Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Don't for India!

1. Do not shy away from trying new things.
There is going to be a ton of foods and dishes that likely did not make it into the mainstream Indian buffet. Combine multiple regions with local specialties and the unique way that every cook prepares each dish and you have a recipe for unlimited delicious foodstuffs. Do your best to pick places that look like they adhere to clean culinary practices or, even better, get yourself invited over to someone's home and get ready to eat some of the greatest food of your life.
2. Do not forget to bring ear plugs.
India always be loud and noisy most of the time wherever you are. Festivals, Celebration’s, Temple’s, Hotel/Guest house and especially if you are living with the Indian Host family there will be always noisy at the house. Ear plugs is must for your good sleep.

3. Do not dress in skimpy clothing.
You are in under-developed country. Clothing not to be in skimpy. While travelling, visitings your friends, going in temple, festival celebration. People show the respect specially these place by clothing. Do not wear short dress.
4. Do not avoid the language.
Best way to make new friends in India. If you speak one word of Hindi in front of Indian people they will gave you back a big smile.

5. Do not drink from the tap or unfiltered water.
Never drink tap water or open water from mugs/pots in India. It may make you sick for the entire trip. Use only sealed mineral water. It cost around Rs.15 per bottle. Health is important for your entire India experience.
6. Do not pet wildlife or touch street animals.
You will find cows, dogs, camels, monkeys and many always roaming on the streets in India. The governments have not much care protection for these animals. Many of them are infected with the diseases on roads; so better be don’t touch them if you found sick animals. Health is the main concern! Last summer a volunteer feeding squirell on the road; suddenly the squirell bite his finger and it started bleeding from the hand. The volunteer did not know if it required to go to the doctor for rabies injection. After checking the doctor he need to have rabies injections as squirell bite is hard.
7. Bring Pepto-Bismol or Imodium.
Food sickness is inevitable, so just accept the impending bathroom visit. I have only known one person ever who got through their entire three week visit without a single stomach bug or parasite. You will likely not be so lucky. Got that overnight bus somewhere? Pop one of those bad boys and stop yourself right up. Never forget that Delhi belly is lurking around every stall!
8. Do not flaunt the beef eating.
Cows are the sacred animal of India.  In fact, that is the reason why they roam so freely. Obviously you will be able to find beef in certain restaurants, better to ignore.

9. Do not throw yourself for short-term yoga course.
If you are coming to India for short term program or tour you must ignore it. As of the previous experience traveler/volunteers thrown themselves in a couple of days yoga program by requesting their Indian friend and it can hurt their back or any part from body. Better if you have time for at least 2 week go with the real yoga tutor which start your class from day 1 yoga practice.  
10. Do not forget to buy a Saree or a Salwar Kameez.
Don’t leave India without having a piece of local attire like Saree/Salwar Suit for women & Kurta Pajama for Man. You will find many street shops from their you can find a cheap and good variety of these attires.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blog shared by Sheryl from Holland :-



I had a wonderful time here Volunteer in India with VWI. I must share about the cultural exchange shock which I get here–You may have to wash your clothes by hand using soap you can get from Pothy’s on the stone. Your host mother will probably show you how to do this effectively, but if she doesn’t, ask! Finally, eating with your hands… I was really worried about this, but I have actually become quite accustomed to it and now miss it. My colleague volunteer told me Indians like to eat with their hands because they feel it’s more natural, and more stimulating, as you’re using all of your senses at once. Your family might laugh at your technique (or lack of) at first, but you will get the hang of it.
I found it much easier to ask for chapatti or dosa with my curry instead of rice, because you can rip these up and use them as a grabber so you don’t get full of curry. The food I had was genuinely delicious. I’m a vegetarian, so I didn’t eat meat or fish, but the veggie food was great. We had a lot of chapatti based  dishes, like variety of paratha’s and and a lot of different curries. I even got jam sandwiches for breakfast a few times! Don’t judge any of the food by the way it looks, just try everything once. However, don’t forget to tell your family if you don’t like something. Its best to compare it to something you do like by saying ‘this, I do like’ – with smiles and enthusiasm, then ‘this, I don’t like’ – with a very sour looking face, so they understand clearly. It’s probably a good idea to ask your family the Hindi  words for things like that, so you can communicate with them better. They will also love teaching you; it’s another great way to bond!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Diwali Celebration in India

Hi. I am Mike from France. I would to share some of my moments in India doing volunteering with Diwali Fun.

