Plan Your Trip

By Alan Lull

Medications and health tips

South India does not require malaria medication but many doctors will prescribe it to be on the safe side.

  1. Chances are you will get sick while in India.
  2. Coating you stomach by chewing 2 Pepto-Bismol tablets 30 minutes before each meal wil help prevent stomach bugs. Do it faithfully — it works!
  3. If you do get diarrhea, let the illness run its course, if at all possible for 24 hours to rid you of it, then take medication.
  4. DO NOT drink tap water and be sure to avoid items such as ice cubes. Use bottled water or mouthwash for brushing your teeth.
  5. You will need to drink a lot of bottled water throughout the trip to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink water even when you are not feeling thirsty.
  6. Make sure to take your regular prescribed medications with you.
  7. If you have any health problems or food allergies make sure that your team leader knows about them.


  1. Bring extra snacks for the flight and for while we’re in India (e.g., granola bars, trail mix).
  2. The coffee is great there, very strong! The juice and tea are very good as well.
  3. Have an adventurous spirit and try all the food at least once! Everything is spicy, so mild is hot enough. Most restaurants also have a yogurt -like cool drink called ‘lassi’ that is very good. Have fun trying new things!
  4. If staff at the homes where the children live (orphanages) give you anything to eat or drink, feel free to accept it or simply say “no thank-you.” They would never serve you anything that would make you sick. People in India are very hospitable.
  5. Peeled fruit is OK to eat, as well as anything that is boiled for twenty minutes. If you‘re not sure about this, do not eat or drink it. This includes tea or coffee from roadside stands. Restaurants are fine for tea and coffee but not for water. Bring your own bottled water or order it from your waiter.
  6. Do not use your LEFT hand when eating. Only the right hand is supposed to touch food. You can use your left hand to move dishes or to drink a cup of coffee with. Even if you are left-handed, don‘t touch food with your left hand. So make a note!!