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Flo's Travel page

Welcome to Florence's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Hello, this is my last diary entry as I am now back at home!
The Journey home was so long, but after a 6 hour bus ride and a 10 hour train journey where I had to share a cabin with about 6 other men who just stared at me for the ENTIRE night (making it very diffult to be able to sleep very well) I eventually arrived in Delhi! Here I was supposed to be meeting a person from the idex organisation who i'd travelled out there with. However, they were not where they were supposed to be, and so I had to call an emergency number and then wait for two hours for someone to come and get me! It was a little bit scary being in the middle of Delhi by myself and having no idea if anyone was coming to get me, but I met a nice man and wife who were kind and let me sit with them for a while and borrow their phone etc.
I then got to my hotel and as it was one of their taxi drivers who was so late picking me up they were very apologetic and gave me the nicest room in the hotel which was a plus! I went upstairs and watched about 4 films on t.v before deciding that I should stop being such a wuss and just venture out in Delhi by myself to do a bit of shopping. So i did, and then found a pizza hut which made me very excited! As soon as I sat down though I had people coming over and asking for photos with me (I think I caused quite a stir being a young white girl out for dinner by myself!) So I decided to take it back to my hotel room instead where I spent the rest of the evening watching yet more films!
I've now been back home for a week, for a few days it seemed very strange! But i've adjusted back to this culture now, and already India seems like a lifetime ago!
Anyway, I'm just about to post up some photo's if I can work out how to! Hope you enjoy them, and see you all soon! xx

Thursday, 09 September 2010

Location: India

Hiya, i'm not really sure where to begin with this week, it's been a bit crazy!
Work has been really good this week, I now have another volunteer with me so i'm not left to deal with all the children myself which is nice as you're able to spend a little more time on individual kids instead of having to have your eyes on all of them all the time!
On tuesday the "teachers" weren't even in as they were on strike so there was just me, kai (the new volunteer) and Alpana, my project executive in. I think it's ridiculous that the teachers went on strike though as they do nothing! When I first arrived here and went looking around all the placements, the reason I chose the day care centre was because the children were just made to sit very still on chairs doing absolutely nothing all day while the teachers sat around talking, reading the newspaper etc etc. And apparently that is all the children can do when there is not volunteers there to teach them and play with them as the teachers can't be bothered to do anything! And the whole time i've been working there I haven't seen the teachers do a single thing for the kids! So i think it's outrageous that they have the cheek to demand a pay rise!
I have fallen even more in love with Sangita, nowadays as soon as she arrives at day care she just plops herself down straight on my lap and refuses to move for the rest of the day! She even chatters away happily to me now, which everyone finds amazing as she used to never talk to anyone! I have no idea what she's saying as it's all in Hindi but I don't mind, it's just lovely to see her smile and laugh!
Today I went to the doctors to try and find out why i've been ill for such a long time, and I really wish i hadn't bothered! They attached me to a drip, took a sample of my blood, and then forced me to take two pills, two lots of medicine, and injected two lots of god knows what into my arm! They told me that i had dangerously low blood pressure, severe dehydration, and that I would have to stay in hospital for a few days. When I told them I had to leave in just two days to go back to England they told me I wouldn't be able to! Then yet another nurse came in with yet more injections and pills and as you can imagine I went a little bit hysterical at this point! I told them absolutely no way was I going to take anything or have else injected into me! I told them to take the drip out of me and let me go home at once! They kept me there for a good half an hour trying to convince me the needles wouldn't hurt, and wouldn't listen when i told them it wasn't about the needles, it was about me wanting to get back to Delhi in time for my flight on monday! In the end they gave up and let me go, after the doctor had told me I was a very stupid girl for leaving... I'm 99% sure though that he was just trying to scam as much money out of me as possible, as it turns out my blood pressure is low, but still perfectly healthy and absolutely nothing to worry about! So I wonder what else he was exaggerating about... And i'm 100% sure that if I went to a doctor with the same symptoms at home they would simply give me a course of antibiotics at the very most, and just tell me to go home and rest! A big fuss for nothing i think, I only agreed to go to keep the manager happy!
I can't quite believe I only have a day left here and then I begin my three days travelling home! I'm looking forward to seeing all of you lovely people, but i'm definately not ready to leave the kids just yet! And i'm dreading having to get a 5 hour bus journey, a 10 hour train journey, then a night in Delhi and then a 9 hour plane ride! I'll just keep thinking of the macaroni cheese waiting for me when I get home though eh Dave?!
See you all soon xx