I have been very lucky that i have choose to volunteer at the diwali time. I am doing women empowerment project in Jaipur. I really excited in doing volunteering here in India. I would share you about my time and diwali celebration. Diwali is a five day festival that represents the start of the Hindu New Year. It honors the victory of good over evil, and brightness over darkness. It also marks the start of winter. Diwali is actually celebrated in honor of Lord Ram and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom of Ayodhya, following Rama and monkey God Hanuman defeat the demon King Ravana and rescue of Sita from his evil clutches (celebrated on Dushera).

People also clean and decorate their homes with Rangoli (Hindu folk art), buy new clothes, gamble, and give each other gifts and sweets during the festival.The Goddess Laxshmi is believed to have been created from the churning of the ocean on the main Diwali day, and that she'll visit every home during the Diwali period, bringing with her prosperity and good fortune. It’s said that she visits the cleanest houses first, therefore people make sure their houses are spotless before lighting lamps to invite her in. Small statues of the Goddess are also worshiped in people’s homes.The candlelight makes Diwali a very warm and atmospheric festival, and it's observed with much joy and happiness. However, be prepared for lots of loud noise from the fireworks and firecrackers going off. The air also becomes filled with smoke from the firecrackers, which can add to breathing difficulties.

About my volunteering work- I work everyday in one of VWI women empowerment center. WHere we teach basic english and mathematics to women which lives in rural and slum area in Jaipur. We do also work for generate income source for them. In this we teach them heena painting, stiching work and craft designing. By this the women can have job and also work home. As this is one of the main income sources for the women which lives in vilage. I really hapy to spend my time in indian host family. The host family is very lovely. I learn so many things here by living with them about their culture and tradtions.

Wish to come back soon!
Thank you VWI for making my placement to volunteer in india. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How To Travel In India - Part 1

Ah India, what an incredibly diverse land you are. Confronting, outstanding, frustrating and exotic, travel here may not always be the most straight forward of tasks but persevere with this most enchanting of countries and you will have adventures that will remain with you for a long time to come. Over the next couple of weeks, I’d like to share my experiences of exploring this magnificent part of Asia; I may not yet have covered even a quarter of this vast place, but what I lack in geography, I more than make up for in enthusiasm!
It’s important to remember that India is not just a country, it’s a sub-continent, with climates and terrain about as varied as any country can get. Mention India to anyone and it’s likely they’ll conjure up images of camels, deserts and temples; sure there’s no shortage of these iconic symbols but India really is so much more than that. There are beautiful beaches in Goa, lush jungles in Assam and don’t forget about the colder climates – after all a significant part of the Himalayas are in India! So from snow to sunshine, mountains to monsoons, India really does have it all.
This array of environments means it’s very important to time your trip to India depending on what you want. It’s all very well wanting to chill out on a Keralan beach paradise for 2 weeks but go in June and you may well be reaching more for your umbrella than for your bikini. Likewise the mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh offer some excellent trekking opportunities but in December and January some routes may be closed due to snowfall. India generally has 3 main seasons; hot (April to June), wet (June to September) and cool (October to March). However these seasons can vary depending on the area of the country and proximity to the equator. It’s also important to remember cool in India can still mean temperatures of over 20 degrees!
VWI’s projects are all in the Rajasthani city of Jaipur, where the weather generally follows the pattern mentioned above. So depending on how well you can handle the heat, chose the time of year you travel carefully! Sun cream, a hat and conservative clothing are advisable all year round as even in the winter the Indian sun can be very strong but a waterproof jacket is an absolute necessity during the monsoon period. Likewise the mornings and evenings can be rather chilly in December and January so warm clothing is certainly required. The below link is a good guide to Jaipur climates;
However, like anywhere in the world, the weather doesn’t always stick to the rules so the most important tool to pack is a flexible attitude! Do get in touch if you want any more information about any of VWI’s projects and we’ll always be happy to help. Until next time.....
Jenn x

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Life as a volunteer in India

