Safaris and celebrations
Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
191Trip End Jun 28, 2009
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Lu turned four today (although she is telling everyone she is five) so we are celebrating all day today. This morning we read emails from her friends and family then we headed out for a jeep safari to see wild antelopes and things.
We went to a Bishnoi village, where we got in a jeep. The Bishnois are a group of Hindus who follow 29 principles, including protecting animals and also trees. They were the world's first ecologists, and they helped saved the Indian black buck and a special kind of tree. We saw about 40 black buck, including lots of bachelors and two males fighting. We also saw an eagle, some small antelope, peacocks, and weaver nests, and a green bee eater, which is beautiful.
At the Bishnoi village, we meet the family who farms this area and who protects the animals
We then went to the bigger village called Dhundli. It was still very small, with only a few houses. The houses there were made of stucco that was painted blue and they also had smooth dirt floors
We visited two of the houses in the village and saw where they cook their chapatis in a special place in the corner and keep their grain and we saw the pictures of all the different gods on the walls. Then we went to an opium ceremony, where three men who were old showed us how to make opium tea, then shared some with us. You had to drink it out of the man's hand, to show respect, and then you would let him drink out of your hand. I did not drink the opium, but Dad and Mom and Indirajit did. Then Dad smoked a bidi, which is a very weak cigarette and let me try it. I did not like it all. On the way out, I saw a buffalo and its calf go right into a house! They shooed it out, but that happens a lot in India.
Indirajit organized a lunch for us at the place and also a GREAT chocolate cake for Tallulah!!! That was really nice - Lu also got a beautiful Indian dress from Mukat, our driver. He is a great driver, because on the lndian roads lots of people are going the wrong way, and there are cows, pigs, and other animals everywhere, plus people, and trucks and cars passing without even looking. I am amazed at how he drives.
Tonight we are having a birthday dinner for Lu and another chocolate cake thanks to Indirajit!!! At the pool, we also saw the crown prince, who is in his 30s. Sadly, he was hurt in an accident so he was doing exercises in the pool. I have never seen a prince before in person, so that was pretty special. I hope the prince gets better.
So far, thumbs up for India!