Nova Scotia Artist, Joy Laking, posts ramblings while she's travelling and painting in South America.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2, 2014, Kulwehri, India

Today Jim and I went to the village of Kulwehri, to visit Gurdip and Tani Singh.  Gurdip and Tani are old friends of our friend Kris Pruski. Kris wrote them to tell them of our planned trip to India and they followed up with an invitation to visit them.  We arrived at 12:30, and spent a couple of hours drinking beer and sugar cane juice and getting to know each other. What a huge treat for us! Both Gurdip and Tani are very special people to open themselves to two strangers. We talked politics, religion, village development, family and more.

I know that as a result of our chatting, I will be following India's April Election with huge interest .

After a splendid luncheon, we took Gurdip on his offer to show us their farm and the village. We probably should have headed back to Dehi, as it was long frantic drive in the dark, but I am so happy that we took this opportunity. Gurdip was head of the village council for over fourty years and on the council even longer.  Both Tani and Gurdip are highly respected and well loved by the villagers.  The initiatives that were realized under his leadership are remarkable. Kulwehri now has a big school that goes right through to the end of high school. It has a generator and fourty computers! One huge problem initially,  was the very high incidence of dysentery.  Safe drinking water was a first priority for the village. Over the years all of the streets have been paved making the village healthier in the rainy season. The thatch roofs have been replaced and the houses have numbers. Most importantly now every home has a bathroom.  The village has regular access to a veterinarian for the animals and a village hall for meetings and the leadership is now coming from the village itself.  Everyone that we met was warm and pleased that we had come.  Unfortunately we couldn't stay long enough for another tea in the village. We did try a tastey unfamiliar fruit. It was small and round and green and tasted like a pear.  It was called a "bare".

There will be wedding in the village tomorrow and we were given a tour of the dowry. It included just about everything imaginable to set up housekeeping! This man was making sweets for the wedding.

And the faces everywhere were welcoming and wonderful. I would just love to come back here another year to paint for a month.

And my favourite face that I can't stop thinking about

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