Monday, 18 November 2013

Two months until I fly to India...

It is exactly 2 months today until I fly to India with Little Owl and what have I done to prepare? Not a lot really!

I so helpfully wrote myself a to do list when I first blogged about my trip 5 weeks ago but since then I've kinda forgotten about it!

Looking at the list now, I have managed to do a few important jobs. Firstly our insurance is booked - we went with the British Mountaineering Council's insurance. We've used them quite a lot and while we've never had to make a claim, we are confident that should we need to, they won't start asking stupid questions about tour operators and travel agents. As an added bonus, it turned out Little Owl was free!

Another important job that I can tick off is our injections. I needed Typhoid and Hepatitis A (which if I actually remember to go back for my booster in 6 months time, I won't need again for 20 years!).  Little Owl is apparently too young to have the typhoid vaccination which worried me slightly but I have been reassured that good food and hand hygiene should mean she is at very little risk. I let Little Owl watch me have my injections first, she was curious and quite happy to sit on my knee and let her arm be exposed when it was her turn.  Not so impressed when the needle went in and she shot the nurse a filthy look before her face crumpled but luckily it was short lived and no actual tears came.  If I remember to get her Hepatitis A booster done when she goes for her 2 year injections then she won't need another one until she is 21 - now that's a thought!
I've also confirmed my booking at Sangam World Centre where we will be staying.  Sangam is one of the 4 world centres belonging to WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts).  I worked at Sangam as a Programme Volunteer back in 2002/3, and been back several times since, so excited, its like I'm going home!

A couple of exciting things have been planned too - an old school friend who now lives in Mumbai has said she will travel to Pune to see me! And another friend who lives in Canada has confirmed she will be in Pune at the same time so we can spend some time together and let our little ones play together.  I'm really happy that Little Owl already has some play dates lined up!

There is one important thing that I haven't done yet, and that is to get our visas.  I used to enjoy going to the Indian Embassy in London to get my visa but sadly those days are over. The job of processing visas has been contracted out to an agency and an online form has to be completed and the passports sent off in the post. Unfortunately I hear that the form is complicated and the price has shot up.  I really must get on with that or I risk our passports getting caught up in the Christmas post.

That's the most important job really. I also need to get in touch with the airline and check a few things out. From reading the list of toddler stuff I wrote before, I realise how much Little Owl has developed in the last few weeks so I can't really make a decision on a lot of things I might need to take for her until after Christmas although it will be a bit 'panic stations' by then!

In the 5 years since I last went to India my life has changed a lot and I've been luckily enough to have made quite a few new friends in that time.  It is these friends that are most surprised that I am taking Little Owl to India and that I'm leaving Papa Owl at home. My old friends have probably been expecting it... they remember when I seemed to go every year, sometimes twice.  Once, during my PGCE year, I took a Friday and Monday off of school and went just for the weekend! I mainly went on my own but I have been with my Papa Owl, my parents and I even took my Rangers!  It is a little bit scary to be taking Little Owl, but although Papa Owl isn't with me, other then on the flight I won't be on my own.

Oh and one last thing... I have learnt the sign for camel! What others signs do you think I should learn before I go?

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