2019 Founders and Friends India Trip

Discover India

Founders & Friends Trips 2019

Namaste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

I nd i a i t i nerar y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Tr i p costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Arave l i Cottages & Tented Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Customi ze your t r i p : Ja i pur & Agra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

S i gnature Ser v i ce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Hea l th & safet y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

FAQ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Test imon i a l s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Jo i n us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Table of contents


Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Namaste! Dear friends,

I am honoured to warmly invite you to join us on a Founders and Friends Trip to India—a truly authentic and meaningful journey.

Get to know our founders or executive team, and be welcomed into a local community in the province of Rajasthan. Experience the vibrant local culture and build a legacy alongside loved ones and fellow travellers—connecting with the community as you volunteer together on a sustainable development project. In the following pages, read more about this adventure to India and all the experience has to offer for yourself and your family. This is your time to change the world,

Roxanne Joyal CEO, ME to WE



Founders and Friends Trip: India Itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Day 3 | July 2

Introduction and orientation Settle in to your private tent or cottage and tour the generous shared spaces and garden. Enjoy an al fresco lunch overlooking the Aravalli mountain range. Learn about WE Villages international development model, which works with rural villages and regional governments to support, teach and empower people within five Pillars of Impact: Education Water Health Food Opportunity Welcome dinner We love food, and we love to share the exotic flavours and dishes of Rajasthan with our guests. Expect an introduction to a variety of Indian dishes, with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as western favourites.

Day 1 | June 30

Day 2 | July 1

Optional early morning yoga Begin your day at sunrise like thousands of others in India with yoga, the discipline that first originated in ancient India. See how your postures and meditative abilities improve! We also offer a great alternative for the uninclined yogi: Discover your Dosha! In this session you will learn about the three fundamental bodily humours (doshas). Language lesson After breakfast, have some fun and get ready to learn key phrases in Hindi. From namaste to aap kaise ho? you will be communicating with community members in no time! You will soon be testing out your new skills as you head into the village for the first time.

Late evening: Arrival in Delhi Collect your luggage and proceed through customs, where you will be welcomed by your driver in the arrivals hall. Enjoy a comfortable ride to your boutique hotel. Check-in at the Leela Ambience Gurgaon Designed by the same architects as India’s first “green” hotel, the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon combines India’s rich cultural past with its modernity. Surrounded by a lush oasis of green, the Leela Kempinski Gurgaon is an award-winning hotel with restaurants that have received the highest of accolades.

Brunch at the Leela Ambience Gurgaon Enjoy a leisurely morning and a hearty brunch at the hotel. Expect fresh local juices and fruits, traditional Indian flavours, and western favourites. Mid-morning flight to Udaipur Board the shuttle bus from your hotel to take you to your commercial flight to Udaipur, known as the Venice of the East. Depart for Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp Enjoy the stunning landscapes of Rajasthan, the royal state of India, on your drive to Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp, while learning some key Hindi words and greetings en route.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. Details of specific trip inclusions/exclusions are listed after the itinerary with costing. Accommodation in Delhi may change subject to availability.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Bollywood dancing Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready for a Bollywood experience! Spend the afternoon with a professional Bollywood choreographer who will share the glamour (and some of the tricks) of one of the largest centres of film production in the world as he teaches you to dance. Share in a good laugh as you try to keep up! Indian Artisan activities Next, pick your fancy as you choose to participate in age-old customs that will immerse you in the local culture. Experience the various artistic forms of henna, tie-dying and block-printing. Dinner & musical entertainment The musical traditions of India are rich and varied and remain an integral part of daily life. Spend a relaxing evening listening to the different sounds of local masters playing Indian and Rajasthani musical instruments.

Day 4 | July 3

School-building Roll up your sleeves and get to know the local community members by working together and volunteering at the school build site. There is a meaningful role for guests of all ages and abilities, as we help build a new school for the community. Dinner and dance performance from local dance troupe End your day with a colourful performance showcasing local dancers and folk dance traditions.

Community welcome and visit to WE Villages primary school Experience the warmth of a community welcome as you gather with students and local families who will be directly impacted by the work you are doing. In accordance with Hindu tradition, you will partake in a Pooja—a traditional Hindu prayer ceremony to mark the beginning of an auspicious event. Every new initiative begins with a blessing to ensure the success and prosperity of the work being undertaken. Learn about the community you’ll be volunteering in, and how you’ll be able to make a meaningful difference in partnership with local communities. Lunch and Jhapki Jhapki is Hindi for siesta. In keeping with local tradition, we will take a short rest from the hot midday sun at Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp before returning to the day’s activities in the cooler afternoon hours.

