Spring 2019

 

Colorado, USA (February 27 to March 2):

Feb. 27- Mar. 2: Rocky Mountains: 
Team members first meet in Colorado, and stay together in Estes Park for a three-day orientation session.  In this spectacular Rocky Mountain setting, they take part in a series of orientation workshops covering topics including team building, health and safety, and cultural sensitivity, in preparation for their time abroad. On Mar. 2, the team departs on their flights from Denver to Delhi, India. They arrive on Mar. 3.

India (March 3 to April 19):

Mar. 3-6: 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, Humayan’s Tomb, the National Museum, Raj Ghat, the Gandhi museum, and city markets.  On Mar. 6, travel by train to Agra.

Mar. 6-7: Agra: 
Visits to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.  Travel by bus from Agra to Jaipur on the afternoon of Mar. 7.

Mar. 7-12: Jaipur: 
The team lives with host families in this colorful, culturally rich, bustling capital city of Rajasthan.  Each day starts with a yoga class, followed by survival Hindi language lessons.  Days are rounded out with excursions to local sites and workshops on various aspects of India’s culture and history.  Travel by overnight train on Mar. 12 to Udaipur.

Mar. 13-14: 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. 14-21: 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. 21-23: Udaipur:
Time to continue exploring Udaipur. Reflection on this section of the Indian experience.  Travel overnight on Mar. 23 to Jaisalmer.

Mar. 24-29 : 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.  Travel by overnight train to Delhi on Mar. 29.

Mar. 30-Apr. 1: Delhi:
Time for further group and individual exploration of Delhi.  Fly from Delhi to Dharamsala on Apr. 1.

Apr. 1-16: 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 will also do a day hike in the Himalayan foothills above Dharamsala.  Travel by bus to Amritsar on Apr. 16.

Apr. 16-18: Amritsar:
The team lives with other “pilgrims” in residence at the Golden Temple. While staying here, they learn about this holiest of sites for the Sikh faith.  They also have the opportunity to attend an India-Pakistan border ceremony. On Apr. 18, fly from Amritsar to Delhi.

Apr. 18-19: Delhi:
Overnight back in Delhi.  On Apr. 19, fly to Kathmandu, Nepal.

Nepal (April 19 to May 18):

Apr. 19-21: Kathmandu:
The team has two and a half days to begin exploring the colorful and exotic capital city of Nepal.

Apr. 21-27: 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. 27, travel by bus to Pokhara, with a segment of the journey done by whitewater rafting on the Trisuli River.

Apr. 27-29: Pokhara:
Time to explore this beautiful city at the base of Annapurna Mountain range and to prepare for the upcoming trek in the Himalayas.

Apr. 29-May 7: 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 and spectacular scenery.  Return to Pokhara.

May 7-9: Pokhara:
Rest and recovery from the trek.  More time to explore Pokhara. Travel by bus back to Kathmandu on May 9.

May 9-10: Kathmandu:
Time for further exploration of Kathmandu.  On May 10, the team travels by bus to a nearby village and moves in with village home stay families.

May 10-16: Village Home Stay:
A full week living with families in a small rural village.  Team members learn about Nepalese village life by living it themselves, and also help out by volunteering to work on community projects.  Travel by bus from the village back to Kathmandu on May 16.

May 16-18: Kathmandu:
Time for final exploration of Kathmandu.  Fly to Bangkok on May 18.

Thailand (May 18 to 28):

May 18-20: Bangkok:
Time to begin exploring this great Asia capital, including such sites as the Grand Palace, the floating markets, and the National Museum. On the evening of May 20, the team boards an overnight train heading to the southern islands.

May 21-26: Southern Islands:
Time to learn about life in Southern Thailand, and lots of time to enjoy spectacular beaches, crystal-blue waters, and the abundant underwater wildlife for which Thailand is renowned. Return to mainland and travel by overnight train to Bangkok on May 26.

May 27-28: Bangkok:
Final exploration of Bangkok.  Program wrap-up and preparation for return home. On May 28, the team flies together from Bangkok back to Los Angeles, California, and then onward individually to each team member’s final home destination.