On the way out of town, this morning, the sun was just starting to light up the city. We quickly got everything on top of the roof, trying our best to get out of town before the city bustling began.
Noticing a small lake on the right, it appeared the road we were on headed towards it and ran along the side. We began to see boys and men carrying buckets, either by hand or balancing them on their head, and walking towards the lake. Curious what they were all doing, we all decided they must be going out to get water and bring it back to their home.
Suddenly, we noticed what appeared to be poop on the ground, swerving quickly trying not to hit it. At about the same time, we noticed a young man appear and crouch down on the road next to his bucket. As we got closer, we realized wait he wasn’t crouching - he was pooping! In about the time it would take you to count to 5, the moans and cries emerged from our rickshaw! They are not going to get water - they are going out for their morning constitutional!. As our eyes, then, focused on the possibly 50 -75 men that were out by this lake (which we now have now coined to be Poop Pond), we realized they all were crouching doing their thing! Ah, yes, and then the smell…. Really, that is enough of Poop Pond. There is really no more to add..But again, this is a great example of the type of poverty we are witnessing going through some of the most rural areas of India.
We immediately got away from that area of the village and ventured further. Quickly, the road began to really deteriorate. I felt it would be much easier to drive on a dirt road than this pot-holed filled attempt of a paved road. It was quickly understood that the only vehicle that could withstand this type of road is one of these wagons being pulled by two cows. This was a common view in our journey and one that many times we had to either avoid hitting or find away around them (as the cows have the right-of-way). The road continued to get worse and I thought if I could slowly get the rickshaw off the paved area and onto the smoother dirt section on the right side of the road, it may be more bearable. All of a sudden, we hit a huge hole and it rocked us back, quickly everyone looked at each other and told each to hold on. As we continued off the shoulder, we hit a rock (we believe) and it bounced our rickshaw to the right. In what seemed like slow motion, the rickshaw then continued this motion and fell completely on her side. Landing with a crash and a poof of dust! We all quickly checked to make sure we had all our fingers and toes and then made sure everyone was safe. It seemed everyone was ok - a bit shaken - but thankfully no major harm. Danny ended with a cut on two of his toes and Joanna had bruised her cheek. As soon as we stood up, we realized we were already surrounded by more than 20 indian men and children all trying to assist us in tipping upright Lady Karma back on her wheels… Within minutes, we had taken about 15 selfies with random people, thanked them for their assistance, and pushed onward now with two goals… One, to get off this darn road and, two, to have a mechanic look at our rickshaw.
Finding a mechanic was fairly simple, conversing with him was much more difficult since he knew very little English and we knew just as much Hindi. We think he told us that that everything was fine but we needed a new clutch and obvious a new right side mirror, since lay down crushed the last one… After a motorcycle ride, many pictures with the locals, and $7.00 for a new clutch and 75 cents for the new mirror we were back on our way!