Village walk Rise bright and early as you help local women with their morning activities. Youwill walk in their footsteps through the village where you will experience shared communal responsibility, frugality in response to limited resources, and sustainability defined by the renewable and functional use of resources. You are invited to accompany women in making chapatti in their homes, hauling water from the local well and in feeding their animals. Nature walk Take in the beautiful foothills of the Mewar region by exploring the flora and fauna on foot with a local guide. Lunch and Jhapki Enjoy your daily siesta following a hearty meal served family style in the Araveli central courtyard.

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. Details of specific trip inclusions/exclusions are listed after the itinerary with costing. Accommodation in Dehli may change subject to availability.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Kumbhalgarh Fort Visit this dominating fort which boasts the second largest wall after the Great Wall of China. The Mewar fortress was built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, and enlarged through the 19th century. Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the general public as a museum and boasts an incredible number of temples, as well as a permanent community within the fortress walls. Farewell dinner cart extravaganza What better way to bid farewell to your stay to India than enjoying some of region’s most gastronomic dishes! Enjoy your meal as you reflect on the journey and the strong bonds you have formed.

Mewari art class Under the guidance of a local artist, try your hand at Mewari art, which is one of the most influential schools of Rajasthani style of miniature painting, originating from the 17th and 18th centuries and developed in the Mewar region. Women and men’s circle Gather in gender specific circles to gain fuller insight into what is important to women and men of rural Rajasthan. Discover the parallels and differences with your own lives as you learn about one another. Day 6 | July 5

Day 5 | July 4

Optional early morning yoga

Participate in the school lunch program Food security is an ongoing issue in India, and malnutrition exists especially among the women and children who eat “last and least.” Facing high rates of anemia and malnutrition, almost every school in India has instituted a government lunch program to encourage student enrolment and retention, and to help combat malnutrition. Help cook lunch at a WE Villages school and distribute it to students. Learn firsthand about food costs, issues around food security, and how we’re working to help communities access sustainable food sources.

Optional early morning yoga

School-building Lunch and Jhapki

Closing ceremony Celebrate the progress you made on the build site with the new friends you made in the community.

Lunch and Jhapki

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. Details of specific trip inclusions/exclusions are listed after the itinerary with costing. Accommodation in Dehli may change subject to availability.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Day 7 | July 6

Depart Araveli Cottages & Tented Camp for Udaipur

Old city market shopping Test your bargaining skills with city vendors as you pick up local goods, whether it be traditional kurtas, local perfumes, musical instruments or any number of items to remind you of your Indian adventure. Lunch on the Shores of Lake Pichola Enjoy your lunch on the shores of the beautiful Lake Pichola in the shadow of City Palace and Lake Palace, both world-famous architectural attractions. The majestic City Palace was built almost five centuries ago on a hill that gives stunning views of Udaipur, and you might recognize the Lake Palace from a 1980s James Bond film! Fly from Udaipur to Delhi Connect to your flight home in the Delhi Airport. International flights back to North America generally depart from Delhi in the late evening or early morning hours.


Begin your customized extension

Please note that this itinerary is subject to change. Details of specific trip inclusions/exclusions are listed after the itinerary with costing. Accommodation in Dehli may change subject to availability.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

$4,650 USD PP Araveli Tented Camp: based $500 USD PP Single supplement Trip costs $500* USD PP To upgrade to Araveli Cottages: based on quad occupancy on double occupancy

Inclusions ►► ME to WE professional facilitator ►► Ground transportation for the duration of the trip ►► Return airfare from Delhi to Udaipur ►► Hotel accommodation in Delhi (one night) ►► Meals as indicated in Delhi ►► Entrance fees to sights in Delhi and Udaipur ►► All activities as outlined in the itinerary ►► Accommodation at Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp (five nights) ►► All meals and drinks at Araveli, including purified water, sodas, beer and wine Exclusions ►► International airfare to and from Delhi ►► Indian tourist visa, which can be obtained and stamped in your passport prior to departure at an Indian embassy or consulate. Visas are not available at the port of entry ►► Evening snack in Delhi upon arrival ►► Travel insurance (out-of-country medical, trip cancellation and interruption insurance) ►► Gratuities are not expected but appreciated, and are shared among all staff. We humbly suggest $10-15 per adult per day *Please inquire for exclusive cottage pricing Please note that arrival and departure transfers are included in your trip cost. Pick-up time at the airport begins at 2:30 p.m. on your arrival day, to accommodate check-in at the hotel, which begins at 3:00 p.m. Should you decide to extend your stay by arriving earlier or departing later than the scheduled times of your ME to WE Immersive Volunteer Trip, airport pick-up and drop-offs can be arranged at an additional cost.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Araveli Cottages & Tented Camp

A property designed with authentic Indian décor and royal Rajasthani flair, Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp offers delightful spaces to recharge and refresh after a day of volunteering.

