Thursday, October 25, 2007

Off to India!

By Gary Duncan, Assistant Director of Marketing

In less than 10 hours, CCF sponsors and staff will be leaving a chilly Newark International Airport for the hot, humid 98-degree weather of New Delhi. This trip will be our second study tour to one of the most diverse and fascinating countries in the world. Where else could you encounter a country that speaks 17 languages and over 800 dialects? India is a country that is rooted in democratic and religious tradition, but is rapidly developing into one of the most robust economies and advanced technological nations in the world.

This study tour will challenge our sponsors both mentally and physically. We will travel from Delhi to Agra by bus, and then on to the ancient city of Jaipur. No need to unpack luggage, because we will keep moving on to Mumbai for a quick look and then down to Bangalore-- the location of the national office of CCF in India. Our trip will end in the coastal city region of Goa-- which more resembles a Portuguese village than an Indian community. Along the way, we will be visiting CCF programs in both Delhi and Bangalore as well as giving our sponsors a chance to actually meet their sponsored children.

Our sponsors on this trip are from Oregon to Florida, and many of them have traveled with us before on other study tours. For the newcomers, they will learn that we are 'travelers', not 'tourists' and they will return to the United States with a profound knowledge and understanding of the old and new India. They will also have a greater comprehension of how their sponsorship gifts impact the lives of thousands of poor children and families throughout India. I can guarantee you that our sponsors will be different people when they return from this trip and we hope the newcomers will appreciate how special this experience can be in their lives. For the old-timers that have traveled with us many times, they know how educational, fun, and life-expanding these trips can be. We are all from different backgrounds and experiences, yet united in our commitment to helping children-- to give them a chance just like someone may have given you a chance in your life.

Throughout the next 10 days, I will attempt to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly of our experiences in India. Right now, everyone is excited and happy to be on this study tour and ready to depart on our 14-hour flight from Newark to New Delhi. Likewise, in India, much planning has gone in to this study tour by our Indian colleagues and they eagerly await our arrival. We are on a journey of discovery and self-education with unlimited opportunities to see and do things never experience by most tourists traveling to India. I hope you will join us on this trip through this travel blog and maybe experience a little of our adventures and visits to these regions in India through my writing.

gary d.

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