Monday, July 23, 2012

Dwarka...for a Weekend Away

This past weekend I left DSK to my friends (Manisha, Bachu, Jagruti, Drakhi, and Avana) at there homes in Dwarka, the birthplace of Lord Krishna (the Creator God in Hinduism). We left after work on Friday at 5p.m. and got back this morning before work at 5:45a.m. It was a short trip, but one filled to the brim with new experiences, good food, lots of good food, and tons of picture taking.  
Sushma and I took a sleeper/luxury bus to Dwarka. It left at 10p.m. and we arrived to the girls village at 8:30a.m. The boys in the picture are Sushma's cousin's sons, they dropped us off at the bus terminal. Luckily for me I slept the entire way, despite being eaten alive by bugs. It was my first time on a sleeper bus and honestly I would definitely recommend it, it was super cheap and I woke up and I was where I needed to be. 
Me after a quick bath, stuffing my face with some delicious breakfast they prepared for us the minute we got there.  
I was definitely the first white person this village had ever seen. After working in rural India for the past month I have gotten used to people staring at me constantly, but it was still kind of crazy having my visit be such a big event. Everyone one a picture with me. 
They took us all around Dwarka the first day, so we could see the main tourist attractions. The funniest part was honestly the entourage that came with us. Two Dads (because the girls are not allowed anywhere without a chaperon), eight girls, and three little kids. First we pilled in a Good Carriage aka a fright type truck to get into town, then we all piled into a Scorpio SUV. 
The first stop was to Old Dwarka to go on a boat ride. It was really funny how scared Sushma was of falling in. I was literally probably the only person on the boat who new how to swim though. 
This was a temple that we went to on the second day. It was up on a hill and took 299 steps to reach to the top. It had a panorama view of the ocean and all the villages and roads below.  
They were constantly trying to feed us, and it was really hard to say no. But the food was a nice change from the stuff I get at DSK. 
Pictured above are Drakhi and Jagruti's older sister, little brother and mother. They parents have twelve kids. Actually all the girls I went to visit are related to each other. Its common here for brother's and sister's kids to marry each other so property can stay within the family. 
All the little kids were so cute, and all ironically four years old. They all just wanted their picture taken. 
The two above who are the same age are actually uncle and nephew. They were best buds though, playing together constantly. 
The girls' farms were only a kilometer away from the ocean, so we walked there the second day to collect sea shells. At first all the women were so scared when I went to go put my feet into the water....but then after an hour of collecting shells everyone got in.  
Sushma was literally like a little kid, the amount of enjoyment they were all getting rolling around in the sand and water was priceless. I tried to capture it on film, but I don't think the pictures did the moment justice. They were giggling and screaming, loving every wave as it crashed into them drenching their saris. 

I even learned how to milk a cow... though I think I would need a lot more practice before I could do it full time. 
They even convinced me to wear Jagruti's engagement Sari. They all wanted pictures in my clothes so they figured I would want to dress up in theirs. It was a beautiful sari, but very itchy and not really my style. But they all said I looked like a I guess it was worth it since it made them happy. 

All and all it was a perfect get away. I got to see the girls homes, meet their families, really experience village life, and see another part of India. And I got back in plenty of time for work this morning.
They were all really so sweet though... they gave Sushma and I plenty of goodies to bring back with us like buttermilk, nuts, fruits, sea shells, curd, and most importantly an open invitation to come back whenever. I told the girls if I was around I would go to their weddings which are all scheduled for two years from now. 
Oh! and second best part. the entire weekend for both me and Sushma, including souvenirs cost under $ to love India. 

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