Cow Dung, Clay, and Opium (new video)

posted in: Ella | 8

We would give the Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay six and a half stars, if we could. Blast you Trip Advisor. It all started with Chhotaram picking us up at the airport.

The Jodhpur Airport has basically one gate and one baggage claim. They wheeled stairs over to the plane so we could walk out onto the runway, president style. I seriously felt like Trump, don’t kill me for mentioning him.

We drove in the back of his desert jeep for a while through the city, and then into a more rural environment. As we drove past huts, little kids waved to us with giant smiles. Once we reached the homestay, we walked to this courtyard area. Chhotaram’s mother greeted us and put red stuff and rice on our foreheads. Not gonna lie, that freaked me out a little bit; but it came right off so…yeah. Don’t ever come at me trying to paint my head, it will not end well for you.

We had two huts made of clay and cow dung with thatched roofs. They were actually extremely nice. They even had wifi…weird.


Later that evening, we walked through the village passing lots of kids. They all got really excited when they saw us. I kind of got some weird looks because of my braces, though. Very few tourists were there, seriously, basically none.

We climbed to the top of this rock and watched the sunset over the desert, extremely pretty, by the way.

I’m not absolutely positive what we ate for dinner, but it tasted good.

Two film makers/writers were staying there as well, along with a french couple. The film makers (who were super interesting and friendly) had the cutest son. They called him RuRu, he spoke practically perfect English. The next day we drove around on a village safari; spotting peacocks, a black buck, deer, and blue bull.


We experienced close up an Opium ceremony (don’t ask, seriously don’t ask…EVER). We saw inside the shepherd’s home, and held their baby goat. We walked around the village bazaar and temple.

My mom and I were fortunate to have one of the filmmakers and an artist who was visiting share with us their talent at henna, and Chhotaram’s mom showed our mom how to dress like Rajisthani women, which was odd to see.

The only thing I even remotely didn’t like was the fact that Chhotaram’s wife had to wear a veil when in the presence of him and his family. I see no reason why that should be necessary, but I guess it’s tradition. (Start singing a chorus of “Tradition!!!” from Fiddler on the Roof.) A sign of respect I will never be showing.

We weren’t really looking forward to India, but now it’s been our favorite part. The homestay was an amazing experience, so if you ever found yourself in Salawas, go stay there for a couple nights. It’ll be totally worth it. But beware, you might die from the pure marvel of seeing Chhotaram’s dad’s mustache. Greatest thing ever. – Ella

8 Responses

  1. Dawn Reaves

    I haven’t read any posts in a few days, but this one I couldn’t pass up. 🙂

  2. Laura

    I love reading both your’s and Walden’s account of the same experience. Chris could have a mustache like the other man’s by the end of your trip. The inside of the house was very neat!

    • Chrishicks5

      Supposedly, the longer your mustache, the more respect you garner, because it shows you are healthy and older 🙂

  3. Brad Brown

    Ella,
    I love your writing style. It’s like “this is who I am, deal with it.” Always makes me smile. Our family continues to follow your journey. We miss you and pray for you often. We know the experiences you are having are enriching you in ways God will use for the rest of your life. We love you guys!

    • Chrishicks5

      Be sure, I read Ella your comments, thank you from her and us, we always love her take on our adventure 🙂

  4. Gwynn

    That mustache could be one of the modern 7 wonders of the world! I think these pics, and especially that one, are National Geographic worthy! We are having so much fun traveling with you!

  5. Angel Hollandsworth

    So Ella needs her own blog I would read every post!! So entertaining! Alison those kids have my heart just precious. Alison you looked beautiful decked out in the India attire. Can’t wait to talk to you in person.

Leave a Reply