Thursday, 02 September 2010

Location: India

Hello, I can't believe I come home in just over a week! Today i'm having to pack up all my stuff as we're moving camp - the one i'm at at the moment is being renovated so we're moving to a place up the road which is actually really nice! It's good as well because all the volunteers can stay in one building whereas before, some of us were at main camp and some of us were at a place called Silveroaks and so it was a bit rubbish!
The community visits this week were really good, although one boy I went to see called Rahul was living in just a little shack, with no bed or anything, and his parents had gone to Delhi for the week and left his 10 year old sister to do all the cooking, cleaning and looking after which is why he hadn't been attending day care.
It was Krishna's birthday on thursday, so on wednesday evening we all went down to a nearby temple and sat with everyone while they played music and sang songs. It was really nice seeing what they do to celebrate, as I guess it's a bit like our christmas!
This weekend I was supposed to go to Chandigarh where there's a really beautiful rock garden, and also a few night clubs! But yet again I was ill so couldn't go, and as it's my last weekend here it doesn't look like I will get the chance. Never mind though, it just means I will have to come back to India to visit it another time!!
The new volunteers arrive tomorrow which i'm really excited about, as although i get on really well with all the current volunteers, being only 6 of us it can get a bit boring! Hopefully having 16 new arrivals though will spice things up a bit! xx

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Location: India

Well I went to Kangra, and if you ever want to feel like you're famous I suggest you do too! We went to the big temple there and people just would not leave us alone! They ask for photo's, your autograph, and then when you try and walk away they follow you everywhere, giggling and pointing and trying to touch you or talk to you! We picked up quite a crowd! We also went to Kangra fort which was a mission walking around in the heat, but once we reached the top it was definitely worth it, the views were stunning!
Today I have just been working at the day care centre, and have decided that I want to steal one of the children to take them home with me! They are so cute, and most of them are eager to learn. Most days we take them to the temple which is on the same site as the day care centre and its really beautiful. They always include me in their routines, teaching me why they do certain things like covering their hair and throwing a thimble of water over their heads, its very interesting, and probably one of my favourite parts of the day as it's so peaceful there! And on tuesdays the temple provides food for all the children and staff which is nice, it's very spicy but tastes so good, and makes a nice change from the porridge that the children normally get served up for lunch.
I had better go as i'm about to go and do "community work" which is basically going to the children's houses who haven't been attending day care for a while and talking to their parents about the importance of education, and persuade them to keep taking their child to day care. It's good seeing real Indian homes and spending time with the children and their parents together, and most of the parents are so lovely I just get spoilt with food and chai all the time!!
xx

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Location: India

Hi guys, I've just seen the other volunteers off who were only staying here for a month, it was so sad! Met some amazing people out here, from lots of different country's like Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, so I've got my holidays for the next couple of years sorted! We went out for a goodbye meal last night to a place called the lounge, and during our meal they played "the macarena" so we all got up and did the macarena dance!
There's just 6 of us left here at camp now, but next weekend 18 new volunteers arrive which should be good!
The weathers improved a bit these past few days as well, it still rains, but not all day everyday anymore!
I'm off to a town called Khangra tomorrow which is just two hours away on a bus, and apparently has no western influence whatsoever so it will be nice to see a typical Indian town as most of the other places I've visited are fairly westernised and have lots of hotels, internet cafe's and western style restaurants.
Will keep you updated on what it's like there!
xx

