Help needed please.

Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Micarda is correct. Stay away from the monkeys. Don't feed them or do anything to encourage them coming towards you. They can be very aggressive and will attack people.

For that matter, stay clear of any of the animals - even little puppies in the street. None of the animals in the streets are vaccinated.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 03:55 AM
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Also hoping that this catches you before you go...
My daughters were 10 and 7 the first time we visited India. My husband and I had wanted to visit since before we married - 13 years before but it hadn't happened . We thought very long and hard about going because we weren't going to go without the children.
We flew to Goa and from the arrival you were immersed and entranced by the difference of this country. One of the things which always strikes me about arriving in India is the volume of people walking along the road.There are people everywhere. In Goa the women were wearing saris which we had only ever seen before occasionally in a British city or in pictures, but here they were, beautiful graceful and coclourful as peacocks in amongst the dirt raised by the traffic -especially tourist buses belching out fumes from the a/c units.
Very important policemen with whistles in glaringly starched clothes, school children, cows stopping the traffic, drivers making you think you are never going to hire a car, holy men wearing not much and covered in ash, men building and repairing boats alongside the river with tiny children around their feet, women from Karnataka doing physical work road building with jewellery piercing their noses and ears- the same women living under black polythene within a yard of the same road and at the same time caring for tiny children wearing vests only- no shoes,Goan houses with paper lanterns outside with electric lights illuminating them -it was Christmas, boys playing cricket outside a church and stunningly beautiful countryside.
That was all before we arrived at the hotel.
To cut a long story short I can still remember some significant facts about this first journey. Both daughters were very struck by the way children were begging and working by selling to tourists. We were there over Christmas and I wasn't able to carry the number of presents my daughters would have had at home.There wasn't a mention. The conversation about why children of the same age as themselves were working and on Christmas day took us much much further.... see below.
My youngest daughter asked me whether the Indians knew they were poor- this was in response to the friendly and happy nature of the Goans despite abject poverty.
Our hotel had a tiny poster inviting people to visit an orphanage. We did and once more saw a side of life for children the same age as ours which was going to have such an impact.
Over the years we fund raised for the orphange as did our daughters and our eldest daughter spent her Gap-Year there voluteering. As a result of something we saw on the first visit to Goa she was going to study medicine- the incident? We were climbing up to the cathedral in Panjim and on the bend in the stairs was a double amputee begging. The bandages on his stumps were bloodstained. My daughter was horrified and upset by this and by the time we arrived at the cathedral door she decided she wanted to give him her pocket money. We went back down the steps to find he had gone. It seemed that there was someone moving him about when no-one was looking in order to maximise his begging potential- this of itself opened up really interesting discussions in our family but the upshot was that she returned from that holiday deciding she would be a doctor to help people like that man.
Last year (now a doctor) she returned to the orphanage and helped to establish a Health clinic which has now employed outreach workers which visit the slums and provide health advice.
How many of us actually make a difference?
Take this opportunity with both hands- it will not leave you untouched.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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Frances, your story brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely gift you gave you daughters by taking them to India when you did. Thank you so much for sharing.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 07:53 PM
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Frances that is an amazing story thank you so much for posting it here, we leave in eight days from today. I am excited and totally obsessed with India, I have been telling the girls to keep an open mind and take it all in.

I have been trying to keep them away from all the negativity, and I think they are starting to get excited as well, we are lucky that we have friends in India, close friends, which will make for a softer landing I suppose.

I will try and blog on here when I get back home, thanks for all the help guys.
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 12:15 PM
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Have a great trip, Jilli. Sooo glad you decided to not let your family keep you from going.
You and your kids are going to have a most incredible time!!

Frances, you story is so inspirational and beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to post it.
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Old Feb 6th, 2011, 08:43 PM
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Frances, thanks for posting.

You are making a difference...and so is your daughter.
It's wonderful to hear stories like yours.

Your travel experiences are making your life richer (I think).
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Old Feb 11th, 2011, 10:04 PM
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Well the time is here I am leaving on Monday on the red eye from Melbourne to Mumbai, bags are packed, kids are happy and excited, so any last minute tips from all of you?

Been doing a lot of reading and found a great site on how India is changing quickly, with so many mega project and infrastructure project all over India.

If anyone wants to have a look at the site it is a real eye opener and you can almost feel the excitement of the Indian people. Let me know if you want the address, before Monday, not sure I will have the time in India to post on here but will definitely try.

Once again thanks for all the help and the positive encouragement from all of you, and also for all the wonderful photos and trip reports, and all of you going we all want long trip reports from you all as well.

Namaste.
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Old Feb 12th, 2011, 12:32 AM
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Have a great trip! I look forward to your report.
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Old Feb 12th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Have a wonderful trip, Jill! You can tell the family your survived!!!!
Sure, post the link to the article you mention.
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Old Feb 12th, 2011, 11:31 AM
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Most people that talk negatively about a place have never been there.

