Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need to have a daily practice or are there any prerequisites for going on pilgrimage?
>> No, the pilgrimage is appropriate for all levels. Only a strong interest in Buddhism and an open mind are needed.
Q. What immunizations and medications will I need ?
>>

We will give you a list of recommended medical preparations for you to take to your doctor or an overseas clinic. In brief we suggest you get the following vaccines:
* Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
* Typhoid
As needed, booster doses for routine immunizations such as tetanus-diphtheria and measles, and a one-time dose of polio for adults. Most people will chose to take a drug for malaria prophylaxis such as Malerone. You will need to spend some money and time on this but it is worth it not to get sick. Generally you will want to make sure that you are as healthy as possible before you leave home. Make sure to carry any medications that you might need in their original containers. Check to make sure that your teeth are okay and carry the recommended medications and first aid supplies. For more information refer to the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/travel/indianrg.htm

Q. Will you help me prepare?
>> After you reserve a place on a pilgrimage we will send you two packages of information. The first package includes the recommended medical preparations, a medical questionnaire, information on airline ticketing and travel insurance as well as a detailed application form asking for passport and emergency contact information etc. The second package of information is more fun. It contains a packing list, a reading list, maps, language guides and trip notes detailing how to get required visas and other instructions for getting ready for the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage coordinator is also available to answer questions via email or phone.
Q. Can you accommodate my special dietary needs?
>> Vegetarians will have an easy time on our trips. For Vegans we suggest you bring some protein supplement. If you have other dietary restrictions it is best to discuss it with us but please understand we can only tell you what to expect. We can't change what food is available on the trips.
Q. How do I get there?
>> Most people fly to Kathmandu or New Delhi on a good airline via Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Europe. We can help you arrange your airline reservations or you can make your own. You are welcome to go early or stay after the trip. Each itinerary tells you the date by which you must arrive by and where. We will meet you at the airport when you arrive or you can join us at the hotel by the date specified. Each itinerary also lists the first date you can start travel home. You are welcome to go early or stay late and we can help you with these arrangements as well.
Q. Will I need a visa?
>> Yes and to do this you should have at least six months left in your passport from the date of travel to the date of expiration. Nepal offers a visa on arrival but you must pay (USD$25 or equivalent convertible foreign currency for a multiple entry visa), fill out a short form and have two 2"x 2" passport size photographs with you. For India you must also pay (Approximately USD $75 –the amount varies by nationality) and get it in advance through their consulate. For Sri Lanka you can get an Electronic Travel Authorization on-line at a cost of USD$10. For Burma it must also be arranged in advance and the cost varies. We will give you detailed instructions for getting the visas you need in your trip package.
Q. Is the pilgrimage tax deductible?
>> For U.S. tax payers only the portion of the pilgrimage that is donated to the organization we are raising money may be tax deductible if they have non-profit status. To take this amount as a tax deduction you will also need to write a separate check for that amount made out directly to the organization. You send that check to us and we credit you for it and forward it to the organization.
Q. Are scholarships,work-study or discounts available for the pilgrimage?
>> Since the pilgrimages are a fund raisers it is important that everyone who possibly can pay full price. If you have a special situation and would like to talk to us about it please contact the pilgrimage coordinator.
 
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