Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gandhivan

Sorry! I know I'm behind in my updates. Marathon blogging starting right now.

One of the projects at my NGO involves reforestation of the rural country side. GBS has purchased a plot of land from the government and initiated the wasteland development on World Environment Day, June 5th, in 1991. It has created access to water resources through its check dam, protected against soil erosion through gully plugging, continued to reclaim the semi-arid land through plantations and sapling nurseries, and the employ and encourage the participation of handicapped and local people.



Typical wasteland with lack of beneficial vegetation.



Rehabiliated land. Locals are allowed to collect and consume the fruit that is produced in Gandhivan (Gandhi's Forest). In exchange, they help care for the forest.

Since our crew arrived during a thunderstorm. There were all these tiny, velvety mites. Oil from the mite can increase sexual libido and is referred to as the Indian Viagra according to Wikipedia. No wonder I had such a weird sensation in my pants. I just thought it was my diaper rash (What?! It is hot here, and I sweat a lot).



Also called Scarlet Fly or Lady Fly.

While I was there, many women were working on preparing the soil for saplings. They were very interested in having me around and talking to me. Of course, I couldn't understand anything they were saying. They would just keep repeating themselves as if I would understand the second or third time. These women did not speak Hindi but their village language. There are hundreds of languages and dialects in India so even if I learn Hindi it won't help in the villages. I have been practicing Hindi, however. My accent is terrible, and most native Indians have no idea what I'm trying to say. It usually helps when I speak louder. Indians are always yelling at each other. At first I thought they were mad, but I would notice them laughing and smiling. They don't seem to laugh loudly though. Americans have large guffaws and chuckles. Here, people giggle or just smile, but loud laughter is often considered rude. People have made fun of my laughing here.

video

The women are dancing, and you can hear my stupid laughter. I was very shy, and my dancing style is a bit raunchier. They dance when they are harvesting and also I believe during their wedding. They told me I should learn this dance to impress my husband.

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