►► Take in spectacular views of the pink-hued Aravalli Mountains from the comfort of your private veranda. ►► All cottages and tents offer modern conveniences including hot water, air conditioning, electricity and en suite washrooms. ►► Well-appointed private cottages, generous indoor-outdoor shared spaces and contoured

landscapes will enhance the overall experience of your unique adventure. ►► Enjoy local dishes and western favourites prepared fresh daily in our central courtyard pavilion. ►► We have a 17-year record of travel safety for our guests.



Customize your trip: Jaipur & Agra

Customize your trip: Jaipur & Agra

The Golden Triangle: Jaipur & Agra

Taj Mahal magic

Day 3 Take a guided sightseeing tour of Jaipur and visit the City Palace Museums, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal.

Day 2 Travel to Agra. Enjoy a tour of the impressive Red Fort of Agra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a sunset tour of the Taj Mahal. Overnight at a nearby hotel. Day 3 Visit the stunning Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, before returning to the Delhi International Airport for your flight home. We take care of all the details throughout this exquisite experience! Transfers are by private vehicle, and a professional guide will accompany you throughout the journey. Your visit to the Taj Mahal will leave you in contemplative wonder.

After a week of volunteering, treat yourself to a special excursion marked by authentic Indian hospitality. Explore the hidden wonders of Agra, made famous by the Taj Mahal. With the city’s surviving art, culture, architecture and royal cuisine, contemporary Agra can only be described as a grand experience. Day 1 Depart Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp for a beautiful, well-appointed hotel in Delhi.

Discover the regal splendour of Jaipur and Northern India with magnificent forts, palaces and landscaped estates. From the aristocratic grandeur of Deogarh Mahal to the mighty ramparts of Amber Fort, royal Rajasthan will pamper you with hospitality and luxurious splendour. Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal to end your adventure. Day 1 Depart Araveli for the picturesque Jaipur and settle in for the evening. Day 2 Visit Jaipur and explore Amber Fort, located on a hilltop offering stunning panoramic views.

Day 4 Drive to Agra and enjoy a sunset tour of the Taj Mahal.

Day 5 Enjoy a final day of sightseeing in Agra and visit the Agra Fort before returning to the Delhi International Airport for your flight home.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Our Signature Service

Don’ t worry about the detai ls, our team is on cal l to provide:

International and domestic flights on world-class airlines Our ME to WE Travel Team members are experts at buying the best flights and finding you the top sales on international airfare. Whether you want to fly first class, or snag the most cost-effective deal, our team can book your travel from door-to-door. Travel insurance Whether it is medical, cancellation or lost baggage (or any combination of the above), we are able to create and purchase the plan that will give you and your family peace of mind. Passpor t and visa information If you are unsure on what is needed to enter India, we will walk you through any and all special requirements and make sure you have everything you need to begin your journey worry-free!

Immunization information At ME to WE, our participants’ health is our top priority. We always recommend visiting a travel doctor a minimum of six weeks before your departure date. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, we are happy to recommend a travel doctor that is familiar with ME to WE Trips. Once you arrive in India, we take care of all your transportation, so you can sit back and enjoy the bustling markets and rolling hills of rural India unfolding in front of you. Your experienced local guide will welcome you into the communities and be an invaluable resource for in-depth information about the places and people you visit. Travel recommendations From Rajasthan, you are at the perfect gateway to explore either Delhi and the Taj Mahal or Jaipur and Agra—both of which we are more than happy to arrange for you. Whatever you choose, we are more than happy to arrange the next leg of your journey! On-ground transpor tation and local guide

Whether you’re preparing for your trip or experiencing the real deal on the ground, we take care of all the details! Leave the planning to us—including flight arrangements, packing lists and information about vaccines and visas. While in country, we encourage you to focus on what’s really important: being in the moment. That’s why we ensure every detail is accounted for— from world-class accommodations and meals, to in-country transportation and excursions with your local guide.



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Health and safety Your safety is our top priority! We take care of all the details to ensure you stay safe and healthy throughout your trip including: ►► Flight, luggage and medical insurance ►► Airport arrival assistance ►► 24-hour security staff ►► Filtered water available at all times “ The water we will drink is f iltered. The food is prepared by their own kitchen, their own chef. We have these wonderful facilitators around us that are fountains of knowledge, but they also make sure that everything is seamless.