If anyone told me I would have to get up at 3.30am every morning for 4 weeks I have to say I would not be best pleased. But when the reason for getting up is to go and wash, feed and care for 5 magnificent elephants then perhaps this early start seems a little less painful. Plus when else would one get to see the normally chaotic streets of Jaipur in such a docile state, where the lumbering buses and noisy rickshaws are replaced by snuffling pigs and bleary eyed goats?
This is just one of the many experiences that set apart volunteering from merely being a tourist. Sure, everyone wants to see the big attractions, whether it be the Taj Mahal ot the Golden Temple or a tropical beach in Goa and there’s no doubt they are wonderful sights, but there is no better way to feel the real essence of a country than to spend time with the locals. And on all the Volunteering With India project, this is a fundamental part of the programme.
During my time in Jaipur working with the enigmatic elephants of the Amber Fort, I stayed with an Indian family in their house in the suburbs of the city. The volunteers lived on the ground floor of the house where we were provided with our own kitchen and bathroom facilities and 2 people slept in each of the 2 bedrooms. However, in my whole 4 weeks at the house I don’t think I ever used that kitchen as I was welcomed into the family’s living space upstairs to eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner with my hosts. And what wonderful meals I was presented with! The family I lived with were Brahmin cast, which meant all food was strictly vegetarian (including no eggs) but I didn’t need to worry about lack of variety. My Indian “mother” cooked some fantastic food and there’s no doubt that this was about as authentic as Indian food can get – poles apart from the anaemic kormas and tikka masalas that are passed off as curries in the UK. I really got the true Indian experience in that every meal was eaten on the floor, with our hands, often in front of the families’ favourite historical Hindi soap on the TV. Would I have got all of this if I were merely in a hotel? Absolutely not.
My family also gave me a great insight into Indian culture, not only by experiencing everyday life with them but also by their willingness to involve me with some of the festivals that take place during my time in Jaipur – and believe me there are a lot of festivals in India! One particularly memorable moment was being taken to a local beauty salon by my “Mum” and her 10 year old daughter to have my hands decorated with henna. Not only did I leave with beautiful palms and fingers, I also had the experience of sitting with a group of gossiping, chattering women of all ages and picked up a few local beauty tips while I was there! My family also took me out to the famous Raj Mandir cinema to watch a Bollywood film – something I would highly recommend. From the cheering children to the wolf-whistling boys to the delicious interval samosas, going to the movies in the UK will never be the same again!
There’s so much more I could write about my “real-life” experience in India but the only way I could really make it come alive is to advise you to experience it yourself. I can safely say it’s been one of the highlights of my travelling career so far, so what are you waiting for? Get in touch with VWI now!
Jenn x

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why volunteer with VWI?

Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you want to travel with a purpose? Would you like to see one of the most fascinating countries in the world in a whole new light? Then look no further.....come and work with Volunteering With India!

Volunteering With India is an Indian based Organization that wants to unify people around the world to help those in need. VWI offers a unique combination of volunteering projects and action-packed adventure travel in a fun, safe, educational, and well-organized environment. Our main goal is to offer support for underprivileged women, orphanages, child care, people in rural areas, local communities including the Amber Elephant Village and health programs for sick, dying & disabled people.

As a volunteer with VWI, not only will you have the opportunity to work with communities in need, you’ll also have the experience of living with an Indian host family and really gaining insight into Indian culture. There are projects to suit all interests, from working with the majestic elephants of the Amber Fort, to assisting with children’s theatre projects, to promoting a women’s empowerment project. You also be based in the historical and vibrant city of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s state capital which houses some of the most iconic sights in India. Jaipur is also well placed for further travel into India and such marvels as the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Monsoon Palace in Udaipur and the Red Fort in Delhi can easily be reached via India’s fantastic rail networks.

Over the coming weeks, as a past volunteer I plan to introduce you to VWI’s work and give you a small insight into life as a volunteer in Jaipur. I really did have the most amazing time and I feel both excited and privileged that not only did I have the opportunity to work on one of the projects, I’ve also now got the chance to tell the blogging world all about it! So I look forward to making your acquaintance.....

Jenn x

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jaipur - The city where art and history never sleep

Jaipur is one of the most visited cities in India. Travelers choose this location because of it's unique beauty. Jaipur, also known as Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built as the first planned city of India and it once served as the capital for the royalty; it is now the capital city of Rajasthan.

Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who ruled from 1699–1744; it took about 4 years to complete the major palaces and roads. The king changed the capital from it's original position because of the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. The King ordered the building of the city under the architectural guidance of Vidyadar Bhattacharya. The city was built following the classical basis of principles of Vastu Shastra and similar classical treatise. Jaipur is considered by many urbanologists to be one of the best planned cities.

Travelers have a wide variety of places that be chosen for visiting. Among those are City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall, Statue Circle, Moti Doongri, Hawa Mahal, Water Palace, Jaigarh Fort, Naharagarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Govind Dev Ji Temple, Panchayati Hall, Ram Niwas Garden, Sisodia Rani Garden and Palace, Vidyadhar Garden, Rambagh Palace etc.