Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Last foray into the rural areas

Posted by Chris on October 31, 2007

Turns out that my trip last Friday was the last one I’ll be making out to a rural town/village. This week was interrupted by political things. I am hoping to visit with an NGO on Friday or Saturday, but it is in the city, and to do some other things I’ve been meaning to do in the city before leaving for Delhi on Sunday.

At this village, I heard from many SHGs. Three times groups of 4-6 SHGs were assembled, so there was say 15 groups all together, but I did not get as much of an in-depth view of each.

One unique aspect of the NGO work was that I met men from two different male SHGs. I have visited other NGOs which have male SHGs but did not visit a meeting or hear much about their activities. The other interesting, new thing was the each group welcomed me with a garland of flowers around my neck and dotting my forehead with a paste that i think is from sandalwood (and i believe this dot is called the tikka– the normal hindu one you would normally think of is a bindi).getting a garland, bouquet, and tikka (dot)– i was kind of embarassed by the attn, hence the weird smile.

Instead, I’m going to highlight more of the scenery. Before we met with SHGs, we visited a 1000-year-old Hindu Temple. this temple is over 1000 years old, and is still actively used. It is very tall and that is just open space, not rooms or stairs or anything. Not being a well-traveled person, this is the oldest structure or human-made thing I’ve ever seen. Pretty cool.

Second, I’ve posted a video that was taken from the motor-van ride. The village is on an island. There is a very new, very nice bridge, however the infrastructure surrounding it is not yet built up—there was a sand road leading to the bridge, thus only foot, motor bike, and motor van traffic is crossing. The road from the bridge, leading to the different villages, was a small brick road. Even if it could cross the bridge, our car could not have navigated the road.

The motor van was a vehicle I had not yet seen. It was like a cycle van, which is a bike with a flatbed behind it, but motorized. I was told it was assembled from a variety of parts, like a water pump for the motor. These vehicles are not licensed to be used on real roads I think?! But here, no one’s saying anything. Our trip was approx 10 km total, about 5 which was done on the motor van; it was a pleasant ride.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


2 Responses to “Last foray into the rural areas”

  1. Sheila Hargett said

    Hey, Not sure what happened, but the video didn’t show up/appear on the screen so that we could watch it. We didn’t realize that flower garlands were an Indian custom also.

  2. there, it should be working now.

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