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Hi guys, I'm sat in an internet cafe at the moment soaked to the skin! English waterproofs were definately not made for use in the monsoon as I don't think there is any part of me that is not soaking right now!
The thunder is also mental here, it sounds like we're being bombed or something it's so loud! Yesterday I went shopping with a few of the girls here and found it so hard not to just buy everything in sight!
Today me and three others went to a Buddhist temple which was really nice, although you get so many people there asking for pictures with you, and for your autograph - it's crazy! Afterwards we went to a Tibetan museum which was good but very sad learning about everything that happened over there. Tibet is definately on my list of places to visit though!
Me and Jemma are hoping to stay here in Mcleod Ganj until Tuesday as there is a festival happening which celebrates the relationships between brothers and sisters!
We're off to a cool restaurant this evening which has like an open mic night - indian style!
But for now the rain seems to be stopping so I had better use this opportunity to make a run for the hotel!
xx

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010

Hiya, writing this from an internet cafe in Mcleod Ganj where we have all come to trek this weekend. It's a lovely place here, a bit like Manali with people coming from all over the world! Unfortunately I can't trek this weekend though as I have been a bit poorly and can't see very well, which I'm gutted about as the trek was one of the things I was looking forward to the most! About 90% of the people staying at my camp including the workers have caught conjunctivitis! I had an allergic reaction to the eye drops as well and ended up looking like quasimodo from the hunchback of notre dame, don't worry I've got some hilarious pictures of it! It's clearing up nicely now that i've got some different drops though so it's all good!
Apart from that not much has been happening here - we've all just been concentrating on getting better! xx

Friday, 20 August 2010

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Location: India

Hi guys, I'm back from Manali - went back to Amit's house and saw him which was very nice! They are so generous there, as soon as we arrived we were bombarded with food and drink, even though they can barely afford to eat themselves.
The journey back to camp from Manali was about 7 hours, but it was impossible to sleep as our driver was crazy! Broke every rule in the book, overtaking round corners and as we were going up hills so you have no idea what coming the other way! I will never complain about David's driving again!
Back at camp now, just seen Becca off as she's going home early. Was so sad saying goodbye to her but I'll see her in October as we've already arranged that she's coming down for my birthday! (hope you don't mind mum!)
Everyone in camp is dropping like flies at the moment, Delhi belly galore! So far I've been okay though, just hope it stays that way!
I've managed to gain the trust of one o the little girls at the day care centre and I want to take her home with me! She's so cute but a little troubled I think, she cries a lot and refuses to join in when the other kids are playing. I managed to get her to play a little bit with me yesterday though, and she even cracked a smile!!
Apart from that there's not really much going on here at the moment, looking forward to the trek this weekend thougb :)
Speak to you all soon!
xx

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Location: India

Hi guys, sorry for not writing on here for ages, but not much has really been happening! I started the volunteer work, i'm working with Becca in a day care centre with children aged 0-4, sooo cute! It's right by a temple as well which is nice as you can learn a bit about their religion, and there was a festival going on a few days back so lots of men with bright coloured clothes and face paints and dreadlocks were about!
IDEX is a bit crap though as we have to hang about for hours and hours.. we work at 9-12 and then do nothing for the rest of the day! but it's too difficult to actually get anywhere to explore which is a bit rubbish. On the weekends it's good though as we can organise our own trips.
This weekend, me and 6 others have come to Manali, the land of marijuana and my favourite place in the world! It's really weird being back here, lots of memories have come flooding back!
I attempted to get the bus to Dobha today, which is where the family I stayed with last time I was out here live, but the bus dropped me and jamma in some random place and we ended up having to trek four hours to get there! We reached a river crossing and were just about to give up and go back when a jeep came along and told us to hop in the back and they would take us to Dobha! We then picked up another guy, and it turned out he knew the family! so he took us to their house. It was an emotional reunion, and it was nice that they remembered me. Amit wasn't actually there unfortunately, but he is due home tomorrow at 9am so we are going to go back there and see him :)
We have also met some guys from Punjab who we are going to go and have a drink with tonight, and some fellow travellers from dominican republic who we are also going to meet up with! William said that I can go and stay out in dom rep with him whenever I like, so that's next years holiday sorted!
xx

