Spring 2020 (February 22 to May 22)

 

Colorado, USA: February 22 to 25

Feb. 22 to 25: Rocky Mountains:  Team members live together at the YMCA of the Rockies Conference Center in Estes Park, Colorado. They take part in a series of orientation workshops on team building, health and safety, cultural sensitivity, and more, in preparation for their time abroad.  On Feb. 25, the team departs on their flights from Denver to Delhi, India.  They arrive on Feb. 26.

 

India: February 26 to April 12

Feb. 26 to 29: Delhi: Two full days to begin exploring India’s bustling capital city, including sites such as Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India), the Red Fort, Humayun’s tomb, the National museum, Raj Ghat, the Gandhi museum, and city markets. Travel by train to Agra on Feb. 29.

Feb. 29 to Mar. 1: Agra:  Visits to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.  Travel by bus from Agra to Jaipur on the afternoon of Mar.1.

Mar. 1 to 6: Jaipur:  The team lives with host families in this bustling capital city of Rajasthan.  Each day starts with a yoga class, followed by a survival Hindi language lesson.  Days are rounded out with excursions to local sites and workshops on various aspects of India’s culture and history.

Mar. 7 to 12: Jaisalmer and Desert Camel Safari: This colorful Rajasthan City, perched on the edge of the vast Thar Desert, is one of the most fascinating and unique corners of the Indian cultural mosaic. The team has two days to explore Jaisalmer before setting off into the surrounding desert on camel back. For three days, the team learns first-hand about desert life while out on safari.

Mar. 13 to 14: Udaipur: The team has a day and a half to begin exploring one of India’s most colorful and romantic cities. They also attend a workshop on Batik art and visit to a local NGO for an introductory talk on development issues in local Adivasi (tribal) communities. Travel to a nearby Adivasi village on the afternoon of Mar.14.

Mar. 14 to 21: Village Home Stay: During this week the team lives with host families in a small rural village near Udaipur. Time is spent helping families with household chores and work in the fields.  Team members also volunteer on community projects, including the ongoing construction of a local school, and help out by teaching and running activities with children at local schools. On Mar.21, return by bus to Udaipur.

Mar. 21 to 23: Udaipur: Time to continue exploring Udaipur. Reflection on this section of the Indian experience.  On Mar.23, fly from Udaipur to Delhi.

Mar. 23 to 24: Delhi: Overnight in Delhi. On Mar. 24, fly from Delhi to Dharamsala.

Mar. 24 to Apr. 11: Dharamsala: This small town in the Himalayan foothills is home to the Tibetan government in exile and a large population of Tibetan refugees, including their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. For two weeks, team members live in homes with Tibetan families. Days are spent working on a variety of community service projects within the Tibetan community and taking part in set activities to enhance their understanding of Tibetan culture, history, and contemporary issues. There is an optional introductory meditation course/retreat practiced in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The team also does a day hike in the Himalayan foothills above Dharamsala.  Fly from Dharamsala to Delhi on Apr.11.

Apr. 11 to 12: Delhi: Overnight back in Delhi.  On Apr.12, fly from Delhi to Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

Nepal: April 12 to May 12

Apr. 12 to 14: Kathmandu: The team has two and a half days to begin exploring the colorful and exotic capital city of Nepal.

Apr. 14 to 20:  City Home Stay:  During this full week, team members learn first-hand about city life in Kathmandu while living with a Nepalese family.  They also help out by volunteering to work on a community service project.  On Apr.20, travel by bus to Pokhara, with a segment of the journey done by whitewater rafting on the Trisuli River.

Apr. 20 to 22:  Pokhara:  Time to explore this beautiful city at the base of the Annapurna Mountain range and to prepare for the upcoming trek in the Himalayas.

Apr. 22 to 30:  Himalayan Mountain Trek:  Nine-day hike in the Himalayan Mountains, through Nepalese villages, to Annapurna Base Camp, which is surrounded by some of the world’s highest mountain peaks. Return to Pokhara.

Apr. 30 to May 2: Pokhara:  Rest and recovery from the trek.  More time to explore Pokhara.  Travel by bus back to Kathmandu on May 2.

Mat 2 to 4: Kathmandu: Time for further exploration of Kathmandu. On May 4, the team travels by bus to a nearby village and moves in with their village home stay families.

May 4 to 10: Village Home Stay:  A full week living with families in a small rural village outside of Kathmandu. The team learns about Nepalese village life by living it themselves, and also helps out by volunteering on community service projects. Travel by bus back to Kathmandu on May 10.

May 10 to 12: Kathmandu: Time for final exploration of Kathmandu. Fly to Bangkok, Thailand, on May 12.

 

Thailand:  May 12 to 22

May 12 to 14: Bangkok:  Time to explore this great Asian capital, including the Grand Palace, the floating markets, and the National Museum.  On the evening of May 14, the team boards an overnight train heading to the southern islands.

May 15 to 20: Southern Islands:  Time to learn about life in southern Thailand, and lots of time to enjoy spectacular beaches, crystal-blue waters, and abundant underwater wildlife for which Thailand is renowned.  Return to the mainland and travel by overnight train to Bangkok on May 19.

May 21 to 22: Bangkok:  Final exploration of Bangkok.  Program wrap-up. On May 22, the team flies together back to the USA, and then onward individually to each team member’s final home destination.