Well the 2006 Bloggie nominations have been released, and it looks like they haven't discovered me yet. (Yes, there really is such a thing. It's the blog equivalent of the Academy Awards.)
I've been enjoying browsing through the nominated blogs and trying to learn from them how to be a better blogger. One thing that I noticed is that to be a nominee, it helps to write about either sex, or shit. Yes, the fecal variety. One of this year's top contenders, nominated in 3 categories, reads like this, this and this. And it's not just the blog big boys who are doing this. Many a respectable blog has made friends with the poop word -- this one even proudly proclaims it on its masthead. (Hi Kirsten!)
Talking about sex in India is out of the question, so I'm left with shit. (Yes, I know there are a billion people here, but no one actually TALKS about doing it, they just do it). And one poop story in two years of blogging just isn't going to get me places. So, in the interest of advancing my blogging career, here is another one. (Don't worry Lesley, it's not about human poop this time!)
India may not have the hang of recycling their garbage, but it has the recycling of animal waste down to a science.
While at the Pushkar camel fair a few months ago, I wondered why, with 60,000 camels, the place didn't smell nasty. In fact, there was very little smell at all.
Then I noticed groups of little girls walking around among the camels, collecting something into a metal pan.
It turns out they were collecting camel dung. The girl stands behind the camel and as soon as it plops, she picks up the pellets from the sand--with her bare hands--and deposits them in a metal pan that she carries on her head. (It must be hard for a dung beetle to make a living in Pushkar - they don't stand a chance!)
(These two little girls reminded me of the two who helped me light candles in Varanasi.)
The children deliver the pellets to their family tents.
As part of their adaptation to desert life, camels have the ability to extract so much of the water from their feces, that pellets from a very dehydrated camel can be used immediately, without drying. Most of these camels were not severely dehydrated, so they did require some drying.
The pellets are then spread out to dry in little "poop gardens." (They're not really called that, that's what I dubbed them, since each family seemed to have what looked like a little garden plot of their own).
OK, so I know this isn't exactly "Sex and the City" -- I'm an ex-biologist, after all. But just remember, when it's time for next year's Bloggie nominations, that when it comes to writing about poop - I can play with the big boys - OK?
(Donna K, you requested another lesson - here it is...)