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Kim’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 20 Sep 2007

Location: Jaipur, India

MapWell today was the first full day in this new city. Jaipur is the seat of governement for this area in India and has as the result of that many new and fairly modern buildings on its skyline that wrestle for space with the chaos and mess below. It is typical for a city in India, rich and poor together, houses of grandeur and shacks of cardboard and every were you looked animals wandering the streets - goats, cattle and for the first time, pigs to say nothing of the dogs. Everything in India seems to breed without a second thought and amongst the grime, were two new born calves still unable to walk they were that new.

The morning was spent within the Idex headquarters. They are the organisation that have arrangeed the project, one of many that they run in India from Goa up to the mountains. To make sure that all the volunters are prepared for the projects, a series of lectures were to be given coverning many of the areas that we would touch from womens rights to religion and Hindi as a spoken language. Well, the brain had to work very hard as Heike spoke little english and Lilian and Arnie spoke and understood more but needed some words explained - would anyone in England other than a Doctor maybe use the words, lactating mother to describe a women breastfeeding. Many Indians have a wonderful command of the english language but often use words that are so old fashioned. The plan for the afternoon was to go and see a Bollywood movie but we decided against that and took a taxi around the city. It would have been criminal not to have seen the sights and made for a much more enjoyable afternoon with a stroll around the palace and glimse of the palace of a thousand windows ( behind scaffolding). As we had decided break with the programme organised by Idex, it was up to us to get ourselves home, Arnie and Lilian managed to get a tuk-tuk straight there but Heike and I found one that agreed the fare and then spent the next hour or so driving around the area looking for the house but we saw many sights that would have normally wizzed past in a car. We made it back in one piece and sat down to a lovely meal prepared for us. Most of the families in this area are strict vegetarians and so most meals consist of rice, chappitis dal and another vegetable along with lassi's to drink - fortunately I did not have to try this as I had already said I was allergic to milk. Both the daughter and son joined us for dinner but the mother did not sit at the table but waited until we had finished before eating. It seems so strange that even in a modern and well to do household, this still happens and in many places the wife still does not sit in the front room with her husband if guests arrive but spends her time in the kitchen. Heike and I decided to turn in for the night and await another day.