Thursday, 05 August 2010

Hello
I'm now in Jaipur, and it is just as hot, sticky, and crazy as Delhi! I'm staying with a local family at the moment along with 5 other girls who are volunteering with me. Everyone is so lovely, and Soniya the wife is an amazing cook. I think i'm going to be coming home a few pounds heavier, the food is so good here!
I rode an elephant today which was an experience! I felt a bit bad for the elephants though having to walk the same path lots of times a day, but they seemed to be well cared for.
We went shopping today as well, and I bought a beautiful saree, as well as other indian style clothing. God knows when else i'll wear it apart from out here, but they were too pretty to resist, and I bought them all in bright colours you'll be pleased to know mum!
Tomorrow i'm off to the taj mahal which should be good, and then we're getting the night train to himachal where I start my volunteer work. Hopefully will be back on here soon with some photos! xx

Monday, 02 August 2010

Hello everyone!
I've arrived in Delhi safely, and it's just the way I remember it! Totally hectic, but amazing! I've almost been run over about 20 times already, but i'm beginning to get used to the rules (or lack of) of the road in india!
I've met quite a few of the people who I will be spending the next 6 weeks with, and they are all lovely!
Tomorrow we leave for Jaipur and are staying with host familys for a few days while learning some Hindi, going to the taj Mahal, and possibly getting to ride an elephant!
Sorry for the short message but I'm going to go to bed now as I haven't slept for about two days, but I will try and get on here again soon to keep you updated with my travels! xx


