So, Volunteer HQ offers an orientation week that adds an additional week to your time with the program. Timing wise, if I do the orientation week, that will be from January 17th to January 22nd and my time with the program would end May 14th.
If I don’t do the orientation week, I will jump right into volunteering after a day’s condensed orientation and my program would end on May 7th.
The orientation week is largely Delhi-related sightseeing and Hindi language classes.
Now, ideally, I will be beyond the level of basic Hindi that they can teach me in a few days of Hindi language classes at this point. Also, I will ideally be comfortable enough to go into Delhi from my suburban base on the weekends. I would have to leave on the 13th of May (at the latest) anyway in order to get to Nepal in time to do the trekking program if that is what I decide to do. I’m eying that extra week (May 7th through 14th) and thinking about jaunting up to Dharmasala for a few days and then taking an un rushed, meandering overland route to where I need to be in Nepal. (I’m currently researching the logistics of going from Dharmasala straight into Nepal – it looks like I’ll have to go back to Delhi and then head up to Kathmandu regardless, if anyone knows of a way to get to Nepal from Dharmasala that is feasible without too many logistical backflips, let me know.)
All that being said, a week to get my bearings in India before volunteering, to adjust and such, would be appreciated. Any thoughts on the matter?