entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey

Jaipur: Welcoming Arms

My time spend in Jaipur was marked by different highlights.  Upon arriving In Jaipur early in the morning, we were picked up by a man named Aslam. Here he is!

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Through mutual connections, we had made arrangements to stay with Aslam and his family during our stay in Udaipur! Aslam lives with his wife, Salma, and 9-year-old daughter, Farosat. Next door is Salma’s sister, husband, and daughter, Fatima. And one floor down, is Salma’s mother and father. They all share a large kitchen space, patio, and rooftop terrace. I was completely overwhelmed by the family’s hospitality. From the outside it doesn’t seem like they would have much to offer us- a rug on the floor for sleeping and a few warm meals- but the time spent with them was priceless. Farosat and Fatima are bundes of joy. We played jump rope on the patio and I tried to teach them how to do a criss-cross jump. Then they taught Harper and I how to play “pikachu”- a version of rock, paper, scissors. After dinners I laughed and cheered on the girls as they danced around and sang Hindi songs.

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Our dinners were held on the patio, sitting on a blanket in the moonlight. Salma brought out deliciously simple Indian food that I had never tried before! One night she made a spicy chicken dish and the next night an Indian version of tortilla soup made with papad! The chapatti was always fresh of course.

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Because of my love for cooking, Salma and I were able to bond on a deeper level. I asked about Indian cooking and she asked about baking cakes. She offers cooking classes on the side and has dreams of opening a small restaurant on the roof with Aslam. Her heart is made of gold and she felt like a mother to me in those two short days.

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And here she is giving me henna on my hand! First henna I have ever had!

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