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Recent Messages

From David
I've only just seen this entry and the photos Flo! They are really fabulous!
I look forward to seeing all the other photos in due course.
It was great to have you home safe and sound though; how brave and independent you were. What an experience!
It sounds as though you are settling into uni life with gusto - just don't forget you are supposed to do SOME work!! But continue to have lots of fun too!
See you soon
Lots and lots of love
David x x x
Response: Thanks, i'll hopefully get lots develloped soon!
Yeahh I will do some work I promise! xx
From Roger
Dear Flo,
You obviously had an amazing time. I will write a longer reply in due course, but I am glad you are back safe and well. Enjoy uni. Don't forget to send me some Fresher's week photos if you can. XX Roger
Response: Hiya, good to hear from you, yes I had such a good time thank you!
I will definately send you some freshers photo's asap! xx
From David
Hi Flo
What a lovely diary entry; really enjoyed reading it.
Does little Sangita know that you are leaving soon? She is going to miss you very much so I hope she is being prepared for what is likely to be a very sad day for her, and for you too by the sounds of it. I hope there is another volunteer who will take such an interest in her as you have done. You have clearly been a very special person for her.
What a courageous person you are traveling alone all that way! I hope all is straightforward for you Flo. I'm confident you will be able to successfully negotiate your way through the journey and anything that comes up! Just make sure you have all the necessary documents!!!
I was sorry to hear of your illness but hope you improve for the journey.
Like you I can't believe where all the time has gone! I hope you have had some really positive experiences and made some life-long friends.
Can't wait to see you and give you loads of hugs
Love as always and here's to a safe and uneventful journey. See you Monday!
David x x
Response: Yeah she knows, it was so horrible saying goodbye today! A few tears may have been shed by me aha..
Yeah i'm sure i'll be fine and will see you very soon!!! x x x x x x x x
From Judy
Well Florence......You've certainly seen another side of life while you've been in India. Coming home is going to be quite an adjustment for you. And what are Sangita and all the other children going to do without you? Does she know you are leaving? That is a mammoth journey home but you'll soon get your strength back. David's macaroni cheese awaits... Can't wait to see you. Lots and lots of love x x xx x x x x Mum x x x x x x x
Response: Yes i most certainly have!
Yeah she knows i'm leaving, it was so horrible saying goodbye to her today!! :(
Can't wait to see you too love you lots and lots x x x x x x x x
From Bryony
Hey Flo, can't believe you're almost home! It's absolutely flown, do you feel like it's gone quickly too? I'm not in work today as I have a yucky cold so have been doing a lot of sleeping today! Sounds like you've been poorly quite a bit - bet you'll need a serious break from curry when you get back! Anyway, make the most of your last few days and we'll see you next week! xxxx
Response: I know I can't believe it either! Ahh no hope you feel better, and yes I will need a huuuuge break from curry when I get home!
I will do, and I'll see you very soon! love you xxxx
From David
Hi Flo
This time next week we'll be on our way to the airport to collect you! Can't wait!
No doubt some of the new volunteers will be feeling a little anxious and unsure of what to expect-they'll be looking to you to reassure them I expect. Have you had time to meet them yet? Where are they from?
Hope you are feeling better and really enjoy your last week in India-for this year anyway!
The countryside around Wolverhampton is lovely with lots of little villages etc. I'd like to visit again. Nearby was the birthplace of the industrial revolution-Ironbridge.
Love you lots
David
Response: Hello, i know i can;t wait to see you!
Yeah i've spoken to most f them now, they come from all over! Spain, norway, but most of them are from germany.
Ahh well Reece is going to Uni in Wolverhampton so maybe I will get to see it soon if I go and visit him one day!
Love you lots x x x x
From Judy
Hi Florence. Hope your tummy is better now. It sounds as though you are having some amazing experiences, and working as a social worker too!! We had a lovely weekend at a friend's wedding and then stayed overnight with Mark and Jacqui and Brinkley, where we got well looked after as usual. I bet it feels crowded again with all the new volunteers. They probably look to you as the expert on how it all works there!! Enjoy your final week. Can't wait to have you home again. Love you loads. Mum x x x x x x x
Response: Hiya, yeah I am, it's a pity it all end in a week!
Glad you had a nice weekend, and hope M&J are well.
Yeah it does feel pretty crowded, although they all seem really quiet so it doesnt feel as crowded as it did before with the old volunteers!
Can't wait to see you all, and eat some decent food!! love you x x x x x x
From Joel
Hellloooo, are you still ill? That must have sucked. And you missed out on an Indian nightclub, boooo! Kangra sounds hilarious, did it get annoying or did you milk it?...Blatantly milked it. We're going out for a curry tonight which is quite funny really seeing as your in India and all. Went to your favourite place ever last night, Dogma, feeling pretttty grim today. Anyway, I hope the new arrivals are fun and give a bit of refreshment, lots of love Joel x
