.

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In the morning, before leaving for Nagaur, we make several stops. An ATM and a drug store where I buy cough drops for Theo and batteries for my clock. Everyone it seems needs something. It is a muddy, crowded spot with a laundry next door. I was fascinated by the steam iron the laundryman was using. But, the man in the pink sweater was very curious about us.

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His friend indicated he wanted his picture taken. It is one of those ever sweet moments you don’t forget as he smiled proudly at his own permanent image from my camera.

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As we load into the bus, this young bull stole an eggplant off a vegetable stand. The owner physically pushed him out of the way and scolded. They have to be harsh to protect their livelihood.

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From the bus window I see a wild pig that also has the run of the town we are passing through.

 

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The road is bumpy in places, but it is a major highway as well. These men are digging this huge ditch by hand tools and carrying dirt and rocks away with pans on their heads. Reminds me of China.

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We pass through a town that produces marble. People in the area suffer high rates of silicosis. They have masks, but don’t use them.

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Another town that specializes in shoe making. Leather, in a country that does not eat beef.

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I saw a large herd of obviously “owned” and cared for cattle. There must be a sect that doesn’t worry about the sacredness of the cow.

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This herd of cattle crossed the busy highway and when a huge truck coming at us approached, they hustled a bit faster. dsc00088-copy

We crossed a bridge and the tariffs to cross are fairly steep.

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Women with heavy loads walk with their back to traffic.

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It appears to me they use their own clothing to wrap around the burden.

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Ranvir guesses that these horses are headed for the Fair to be sold.

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We roll into this small town and Ranvir is talking about the people here who escape taxes by building their own funky motors. They are pasted together with spare parts from here and there. No license fees to pay. The government doesn’t know they exist. They break down often but they are happy with them. He said maybe we could ride in one? I thought he was kidding.

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Remember, this is a long drive. And a funky motor is quite a diversion. Theo grabbed the seat next to the driver.

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The rest of us loaded into the back, and here we are, after the ride was over.dsc00203-copy

The ride attracted a lot of curious onlookers.

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They seem ever fascinated by blonde hair. Kathy and Theo get a lot of attention.

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Ranvir decided to get some fruit for us to snack on in the bus.

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Sandy bought a bunch of veggies for the skinny looking cows nearby.

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If you feed one cow…

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They all come.

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Back on the road again. The terrain changes. This area is moist now. But, summer monsoon, it is flooded.

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I see drying dung piles all along the way and I finally get it. It is fuel and it must be dried and stored before the rains com.

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And finally, Naguar, the tent city for the camel festival. More tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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SIGNS OF HEALING FROM BUTTE FIRE

DSC06862 (Copy)The Resource and Recovery Center for the Butte Fire is all but closed. School children are still dropped off at the center where they can get a snack and wait for their parents to pick them up when they get off work. When we pulled in, this is what greeted us.

DSC06863 (Copy)Two kids on the left are 5th graders, two on the right are 6th graders, enjoying some chips and dip. They told me they were building houses out of cardboard boxes.

DSC06866 (Copy)A bit crowded to be sure. One girl held the flap open while I took the picture.

DSC06867 (Copy)This is a two room house, they bragged.  I was impressed.

DSC06868 (Copy)The 5th graders invited me into their house.

DSC06869 (Copy)Roomy and cozy.

DSC06870 (Copy)They had each made a cardboard bed with a cardboard stuffed pillow and an extra piece of cardboard for padding. Well done. I could see the signs of healing in their smiling faces.DSC06871 (Copy)As we walked away from the kids, I saw a woman watching them and she was hanging back. I told her they were building houses. She said, “I’m so glad my son is building a house. He needs that right now.”  We both got a bit emotional. I could not have predicted how much this fire affected me from my house burning down when I was about the same age as these kids.

DSC06873 (Copy)At the back of the Center is a tent city.

DSC06872 (Copy)A huge truck with washing machines provides laundry. I didn’t see it yesterday, but did the day I had volunteered. A sign also announces the showers are available between 8 am to 8 pm, every day. There are portable toilets on the grounds as well. Not the way you choose to live, but a welcome necessity.

DSC06874 (Copy)Stacks of rice straw are available to burn victims to distribute on their land to help prevent erosion during the coming rains of winter

DSC06893 (Copy)We drove up toward Railroad Flat. Jim got a first hand look at the devastation. One property had a sign, Looters Will Be Shot. Since my son’s place was burglarized during the fire, I could understand their fears.

DSC06880 (Copy)This picture really got to me. It was obvious at this site that the owners had gone through the wreckage and pulled things out and stacked them in painful little piles; a reminder of my folks doing the same thing. I remember searching for my rosary I’d just gotten for Christmas. My mother fascinated and tearful over a jar of change she’d been saving where coins and glass were melted together.

DSC06900 (Copy)We were beyond Mountain Ranch and here the power lines in two or more places were still on the ground. You can see the line temporarily attached to a tree to keep it up off the road so cars could pass under. Most of the power poles themselves survived the fire. Jim was amazed that so many trees were still standing. He thought they would be flat on the ground. Of course, many standing will die and have to be removed. Trees with an X on them scheduled for removal. I only saw one large tree with an L on it for leave.  Then we visited the local VFW and quaffed a beer and washed away the imaginary ashes in our mouths.

 

 

 

 

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