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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Kerala, India

Feb 15, 2012 - Urgent Plea for WFFT

“If we see, if we know, then we have to do something.” -Valerie Browning Over the past couple of days, a sequence of terrifying events has unfolded at Wildlife Friends of Thailand. I spent two weeks at WFFT and grew attached to all of the animals there. The employs and volunteers cared so much about doing everything in their power to give these once abused animals happy, stress free lives. WFFT is dedicated to the well being of their animals and will not stop until as long as animal abuse continues in Thailand. Recently, WFFT started...

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Sarah's Gap Year

Feb 12, 2012 - Ananda Ashram

Given that we were travelling in India, and that Amy is quite interested in yoga, we knew that we wanted to spend a part of our time there learning about ashram life. It wasn’t easy to choose where to go, as India has what seems like a zillion ashrams, and they vary significantly in how open they are to westerners, and in terms of what type of tradition they follow. This particular ashram was recommended to us by the kirtan singer Krishna Das. Shortly before leaving New York City, we attended a call and response chanting concert with...

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Amy & Adam in Asia

Feb 9, 2012 - A Change of Pace

Things have definitely changed since I got to India. My program calls me a volunteer, but there’s no way you can call this volunteer work. I am getting the most incredible experience of my life and I don’t feel like I’m giving neatly enough back to say I’m contributing to the economy. But I’m not complaining - I did plenty of contributing in the four months leading up to this. It’s time for a proper vacation! Thursday morning Momita (the mother of the house) had a friend come over to tie Lewanna and my saris on for the wedding. I never...

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Sarah's Gap Year

Jan 31, 2012 - Saving the Best for Last

Okay, the title isn’t exactly accurate. When it comes to friends I’ve made, nothing can beat South Africa and Thailand. As for rewarding volunteer work, this doesn’t even hold a candle to Ethiopia. Turkey had the best sight seeing for sure and Phuket was by far the best for relaxing. However, India is the best cultural experience. I’ve been here for two days, yet I already know I am going to see and learn so much in my time here. Plus, because of where I am living and what I am doing, I will manage to get a true sense of the people and...

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Sarah's Gap Year

Jan 21, 2012 - Munnar

Munnar is referred to as a “hill station.” To get there we climbed in elevation, and left the heat and humidity of the backwaters behind. It’s a small town, surrounded on all sides by tea plantations. For miles as you approach Munnar, and miles after you leave, all you can see in every direction is tea. We spent two nights there, but definitely could have spent more. On our only full day there, we spent the morning walking through tea plantations and ended up at a pretty waterfall. The smell of tea wafts throughout the whole area. In the...

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Amy & Adam in Asia

Jan 19, 2012 - Alleppey

The main tourist attraction in Kerala, and one of the main ones in all of India, is riding on the Kerala backwaters and experiencing village life on the shores as you float past. The backwaters are a vast network of canals, rivers, and streams that run throughout the state, with certain sections much more opened to tourism than others. For the villagers, these waterways are the only form of transportation in some places, and ferries act like local buses shuttling people around. Most tourists rent a houseboat, which is a fancy old rice boat...

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Amy & Adam in Asia

Jan 15, 2012 - Kochi

We left Kathmandu mid-morning and arrived at Delhi airport a little over an hour later. From there it was a short layover, and another 3 or 4 hours to Kochi in southern India. In the span of a day we went from the cold of the Nepali Himalaya to the heat of the tropics, and it was quite a shift to go through. Our flight out of Kathmandu was delayed a couple hours, and it was in general a long travel day, but somehow it just flew by without any issues and we were both surprised by the ease of it all. Suddenly, we were packing away our shoes...

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Amy & Adam in Asia

Jan 13, 2012 - Kerala Backwaters Homestay

We left Thekkady at 9am.  Some of the group had early morning massages. Our trip to the Kerala backwaters was 4.5 hours bus ride with a 30 mins stop at a coffee shop. We pulled up at the river side then took a small boat across to the island where we were staying.  We could only take stuff for overnight - big bags wouldn't have fitted on the boats, but ever prepared I'd bought a fold up holdall that we used.  The group were staying  in two houses - 5 in each and I'd thought it would be basic, but it is actually better than some of the...

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Jan 3, 2012 - Travel to Wayanad

Our hotel in Kochi was opposite a school.  As we ate breakfast the kids were arriving for the day.  All neatly dressed in uniform with enormous rucksacks even the little ones.  And we were amazed by the tuktuks Tardis like properties.  We got three adults in the back. One pulled up at school and kids just kept piling out like some kind of TV comedy - in the end we think 8 in total all with backpacks!!  As we left the hotel at 8am it was clearly the start of school and the gates must be locked at that point.  Some latecomers turned up -...

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Jan 2, 2012 - Flying Prawns

This morning we met at 830 for our group meeting. Breakfast was omelette, toast and Tetley tea! The other four in our group joined us - they had already done a two week trip in north India so were grateful for some heat! A woman from Cambridge and a family from Sydney - the girl is 11. After a run through of our trip, which has changed slightly from the itinerary online, we left at 930 for our sightseeing in Kochi. It is hot and sunny again today. We walked from the hotel via the coast and Chinese fishing nets passing the fish Market...

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Dec 30, 2011 - Bollywood afternoon

One of the downsides of a lengthy afternoon siesta is when you should be going to bed to sleep you can't! So at midnight we were still reading and watching TV and the corruption debate was still on in the Indian parliament.  And it makes Cameron/Milliband discussions look very tame in comparison.  Shouting, throwing papers, storming round the seats - most amusing though was when the speaker shouted National Song National Song and they all stopped, stood up and sang!  Not sure Bercow would have the same reaction if he shouted National...

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Dec 29, 2011 - Lazy day

Lazy morning this morning.  Buffet breakfast in the hotel - combination of continental, traditional British minus the meat, and various curry dishes.  Bit weird having curry for breakfast followed by fruit and pain au chocolat but best get used to it! After breakfast went to the gym for an hour - might just have burnt off the Christmas party alcohol now!!!  Having not been in a gym for over a year, the Nordic walking has obviously been helping - managed to run for 15 mins quite easily which for me is a minor miracle!  Quick dip in the pool...

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