Response: Hello! I feel okay now as long as I don't eat anything haha, as soon as I do though it aaaaall goes horribly wrong...
Yeah it was pretty funny, but does get quite annoying after a while!
Hope you had a nice meal - just imagine eating it for breakfast lunch and dinner for 5 weeks though and then maybe you will see why i'm so ill!
Never thought I'd say this but I actually quite miss Dogma!
See you in a weeeeek :D xx
From Grandma, Jeanette +
Hi Florence,
Sorry to hear that you have been ill again and missed your trip to Chandigarh: what was it this time? Jeanette and Pete are with me for a few days and on thursday evening we went out to Pizza Express with your mum, dad and Joel: it was very busy in there. We had a nice meal - not as spicy as what you're currently eating, I'm sure - and because the service was a bit slow we got free desserts and coffees! Yesterday we took a picnic out to Dinton Pastures and today we have been to Basildon Hall, a National Trust place near Pangbourne, where they filmed 'Pride and Prejudice' - very grand.
Jo and Tom are safely back from their travels in Oz and Sarah and Lee have just landed in Skiathos for a week's holiday. Did you hear that there was a big earthquake in New Zealand? Fortunately not where Jessica is - and because it happened in the early hours of the morning, nobody was killed or seriously injured. However, there is a lot of damage to buildings, roads, rail etc.
Jeanette and Pete send their congrats on your brilliant exam results: expect that you're getting excited about university now. They are going to visit Amy and Matt in Birmingham on the way home tomorrow after lunch.
Anyway, enjoy your remaining few days in India and shall look forward to seeing your photos in due course.
Lots of love from Grandma, Jeanette and Pete xxx
Response: Hiya, I just had a bit of a tummy upset, getting better now though!
Oooo you make me very jealous talking about pizza express, although the food out here is really good too!
Glad Jo and Tom have arrived safely home, and that Jessica is okay!
Look forward to seeing you all soon x x x
From David
Hi Flo
Good to hear more of your travels. Glad you managed to get to the temple for a further "cultural" experience as well as celebrating and having a good time with the locals!
Sorry to hear you have had a tummy upset and missed a weekend trip but hopefully you will recover soon to enjoy your last few days in India. Where has all the time gone!
With 16 more arrivals to look forward to you will surely have holiday destinations lined up for many years to come! And all over the world!
Mum & I are off to Wolverhampton today to celebrate the wedding of one of her colleagues. Wolverhampton doesn't sound as exotic as the foothills of the Himalayas but as I've never been to either I may be maligning Wolverhampton! Really looking forward to seeing you Flo - have missed you muchly. Have got the ingredients for a macaroni cheese dish!! Lots of love as always, David x x
Response: Hello, I know I can't believe how quickly the time has gone!
Have fun in wolverhampton, and I will see you in just over a week! Love you lots, Flo x x x x
From Grandma
Hello Florence. Mum has just read your blog to me. Sounds like you are having a fantastic time. I've been to India too... a long time ago when I was about your age now, but not to the area that you are travelling in. I was with your great gran and grandad!!! Maybe I could look out some photos of my time in India for you to see. We were near Bangalore. Well done Florence on your exam results. I am very proud of you. Lots of love Grandma x x
Response: Hi Grandma, it's good to hear from you!
Yes it would be lovely to see some photo's of when you were in India, and I will bring you round some of mine at some point!
Thank you, I'll see you in a couple of weeks, love Florence x x
From David
Dear Flo
I love reading your blogs-really interesting and glad your experiences are so wide-ranging. Looking forward to seeing all the photos.
What's the name of that little girl who has taken such a shine to you?
Sorry you had to say goodbye to a lot of people you have had fun and shared so much with but glad you have met so many interesting people from all over the world. As you say holiday destinations are sorted for the foreseeable future! (I'll have to ask mum what "the macarena" is-is it the one where you all sit down behind each other as if in a canoe?)
We will have lots of stories to swap (and photos!!) when you return-we met many people too on our travels through New England and had some weird and wonderful experiences. I miss you loads Flo and can't wait to see you again. I can't believe that in just two weeks today you'll be waking up in your own bed!
Joel went out last night to a gig in Kentish Town. He got back in the early hours but is already up and out (10am) despite it being a day off! Ben Mac rang and they have gone to his cafe for a fry-up! He says he'll take you as soon as you get back as it sounds as if you have been missing that and macaroni cheese!
As I write this I can see Poppy in the garden lying on her back, tummy in the air, in the sunshine-shameless hussy!
Continue having a great time Flo and hope you manage to get to all the places you want to see in the little time you have left before you return.
Much love as always
David x x x



