Sunday, November 13, 2011

Exploring Lamba

Today we explored the Indian rural village of Lamba.  We set out on two explorations of the town during the long day.  These allowed us to see the captivating faces and unique culture of rural Rajasthan.

The first excursion began in the middle of the hot, sunny, day.  Ivan, Mom, and I were interested in taking photos of the clinic where Dad and the other doctors from the Rally for Health were working.  We walked through the tiny, old, village taking pictures along the way.  The sun was so harsh and hot that it was hard to pay attention or take in the village.  I was still able to pull off some good shots, though the light later on was much more impressive.

Around the clinic, I saw some amazing faces of the patients and the other locals.  The most interesting part was that each face told a story.  Some people looked tired and run down, probably from hard work or labor.  Others seemed happy and upbeat. I suspected that they were going home to their loved ones.  A few looked depressed as if family members may have passed away.  I was fascinated by the emotions of the people and their facial stories. 

On the walk back to the compound, we saw traditional ladies and men carrying big vases of water on their heads.  Some of the vases were made out of pottery, obviously created by careful hands.  They let us watch them and take pictures.  We journeyed back to our base, where I did some school work before our second outing.

Late in the afternoon, when the sun was going down, my fellow photographer, Ivan Bacon, and I headed in search of better pictures and a better perspective of the village Lamba.  We journeyed out from the complex and into the amazing light.  Ivan and I were both impressed by the culture and the beauty of the village.  One different thing we noticed about Lamba was the big and bulky water buffalo that were driven by men with sticks.  Also, all around us were women carrying big pots of water, dung, and fire wood.  The ladies used the dung to make fires in their homes.  The houses were mostly bright blue or bright pink.  I think they paint the houses brightly to keep people in good sprits and to keep away the bad sprits.  Possibly, there could also be a religious reason.  We saw doorways leading to staircases and small alters.  Often, on the alter was a picture of some holy man or god.  Around the picture was usually a ring of fresh flowers.  We loved the sites, but the most interesting aspect about the village was the people.

As we walked, several groups of kids were running and playing.  They were ecstatic with happiness and loved getting pictures taken.  They would talk to me and ask me where I was from.  They were interested in Alaska and where my home town, Anchorage, is located.  Their parents even invited us inside their homes for tea.  We had several offers, but we could only accept one as we had to be back in time for dinner.  We came inside one family's house and drank tea and milk.  Actually, Ivan went into the house while I stayed in the kitchen taking photos of the mother and other family members making tea.  She cooked the tea in a big brass pot over a fire.  I loved sipping the tea and getting a taste of the Indian family life.  As the sun was setting, we made it home in time to go out for dinner with the group.

Back home, the rickshaw gang loaded into two cars and drove to a man’s house who had invited us to dinner.  On the way we stopped of at a Hindu temple.  We had a wonderful dinner and came home to our beds to crash for a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow, we will continue the rally with one replacement rickshaw and two of the cockpits manned by more serious drivers.  Ivan, Mom and I will be riding in the safety of the support vehicle.  Ivan and Mom have bad rib injuries which will keep them from the rickshaws, and I am smart enough not to set foot in those three wheel death seats.

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!


  1. excellant photo day Rohan! I can almost taste the tea!
    I like your story about reading peoples expressions.. great observational tales.. I have ridden in those rickshaws many times.. they are not made for speeding or turning or comfort.. it was a great concept however.. at least its not the bicycle rickshaws!
    enjoy tomorrow!

  2. Hi Rohan - Loved the photo of the woman with the beautiful piece of pottery on her head. Was it full of something? Do all of these people speak English? That's amazing to me. Glad you're not riding in the #%$!! rickshaws any more! Love, Grandmalish

  3. Grandma Lish, I am pretty sure the pots mostly hold water. Every family must fetch water from the community well. None of these people speak much English. They do speak enough for us to sort of understand what is happening. We communicate with their little English, our very small Hindi, and various hand signs.