It now looks like May 2012 will be when I go to the ashram in Vrindavan. Homeschooling will be done for the year and it won’t be monsoon season! It will also give me a few months to book everything. I will have our usual travel agent arrange the air( around 1500$ and a 15 HR flight and 11 hour time difference) visa, airport pick up, insurance, etc. I also looked into vaccines and it recommended for typhoid and Japanese Encephalitis, but not too likely I’d get typhoid(from unclean water) as the ashram is a 5 star rating so not likely they’d give us dirty water! As for the encephalitis, it’s mosquito borne, but they much prefer to bite animals than people, only 1 out of 2oo that contract it even have it seriously(most don’t even have symptoms, or just mild headache and fever) and it’s in Southern India(I’ll be in the Western area) and mainly at pig farms and rice paddies(I’ll be somewhat isolated in the ashram community) and I checked the cost of the vaccine is 470$( you need 2 doses) so I weighed the cost vs the risk and I don’t think it justifies it, not to mention the risk of vaccines in general,and the risks of possible side-effects. I think I’ll just bring my “OFF! Deep Woods” mosquito repellent instead!
I also have a friend who lives in New Delhi(which is 3 1/2 hours away from where I’ll be staying) and she said we have to visit eachother while I’m there! That will be so nice! She said they had hepatitis shots(which I already had years ago) and an oral Cholera vaccine. My location is also within walking distance to medical services, pharmacy and main bazaar. They also engage in charity work for widows and children in poor areas, so it will be not only a trip to an exotic location, but also a trip of service and volunteering as well as a spiritual retreat! I am so excited I can hardly wait!