Response: Hello! good to hear from you :) The name of the little girl is Sangita - can you adopt her please?!
And the macarena is the one where you do all the actions and then wiggle your bum and jump to the next side and do it all over again! I'll show you when I get back haha..
Yes can't wait to hear all about america!
Ahh yes I have been missing fry ups and macaroni cheese lots and lots! just two weeks time though and I will be eating english food again!
Aww I miss poppy lots, give her a cuddle from me!
Lots of love, flo x x x x
From Judy
Hi Florence. It sounds as though you are having lots of amazing and unique experiences. Khangra sounds interesting. Not sure about the celeb type attention though!!! We went to the Flower Pot for lunch and a walk yesterday. Thought of you as we walked across the weir and saw the DANGER sign. Remember that photo ?? Keep having fun. Miss you loads. Love Mum x x x x x x x
PS Bring as many children (and their parents) home as you want !!!!!
Response: Yes the attention wasn't particularly nice! Had people grabbing at you and pulling you this way and that, quite scary at times!
Aww yeah I remember that photo! It was a good day.
And don't tell me that, i'll bring home a whole army of families with me!! I've just got back from community service, went to see three families, and the way some of them live is really upsetting to see, but they all seem so happy! Just goes to show that material possessions really aren't important for a person's happiness! x x x x
From Bry
Hey flo! Sounds like you're having a lovely time, you'll really miss it when you're home. That little girl sounds super cute, can u get a pic?
I'm living in reading now which is cool, finally unpacked 2 weeks later! You'll have to come round for a cuppa! Got a new car too, so joels got N Dawg all to himself now!
Missing u lots :-) xxx
Response: Yeah I have photos :) but i can't upload them out here because there's virus' on all the computers! I'll put them up when i'm home though.
Ahh amazing, I will definately pop round when I get back! just two weeks left now :)
Yeah joel told me you got a new car, how cool!
Miss you, but see you soon x x x x
From Jon
Hello Florence,
Your Indian experience sounds brilliant. Somewhere I wouldn't mind visiting as imagine it different from anywhere else, and your blogs confirm that. Dropped Jo and Tom off at Surfers Paradise bus terminal this morning as they continue their trip up the East Coast. Their next stop is Fraser Island off Hervey Bay (4.5 hrs north of here by car).Was great having them here for the 4 nights. Took them to a couple of theme parks - Wet N Wild water park and Dreamworld (thrill rides). Went to beach as well of course and a drive in movie. Gold coast not reknowned for it's culture!! Back to work tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the trip Florence. Love Jon
Response: Hiya, I would definately recommend India to anyone and everyone! I'm very jealous of Jo and Tom, perhaps Australia will be the next place I visit?!
Good to hear from you, hopefully will see you soon. Love Florence xx
From Joel
Hi Flo! Mcleod Ganj sounds cool, love the fact you went to a brothers and sisters festival! Must have made you really appreciate your own wonderful siblings ay?! Haha. Little update on the pigeon front - he is still alive and is kicking it in the garden, and his name is Hector. He is basically a pet now, Poppy doesn't do anything to him! Anyway your travels sound awesome I am very jealous of you, hope your last few weeks are really good fun and that you enjoy yourself. See you soon maaaan xxxxx
Response: You would love Mcleod Ganj so much!
Aww I hope I get home in time to met this little fella!
Thanks, see you soon! xxxxxx
From Judy and David
Sounds like you are having a fun time even though you have felt poorly, and struggled on. Well done you!!
Hope you get the opportunity to experience further treks. When might we see some photos?? We're back from New England now. We had a really lovely time. Great weather and stunning scenery. We'll have lots of stories to swap won't we? Actually.... we've returned to monsoon weather here :( Loads of love. Mum and David x x x x x xx
Response: Hopefully you will see photos soon, but the computers i've mainly been using have virus' so i don't really want to plug my camera in!
Glad you had a good time, can't wait to hear all about it!
x x x x x x x x x x x x
From Gill cunningham
Hi Florence
Just had Jane over for lunch and we were talking about your adventures. All sounds really amazing. Soph off at V Festival this weekend camping and Ben has been away to Loughborough. I had a week in Cyprus for my annual dose of sunshine! Heard you did well in A Levels and have a place at Winchester - well done! Soph also did well in her A/S levels - see hard work does pay off. Can't believe your Mum and Dad back Tuesday where did the Summer go? With all your experience with children now Flo you can come and do a placement at my school !!!
Take care and drink in all the experiences. love Gill, Ben Soph x
Response: Hi Gill, sounds like you've all been busy! and i'm betting you're very tanned!
Ahh yeah I heard about soph, tell her I said well done!
haha that would be awesome!
love flo x x
From Judy and David
Hi Florence. You would be really proud of David driving on the "WRONG" side of the road here in America!!! Glad that you have managed to meet up with Amit and his family. Hopefully you will get to see them again before you leave India. Sounds as though you have made an important breakthrough with that little girl. She will miss you when you return home. Have a good time trekking this weekend. Look forward to reading about your further adventures. Love you lots and lots. Mum and David (Newport, Rhode Island) x x x x x xx x x
Response: Please can we adopt her?!?! xxxxxx
From Mark & Jacqui
Flo - reading about all your adventures/experiences and messages from others I can't believe how we ever manage to get the Molloy/Ball/Chapman family together as we all travel the globe. Talking about travelling the globe Jacqui and I have just come back from Wales!!! All your stories bring back lots of travelling memories for us. Keep them coming and continue to have a great time.

