Blogs from Rajasthan, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Bikaner July 24th 2014

Day 5 return to Bikaner and the At Temple A good nights sleep was had by all. Kyla and I were talking to Anker (now I know his real name!) ; he asked if we had seen the,'toilet in the tent'. Neither of us had. We went over.... Amazing! The locals had rigged up a western toilet in a tent! A site to see in the middle of the desert! After breakfast ride camel carts back to the village. We transferred to the vehicles, it was a much longer journey than I remember going out! The trek home was in carts lead by a camel. It was much nicer than the trek in! I shared a cart with Hannah, ... And Patrick. Patrick is from Germany and he has the most wicked sense if humour. He ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Bikaner July 23rd 2014

Day 3 - Bikaner and Camel Safari The train journey was a welcome improvement to the ones that I suffered in China! I got on the train, made my bed, was then asleep within the first ten minutes. I was so ready for a marathon sleep. We arrived into Bikaner early in the morning and reached our hotel by 8am. W We were driven down in local jeeps to a village hotel called The Tamarind. We have a couple of rooms to freshen up and change. I had breakfast of cornflakes with yoghurt closely followed by toast and jam with a lovely cup of black tea! Anker explained that this hotel belonged to the late Mahataj Bhairon Singh, Prime Minister of Bikaner State. I really feel like I am in,The Best Exotic Hotel'! Bikaner is a ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur July 15th 2014

I have now been separated from my friends and family for one month. I am entering my 4th week of being in India, and I have exactly 30 days until I go home. In the time I have been here and for the remainder of my stay one fact will be the most true. I am a foreigner. There are no ways about it. I am white. I have brown straw hair. My eyes are a mix of green and silver. My beard grows down to my neck. My skin is somewhere between pale and pale. I have reflective sunglasses. I walk around with a backpack. I dress in western clothing. I stand out. Living in America, especially on a college campus, I am used to walking down the street amongst a wide variety of physical ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan July 12th 2014

I am Sooo exited about my upcoming Rajasthan trip in September - October this year that words are not enough to describe my zeal and enthusiasm. This is such a long awaited tour that I can't believe that it is finally going to happen. I have read stories about Rajasthan, it's kings, palaces, beautiful princesses, bravery, beauty and food for years and years. I am totally awed by this amazing place and it's beautiful people. It leads the other Indian States in the way it has developed tourism . There is so much information which can be gathered on the Internet but the magic of actually seeing it myself will be awesome. Of course travelling with me is my lovely family including my husband Parag and my 2 amazingly lively kids. My enthusiasm I am sure ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur July 11th 2014

*Side note* Okay so during this blog I talk about being sick, missing certain foods, and going to animal aid. Based on the pictures I am posting it was a complete coincidence that in the paragraph I talk about how much I miss 5 Guys that it is surrounded by pictures of baby cows. I don't control where the pics go. I don't mean to make anyone mad! I love baby cows! But I also love 5 Guys! I'm doing my best! We are keeping it short today because today I want to talk about being sick. For this blog I am talking about staying healthy in India. If there is one thing I have learned it is that sickness is not avoidable. As much as we are told about not drinking unfiltered water, eating smaller ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur July 7th 2014

So where did I last leave off? There’s so much happening here I need to start making notes throughout the week so that when I write these reports they aren’t a mess. But I will shorten this to three big events: My trip to the villages, our group dinner, and my trip to the temples and fort around Rajasthan. On Wednesday the JJVS crew took us out to the villages. The reason being because almost all of the Gunis that we work with live in the villages. There is a guni ashram out in the villages, which is a large garden where many medicinal herbs are grown. We hopped 6 people into the jeep and took off out of Udaipur. It was about an hour drive and eventually we left behind the city streets and were ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Udaipur June 28th 2014

Well, well, well. This has definitely been the craziest week I have ever experienced. I last left off on Saturday after my week of classes with GESI in Chicago. So I need to bring everyone up to speed on my first week in India, which may be hard in the allowed space of one blog post. But here we go! First! Let’s get to Sunday! We had classes in Chicago till around 4. These were basically formalities and the whole time all the students were not paying attention, giddy, and just ready to leave. We all couldn’t wait to get out there and finally end these long courses. As a wonderful treat our final meal provided was Jimmy Johns! (I like Jimmy Johns J). So at 4 the first group of students left who would go ... read more

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jodhpur May 24th 2014

The Bishnois are a sect of Hinduism that take drastic measures to preserve and co-exist with the natural environment in which they reside. Primarily descendants of Jats, a caste of pastoralists from northern India and Pakistan, they have now settled in a number of small villages in the extremely dry Thar desert of Rajasthan. The name Bishnoi means 29, representing the 29 principles put forth by the founder Guru Jambheshwar approximately 540 years ago. These include several eco-friendly restrictions that aim to protect the trees and wildlife of the region. The Guru believed that hurting the environment can be equated with hurting oneself. Today, most Bishnoi do not consume meat or alcohol, fell trees that are still alive, or burn wood that may have insects on it. They also practice humane husbandry of the cattle on ... read more
My sister Leanne with some Bishnoi Women
A wild black buck outside of a Bishnoi village
Opium Tea Brewing Contraption

Asia » India » Rajasthan » Ranthambhore National Park April 28th 2014

What are the odds of seeing a Royal Bengal Tiger in the wild? It is definitely a rare occurrence, primarily due to the estimated number of tigers left in India. In the 1930's it was estimated that there were over 40,000. But, even with India's Project Tiger, poaching has reduced the number to @1500. There are 39 tiger preserves in the country, totalling @ 32,000 sq kilometers. But the slide to extinction seems relentless, and the chances of seeing a tiger is becoming rare. On my recent trip to India with Overseas Adventure Travel, we visited Rathambore National Park over two days, March 28 and 29. We had been pre-warned in our briefing that the odds of seeing a tiger was around 100 to 1. So, with our expectations dutifully lowered, we entered the National Park. ... read more
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Asia » India » Rajasthan » Jaipur April 22nd 2014

Evening everyone - it's 23:12 as I write. Today we left Delhi for a 7 hour minibus drive to Jaipur which I'm led to believe is the capital of Rajasthan. It's smaller than Delhi with a population of around 3m ish I think. The journey was pretty none eventful compared to driving in the capital, but that said still some very crazy and scary driving. Motorways and A and B roads don't really exist here. One minute you are on Tarmac the next a humpty bumbty road with pot holes and speed bumps/sleeping police men (not the human kind asleep in cars) in random places. Lots of construction work which seems to indicate that they are building infrastructure but at a vetslow rate. Small villages appear out of know where with great frequency and of course ... read more




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