I volunteered in Palampur, India in summer 2009. I worked in a daycare there. During that time I got to learn Hindi, wear the local clothing, visit a tea plantation, see beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temples, meet Tibetan monks, and so much more! I absolutely loved it, and met some great people I still keep in contact with. I also grew to enjoy Indian food, which I had not been familiar with before going! The staff was great and very friendly and I always felt very safe and looked after. The accommodations were great too! They planned a lot of fun cultural activities for us and allowed enough free time to do some independent exploring.
I had such a good time in India that the following summer I returned through CCS with two friends from college. This time we were in Dharamsala, and I worked in a women's group. I loved the new volunteer experience and would definitely do a women's group again. Being in Dharamsala was awesome, there was so much to see and do and great food to eat! The staff there were just as wonderful as in Palampur. My only regret was not staying longer! This time I got to take a weekend trip to Manali, and am so glad I took that chance too. I really couldn't have asked for a better trip and am looking forward to my next volunteer experience.