Donna MacFarlane ME to WE Immersive Volunteer Trip, 2013



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Frequently asked questions

Q: Is there a minimum age for the par ticipants going to India? A: No. We welcome guests of all ages! Whether young or old—there is something for everyone.

What is the weather like in India at this time of year? A: In July, monsoon season usually breaks—and brings with it a beautiful and transformative time in India. Because of the rains, the heat is usually more forgiving and the temperature hovers around 20-32 °C during the day, and 23-24 °C during the night. Make sure you bring your rain jacket for those sporadic rain showers in the mornings and evenings! Q: What time zone is India in? A: India is on IST (India Standard Time), and is 10 or 11 hours ahead of EST (Eastern Standard Time), depending on the time of year. Q: Can I bring a laptop, iPod, expensive camera etc.? A: We suggest travelling as lightly as possible to minimize the risk of damage to or loss of your possessions. For essential items, Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp provides a small safe in every tent and cottage. Q: Is there filtered water? A: We provide filtered water for our guests to drink. We bring jugs of purified drinking water to the camp and then recycle them after each trip. We recommend bringing along a good, reusable water bottle that you can fill up as you head from our lodge for your day trips to the community. Q: Will I have access to phone and internet while in India? A: Both phone and email communication is easily accessible in New Delhi. Internet access and phone access is not readily available at Araveli. In Udaipur, you will be able to use your phone if it is activated for international use.

Q: How is the food? A: Participants will have the opportunity to sample a range of traditional Indian and Asian cuisines. Participants enjoy their meals from local restaurants that are regularly visited by ME to WE and at our pre-arranged by ME to WE facilitators as well as on site at Araveli. While staying at Araveli, guests will be treated to the culinary expertise of Chef KK, Araveli’s in-house chef. The majority of the food we will be eating in India is vegetarian, as it is the local custom. Don’t worry—there will be lots of protein options as well as western favourites available at all times. Q: What is the electrical voltage in India? A: Electricity will be available in New Delhi and while in Rajasthan. The voltage in India is 230-240V/50Hz. There are 2 types of Indian-style plugs. The first has two circular metal pins while the other has two circular metal pins above a large circular grounding pin. Please make sure to bring a converter with you. Plugs C & D are used in India: Q: Can I bring gifts for the kids? A: We ask that you do not, as we work in solidarity with our partner communities. Put simply, your gift is your presence. We ask that our trip participants do not bring candy, toys or presents for community members, as we would like to promote fairness for all children. A portion of your trip cost goes to in-country communities to support their basic needs. PLUG C PLUG D



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Meg Kettlitz’s story 2017 what an amazing year! My daughter graduated from high school earning admittance to The University of Toronto and The Lester B Pearson scholarship. 150 year anniversary of Canada. 70 years of Indian independence. And, a Family and Friends WE trip to India! We had an awesome adventure. From all of the sites, the sounds, the smells, the textures, the colors, to the comradeship of everyone we met. Everything was magical! It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite moment. My personal accomplishment best moment was the water walk. In Kenya in 2016 I wasn’t strong enough to do it. And, while, I suspect my pot wasn’t 100% full, I’m still proud of myself. It also is a reminder of just how hard the women in the village work and how strong they are. From the noise of the monkeys jumping on our tent telling us it was time to wake up to the flickering of the stars at night telling us good night, it was an amazing family and life experience. One that I wish everyone could experience. “

Meg Kettlitz Founders and Friends Trip 2017

Meg and her daughter, Alessia Kettlitz



Founders and Friends Trip: India itinerary

Trip dates: June 30 - July 6

Geraldine’s story

The first visit to Kalthana was such a memorable occasion and

one that I will never forget. I have a vivid image in my mind of

stepping out of the car and hearing all this beautiful singing

and flashes of bright blue down the hill as the children and

adults of the Kalthana School greeted us with such hospitality.

I was taken by the hand by a shy but bright eyed young boy

aged about seven years. I believe his name was Nawara and he

and I squatted down on the ground together and tied friendship

bands around each other’s wrists, which was a very special

moment indeed.

Geraldine Prosser Founders and Friends Trip 2016

Geraldine Prosser with local teachers. Founders and Friends Trip 2016



Join us!

R o x a n n a J o y a l C E O , M E t o W E

1 . 8 7 7 . 6 3 8 . 6 9 3 1

s p e c i a l e x p e r i e n c e @ w e . o r g




TICO # 50017614

Photographs courtesy of Scott Ramsay and V. Tony Hauser

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