Where we had one of our village meetings.

This man was all about getting his pic with his pizipe.

India in the front, Bama in the back.

I love these pics b/c they look like a bizarre Bollywood rap video.

Grandaddy who wanted to trade his glasses for my Costas. His were 2 inch thick spectales. I got back the Costas.

Needs assessment with a village group in Pabupura.

One days worth of pollution and sand from my face.

Pappu Devi, the secretary of the Laxmi SHG near Baap. She was the first woman in her SHG to receive a loan to open her own store. Here she is in her grocery store.

A brief bio of Pappu Devi:

Her husband does migratory labor in Jaisalmer (one district west of Jodhpur) where he loads and unloads grain sacks from trucks. He goes for 6 months at a time. He was very supportive of her opening her own small business.

Her family gets 4 months worth of food grain from her husband's family's landholding, and the rest of the year they must travel to the market to purchase food.

Her shop has been open for 3 months. Tea leaves, jaggery, sugar, oil and soap are her biggest sellers. She sells 4-5 Kg of suger per day on average.

She was the first woman in the group chosen to receive a loan because she is literate, outspoken, and was willing to take the risk of having to repay 1075 Rs/ month until her 10,000 is repaid.

In addition to running her store, Pappu Devi also takes care of her 4 children, 7 cows, sells milk, and does all of the domestic activity in her house.

Gyani, the President of the Laxmi SHG.


Pretty girl at a SHG meeting in Baap.

The Thar

A taanka built under Gravis' WASHED program 2007-2008 in Beldaron Ki Dhani. These are the kids that will benefit from the taanka which will collect rainwater from their school's roof.

The Girls' School at Rawara, built under Gravis' WASH (water and sanitation) program in 2003. There were 30+ kids there, and these two girls sang for us twice.

This is water from a berie (percolation well) that Gravis is renovating in a nadi (community pond) near Baap. Both the nadi and beries are over 200 years old, but now the nadis are being built up so they'll be more durable.

I'm the ogre.

I just love this picture. The Kamal and Gyan SHGs showing their handicrafts.

This is Usha. She just graduated high school and is the secretary for her SHG. Here she is showing us some embroidery the group is working on and plans to sell as an income generation activity. She was so outgoing and full of personality...very refreshing in a culture where most young girls don't dare speak in front of elders (or show their faces, for that matter.) She's going to teachers' college this year. I was kinda obsessed with her.

We had a meeting at this lady's house and she wanted me to see her baby billi (cat.) Billi Kali hai.

Meeting with the Navratan women's self-help group outside of Baap. They are saving 500Rs/ month and have accumulated 8,000 Rs in savings. They were wonderful...and asked me to stay with them permanently. They are Bishnoi women (you can tell by the huge gold nose ring attached to the ear by a chain.) Bishnois are an OBC (other backward caste)and enjoy a higher social status than many of the groups we work with (OBC is above scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.)

Also, Bishnois are evidently really into nature. They breast-feed gazelles. I kid you not.


Lovin some Chanel and some Vodafone.

The fam plus Sona.

Family pic + me.

Rahul's mom. She and her daughters kinda took me hostage in their house, gave me a bindi, did the head thingy, gave me a necklace and bracelet and koji (sp?) eyeliner (it's like kohl.)

So, this is me post laying out in the desert, listening to Buffett and pretending to be at the Florabama.

Prakashji's daughter, Sona, and Rahul, a boy who lives in Gagadi.

Indian kids love cameras. "Photo, photo, photo," is something I hear pretty often. These kids live in the huts neighboring Gravis' Gagadi office.

Gravis' original office in the field- Gagadi. It's a whole little compound about an hour from Jodhpur with 5 families living on-site, a village health worker training center, dining hall, primary school, and creche. Before Gravis opened the office this area was just sand dunes...now it's very green...almost feels like being at the lake. Gravis' founders, LC Tyagi and Shashi, lived here for 15 years when their kids were growing up. I definitely rather live here than Milk Man Colony! I've been there for the past 1 1/2 days on a little mid-week relax retreat...very nice. Lots of little kids running around. Oh, and I have a VERY NICE sari tan which I will be emailing mom pictures of b/c it's not appropriate for all of my viewers.

Our rickshaw proceeded to "run out of gas" so we had lots of free time to take dumb pictures. I realize that I look like a chunkster in this one...no mom, I haven't gained THAT much weight!!

For those of you wondering what Gandhi would look like as a white female...


"Mera naam Sexy hai," is not a good way to keep random rickshaw driver's random friend out of the back seat!!


This lady had the best facial expressions.

My house brother, Shourab, and I on my birthday dinner.

Two of my good buds, Stephanie (she works at Gravis with me) and Casey (from the UK, she is interning at Sambhali Trust.)

Ek bar ajajaj.

My birthday sari! This is my house parents' living room.

Salt mines in the desert.

This is a shop that a really sweet lady from a self-help group set up with a microcredit loan. She's supporting her family with this income (her husband is on his deathbed with cancer from working in the mines his whole life...mine workers' life expectancy is under 50yrs.) She does embroidery, makes jewelry, sells spices, and various other household items.

Most of the potties I frequent look like this. Actually, this one is fairly clean due to the lack of rain in the desert.

I love, love, love this picture. This lady is so pretty!

Kitchen in the Desert

visiting with a women's self-help group in the Thar desert.

My house mother, Auntie, and my grandmother, Dadi (paternal g'maw's name in Hindi.)