Love M&J

Response: Hello, yeah I know it's quite an achievement!
Oh nice where abouts in Wales were you?!
Hope you're having a nice summer, see you soon xx
From Judy and David
Hi Florence. Great to read about all your news, and pleased that you have managed to contact Amit and his family. Bet they were surprised that you just turned up on their doorstep!!! Good that you are seeing lots of the country too. Can we come with you to Dom Rep please...We're loving New England. Stunning scenery everywhere and we have met some really interesting characters on our travels. We'll have loads of stories to tell each other when we all meet up in again. Keep in touch. Love you lots and lots. Mum and David x xxx x x xxx x
From Ella
Hello Molloy :)
Hope you had a safe journey and that your having the most amazing time! definately sounds like it, slightly jealous bout the elephant ride must admit :P
I will keep in contact with you as much as i can, as i miss you lots and lots.
Stay safe baby, and take lots of pictures :)
I Love you Lotsss my Chica Bonita xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <3
Response: I love you too you beautiful person :") I will see you as sooooon as I get back! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From sarah
Hey chick!

you would not beliieevveee how much im missing you!!! its sooo quiet without you :( sounds like your having an unbelievable time though! sooo jelous! trust you to be shopping already! :P ...glad you've met loads of nice people, hope theyre looking after my lickle florence! im counting the days already till i get you back! lol ...my rents says hi, look forward to reading more about what you're getting up to! love you! x x x x x x
Response: I know I miss you too! yeah it's good thanks, I will see you as soon as I get back!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From Jeanette Ball
Hi Florence,

Clicked on the link from your mum's last email, so thought I'd drop you a few lines. It will be wonderful to immerse yourself in a different culture - the more challenging parts as well as the fun bits: and there's always shopping! I remember that Jess bought some beautiful bright silk 'trouser suits' with tunic tops when she worked in Kerala. Have just seen her off back to New Zealand today after her trip home: we all met up in Manchester for Sarah's 30th birthday on thursday: did 'Go Ape' in the afternoon and then went out for an Italian meal in the evening. She had a night out with friends on the Friday and Jess joined the party. Amy had to go back to Birmingham for a wedding and Jo and Tom headed off to Australia for a month on Friday evening - they have arrived safely at Tom's uncle's in Adelaide.
Hope the volunteering work goes well and that you continue to have fun: shall look out for your photos. Love from Jeanette xx
Response: Hiya, wow sounds like you've all been busy! Thank you, I will see you all soon! xx
From
Hi Florence. Good to hear you are having an interesting time, and we look forward to seeing you wearing your sari out on a night in Wokingham. Perhaps Baranda will offer you a job!! Lucky for that elephant that you rode him/her at the begining of your trip given the fact that you are eating so well!! We're having a great time, and I'm not too stressed with David driving on the "wrong" side of the road.
Loads of love from us both x x x x
Response: Haha i'd choose driving on the wrong side of the road over driving in delhi any day! x x x x