They are usually afraid to go themselves, and jealous that you aren't.
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Old Feb 12th, 2011, 12:36 PM
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my initial impression is this is a parenting question.... you know best about that and how to handle it for your family...

my second impression is your surroundings.... OZ is not the most tollerant place nor the most open minded.... ignor them all...

this will be the most educational trip your kids will ever have and they will love it and you in the end...

will there be issues along the way...of course... be prepared and deal with them daily... will men urinating in open on the street be offensive--of course... be prepared to explain and deal with it...

and the poverty will be 1000X what they have seen in OZ... its not the end of the world...

go and enjoy
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Old Feb 12th, 2011, 02:42 PM
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Thanks lcuy, Cali, Brad and rhkkmk to be honest we have kept the kids away from the negativity as much as possible, shown them photos and videos of India as well.

Also having my friend in India and her kids talking to my kids on skype etc has gotten them all excited now. I know India is going to change all our lives in a good way, and for the kids I think it will give them a great education.

I am already in love with India after reading and researching, I know it won't be all smooth sailing, but in a lot of ways that is also the charm of India.

Anyway we have 24 hours to go, flight leaves Melbourne at 12am tomorrow night, and the adventure begins, the kids can't wait and are very excited I am glad we kept them away from the "relatives" and the negativity.
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Old Feb 12th, 2011, 02:48 PM
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Here is a preliminary trip report by mrsmarge: fodors.com/community/asia/mrs-marge-is-back-still-married-with-2-unharmed-children.cfm

She took her husband and two young daughters, Poppy and Scarlet , (I believe they were five and ten at the time of the trip in 2009), to India. They had a fabulous time.

I would recommend that you tell your family members to "stifle it," and teach your children the meaning of open-mindedness. Rent lots of films, both fictional and documentary. Especially rent "The Story of India" by Michael Pollan which was on PBS a couple of years ago.

When we went to India in 2009, I was surprised at how several of my liberal, well-educated, well-traveled friends were appalled. I was appalled at them -- and still am. India was the best rip of my life and I can't wait to go back.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 09:25 PM
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IP thanks for posting that and just in time leaving for the airport in a few hours, will be a good read at the airport.

Once again to everyone thanks for helping and sending those positive thoughts my way, our trip begins in a few hours, India awaits.
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Just before I leave I found a great site on developments and infrastructure in India, it mostly just Indians talking about developments etc in India.

They also have a great thread o hotels and resorts in India, it's not a hotel or review site etc, just photos of the variety of hotels in the country and don;t worry this is not spam or advertising.

This is the site http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...=254384&page=1
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Old Feb 18th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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Jillian,

I am mentioning below the link of a trip report I have read recently. It might catch your interest.

http://cokesmithphototravel.com/Expe...ndia_2011.html
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Old Feb 19th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Howdy Julian - not sure if you are still folllowing this thread. I just found that someone posted my trip report, so I think I will add my two cents. TAKE YOUR DAUGHTERS TO INDIA! The nerve of those folks trying to sabotage your trip. While India is surely a shock to anyone who is paying attention, I have traveled there three times and have found nothing but the kindest, most respectful people in my experiences. Depending on your travel route, you may get harrassed by vendors and such but the situation today is far better than it was during my earlier trips.

I know your pain actually. I travel a lot with my boy and we used to get a lot of similar comments from people. My family LONG ago gave up trying to scare me from travel (and some have even come around and done some adventure travels of their own...), but I know what you are going through.

A lot will depend on your daughters' attitudes while in India. You now have an uphill battle as, depending on how things go on the trip, there may be some dwelling on what was said by family members. To the best of your ability, try to keep the tone of the trip UP UP UP and be sensitive and aware of how your daughters are reacting to what's around them while in-country. Talk about everything and laugh as much as possible! Have them keep journals (our boy has journals from most of his expeditions - he has traveled all his young 8-year-old life and has visited over 30 countries....). Have a great time but be alert. Make travelers out of your daughters, not xenophobic dull Americans who consider a trip to Hawaii to be international....

Best wishes!

Coke

www.cokesmithphototravel.com
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 12:54 PM
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Hi Coke,

I just checked your previous post of photos--amazing!

Too bad you ruined the "good vibes" with your comment above about "xenophobic dull Americans"
Despite your many travels, it seems you have still to learn the greatest, most valuable lesson of all from traveling--both the commonality and uniqueness of people

BTW...Jillian's family is AUSTRALIAN, not Amreican. So you can now stereotype that country's inhabitants as well.
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Old Feb 20th, 2011, 07:55 PM
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No offense intended Calinurse. I didn't even give that comment too much thought when I wrote it actually. There are TONS of well traveled and open-minded Americans out there so please do not read too much into the comment. But now that you mention it, there are a lot of similarities between the two cultures as I have picked up with my many travels to Australia and having lived in the states most of my life.....And remember all stereotypes do tend to have some foundation in fact to various degrees.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Time for an update please?
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