Update – India Trip


I thought it was time to give you all an update – just 50 days until my departure.

As I was purchasing my plane tickets I was truly humbled by the generosity you have all shown – honestly this trip could not happen without you!

Yesterday I got the last of my vaccinations – some were updates but I got a new one this time – Japanese Encephalitis. This was one of those just to be safe ones. It is costly and only good for a year – but there has been an outbreak in northern India. While it is a few hundred miles from where I will be, I figure getting the vaccination – one less thing to worry about!

I will depart Asheville on Sept 25th – flying out of the Greenville, SC airport to Newark. I get to spend the night in Brooklyn – I plan on filling up on real pizza & real bagels!

Sept 26th I will fly out of Newark and 24 hrs later (Sept 27th) arrive in Delhi. There I will meet up with the rest of the Whole Foods Team Member Volunteers.  Whole Foods Team Member Volunteer Program

We will only be getting a few hours sleep – we have a 4:00am wake up call so we can all get to the airport to catch a flight from Delhi to Kolkata, change planes and then fly to Agartala, Tripura. With just time for a short rest at our hotel we will venture off to the Anwesha Children’s Home to meet the kids when they return from school.    Anwesha Children’s Home

Sept 29th through October 4th we will be working at the Home – cleaning, painting, planting gardens, building a safe playground and simply playing with the kids!

The climate will be tropical – hot & humid. On the morning of October 5th we will say goodbye to the kids and head off to Varanasi. There we will have two days off – one being my birthday. Honestly I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday!!

On the morning of October 8th we will travel outside of Varanasi to meet with micro-credit clients of the Whole Planet Foundation — The Whole Planet Foundation

Then the afternoon will find us back in Varanasi at the offices of CASHPOR Ltd – a microfinance non-profit providing micro-credit to below poverty women in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. – CASHPOR Ltd

October 9th we are on a plane back to Delhi where we will spend the night. The morning of the 10th we board another plane and head west to Rajasthan. We will be met at the airport in Jodphur by cars from Traditional Medicinals – Traditional Medicinals to make the 6-hour drive to Bapp. For the next three days we will be doing service work at the Revive Village in the Bapp area. Traditional Medicinals, US is one of several organizations supporting the Revive Project, focusing on supporting farming and water harvesting in the Thar Desert.

The 14th we make the drive back to Jodphur and have a bit of time off late in the day to see the “Blue City”.

The morning of the 15th the team flies back to Delhi and here we go our separate ways.

My journey in India continues….

I will fly to Chennai, spend the night at a little Bed & Breakfast and in the morning a car will take me to The Colours of Nature in Auroville. – The Colours of Nature I met Jesus Ciriza Larraona, the Founder of The Colours of Nature, a few years ago at a natural dye conference in France. I am so looking forward to my visit.

Back to Chennai for a good nights sleep & off in the morning to the airport to fly to Kochin. A car will pick me up at the airport for the 3 to 4 hour drive to the beautiful hills of Munnar.

This is truly a dream come true – I have always hoped to return to Srishti where I had the privilege of working in 2009. – Srishti Welfare Centre

Please check out the website – ‘cause I could go on for pages about all the good work they do. Here is a link to an article about Srishti– Caterpillars to Butterflies

I worked at Aranya – the natural dye unit, teaching the folks how to work with Cochineal (a red dye from insects – not native to India) and with superfine Pashmina shawls and not damage them in the dye process. They learned quickly and now those  shawls sell in Taj Hotel Gift Shops!

I will arrive in Munnar on Fri afternoon – giving me time to say hello to everyone. Then two days off to recover both emotionally and physically from my travels. On Mon & Tues I have been asked to once again work with the very special men and women at Aranya and of course I said YES!

Oct 22 will find me getting up early for the drive back down to the Kochin Airport.

From Kochin I fly to Mumbai, back to Newark and arrive in Greenville, SC on the morning of the 23. It is just an hour’s drive up to Asheville and my journey will come to a close!

Phew!!! It is going to be a very busy month!

I will be posting updates during my travels when Internet is available.

Check the Indiegogo site –  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stories-of-hope-varanasi-returning-to-india

& my blog – Madderlane

Thank you all for making this possible – you will be touching so many lives!

With much Gratitude,


Author: Linda LaBelle

I am a weaver and natural dyer who loves to travel.

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