“Probably the most lasting reflection I have of the tour is the trouble Joji took to make it “honest”, in an ethical sense, from the points of view of trying to avoid the negatives that tourism can bring upon local environments and cultures.”
How about a tour of faraway and exotic places taken at a leisurely pace and in the confidence that everything possible has been done to ensure your complete safety? Well with Joji that is exactly what we received. As retired Geography teachers we had in mind that we wanted to experience a wide range of environments and cultures and be able to meet local people and gain some understanding of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Joji’s personal background, the research he’d done in preparation and his fluency in a number of languages ensured that we had a very rewarding tour. He was also mindful that we were of an age that a certain degree of comfort in our accommodation would be appreciated. In fact the standards were high even though we stayed in a variety of interesting hotels. Most of us were enthusiastic amateur photographers and the pace allowed time to have fun with the colours and colourfulness of India. Probably the most lasting reflection I have of the tour is the trouble Joji took to make it “honest”, in an ethical sense, from the points of view of trying to avoid the negatives that tourism can bring upon local environments and cultures. Joji aimed to benefit local initiatives, like those keeping traditional weaving skill alive, and to show us that there is hope for those who have a very tough life, like children from the very poorest areas being given the opportunity to engage in education. Thanks to Joji we met a large number of inspiring people and had a range of experiences to think about when we returned home. Thank-you.
Cherry & Richard Howitt
Christchurch, New Zealand
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