As you approach the village you are greeted by the usual village elders, but then a "process" of celebration begins when they burn inscense in front of you and then lavish oils on your forehead. After this, you have a honorary shawl placed over your shoulders as a sign of respect. Then, and only then do the wells become ready to be dedicated and blessed as they are in the north. Here are a few photo's of the events as they happen.
(Click for larger view on any photo)
The ladies are set to spread the oils on our foreheads here and then get us set up for the shawls to be placed over our backs.
After this, the same festivities surrounding the wells seemed the same as up north. The kids and village people are always excited to get fresh water to drink from. Ornate decorations are seen and dancing around the wells is common.
In the end, the water flows and the people have improved their lives, at least a little from our efforts. At each well we "test" some of the water and it is good.
Goodbyes are said, and we move on the next village to begin the whole event over again. It's nice to think that you have a small part in helping someone even if you will never see them again. Lives are changed through these celebrations, and not just the Indians...
It was really exciting to have the opportunity to photograph this with a good camera I had borrowed. You get to be a part of some intimate moments that a small point and shoot camera just don't allow you to capture. I found peace in moments that were at a distance, yet captured forever in my mind and on this digital media.
This was a long but really fulfilling day for me and the team, I was really glad to be a part of it and hope that this shows a bit of what you can see if you take the time to look.