Saturday, June 11, 2011

Amazing day

So last Friday went to Kowdipally to see the site for CARPED's Quarter Acre Project. The project is taking a quarter-acre of land and showing ways that a family can live safely and improve their overall health by diversifying their diet and improving sanitation. Some ideas for the project are a soilet, a sanitation system like a septic tank except it doesn't need to be drained, it drains naturally. Another idea for the building is having an adobe stove. Did you know that the World Health Organization lists indoor fires and cooking over an open flame the number two preventable cause of diseases and death in third world nations? I didn't either until looking it up! So an adobe stove creates a way to create a stove that funnels the heat and channels a fire so that it can have more pots cooking over a hotter flame and it reduces risks associated with indoor fires because it minimizes the size of the flame and funnels the smoke outside. Another part of the quarter acre project is setting up gardens and trees to create a sustainable and nutritious way for a family to live. Most families only grow one crop and as a result are malnourished A square foot garden or many small gardens can help a family diversify their diet. Another part of the project is helping to set up a chicken pen or a place for cows or goats for milk. It's an interesting project that is going to be awesome if it can go through all the way! But anyways, enough about the project! On to the day!

It was so amazing to see the rural areas for the first time!

And it was the first day that I was able to keep down water! Woohoo!!! India + stomach issues = great weight loss plan?

So we went on a bus for like an hour ride. It was pretty fun except the whole nauseated + moving vehicle + stuffed with people + hot = green Casey.

Thankfully I was able to get a seat by the window. And I'm glad that I did. Look what I found at the bus stop!

The American flag! (The kid's kerchief has it...)

So after two hours riding on a bus we finally get to Kowdipally. What do I see?

Mmmm... trash! (And the first pigs I've seen in India)

It's also fun to see different vehicles here. They always seem to be loaded to bursting.

So we get to Kowdipally and meet up with our local contact at the CARPED office.

Tada! CARPED office complete with Hindu deities on the balcony! While our guide was Muslim....

Yay diversity! Oh and continuing with things you didn't know, apparently tobacco will cause a scorpion to kill you with cancer

See? So random....

So we got into the autos Indian-style. What is Indian-style you ask? Why it's the most safe way of traveling! You see, autos have no seat belts, so the best way to travel is to pack it in. So we did. :)

The back:

The front:

This was the first car. I hopped in the second one. So of course I hopped in the back. :D

Melanie and Eunyhe! (She just got here two days before this picture was taken)

Trying to get that angle in a moving vehicle is hard....

So it was fun being in the back because I could take fun pictures of the road and the fields despite the bumps and lack of good quality roads.

Cows carrying straw.

There was a random band playing. So fun!

So we finally get to the quarter acre plot and get out and see some men chilling underneath a tree.

People here sleep EVERYWHERE

So we're excited to see the plot of land because all around are fields.

See? nice fields

Other nice fields

And then we get to our plot of land where we're going to revolutionize this village and help teach them how to live a more sustainable life!

After we figure out a way to clear the land....

Cows maybe? Water buffalo? Strong manly behavior? Yeah... it's a problem.

So after seeing the site, we went to a village to see how the people lived and to see where they had meetings for the women. It was SO much fun!

Cricket, I swear kids EVERYWHERE in India are playing this

so cool to see such balance

walking out to see the villagers. I love Ale's bookbag. She's traveled around Europe and has the patches to prove it. :)

So we go out into the fields and meet up with the women. Oh. My. Goodness. They are absolutely GORGEOUS! They have the most beautiful outfits and jewelry. And it's so great to see them smile and laugh. :) We took a few shots with them.

Proof that I was there :P It was a little chaotic taking pictures with the kids

And yet I still got some awesome shots.

Cooking over an open flame

The main house

Some of the older women

Making chapati

And Melissa making her second baby cry...

The funny thing with babies in these remote villages is that the first time they see white people they don't know what they're seeing so they cry. It's kinda funny/sad at the same time.

Sitting outside a hut

The beautiful decorations of the doorways

Grinding grain (love that I caught her smiling... the people here don't smile at cameras)

So striking.

Cutting up garlic and ginger

I got her to smile! :)

The houses

A few generations apart

It was fascinating to see this village where they had electricity for cell phones and yet no running water and the bathroom was little more than a hole in the ground. That plus the way they cooked food was so primitive. It was great to see and learn.

But about the time we were leaving the temperature dropped ten degrees and started getting super windy and thundering. On the way back it started raining. That's not the best for when you're in the back of an auto. I didn't get too terribly wet, but enough to be grossed out from the dirt.


We finally got back to the bus station and then it cleared up as we rode back. I got a seat by the window and was able to take a picture of a monkey! We've seen them before but I've never had my camera around.

These things are mischievous.

Overall it was a great and informative trip into the lives of rural Indians.


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