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Volunteer's Experience

Name: Aletheia Bligh-Flower
Country: UK
Gender : Female
Program: Women Empowerment Program

1. What did your average day look like?
I work up around 6:30-7am. The next of family usually up by then and drinking their morning tea. I would drink my tea and then tidy and sweep my room. Over the next couple of hours I would head or spend time with the family. Around 9 or 10 the first meal would be served. Lovely veg, rice and dhal. Afterward I would wash clothes before the heat of the day set in and spend time with the family. The house is very open and there were always children, goats and neighbors coming and going. In the midday heat nothing much happened. Everybody gathered in the cool hallway trying to keep cool-June is a very hot month in Chitwan! When the cool late afternoon time came we would have tea and snacks before the evening actually. I would usually go for a walk and visit new friends if there was no women group. In the evening the whole village comes alive and socializing with the neighbors and local children was great fun. After the sun had set we would eat our evening meal, and go to bed a few hours.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
I learn a huge amount Nepali life and cultures including how to put on a sari! I made many friends and visited surrounding areas. Only three hours away on bus it is possible to do an elephant safari which we enjoyed. We saw rhinos!

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
It was difficult to communicate with the women groups as my level of Nepali was so basic. It took a good week to figure out what the women wanted as it seemed vey informal. The weather was extremely hot which took me a white to asjust to.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Go in the cool season! And be prepared for informal group so a longer placement may be good to get to know people and pick up enough Nepali to have a nicer experience. It is a fantastic placement and being with the family was really great.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
Yes, I would love to- maybe in the cool deason!

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
Yes- really well organized.

7. Suggestion or problem?
It was great. A wonderful experience.

8. Additional comments?

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

Working in Chitwan was such a unique experience that I will never forget. My patner and I decided to spend some time volunteering in Nepal, with future Nepal as I was able to work with women groups and he would be able to teach.

We stayed with a wonderful family who looked after us and patiently taught us Nepali.
The women groups seemed very informal and the idea of empowerment seemed more amusing than sometime they were striving for. Never the less these warm, friendly women were keen to make money in addition to their husbands income. The women already worked hare and it was difficult for me to help much other be their friend.
It was wonderful getting to know the women and learn about their lives.

All the people we met were genuine and kind. And the lifestyle, despite its hardships, is pull of laughter and play-especially when there one baby goat around!

Name : Robin Kabir Tear
Country: UK
Gender : Male
Program : Teaching English

1. What did you average day look like?
Teaching English at the government school from 7:25- 8:45am for two lessons. Then teaching at Milly Jully from 10-10:45am and at Paramount from 1:30- 2:50pm

2. Other things I did on my placement.
My main work was teaching English which took up most of my day. However I also helped plant some banana trees and was include in family life which was also very enjoyable. I did not get to milk the buffalo, but I think this was a good think as she was very angry / pregnant.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
At the government school sometime the level of English was difficult, however I adapted my teaching.

In addition, at the government school there were very large classes of up to so. Traditionally classes are much smaller in England. This took some adjustment.

At Milly Jully ,the arrangement were at first against my wishes as I did not want to teach Garde 3 or below, as from my previous experience teaching in Kerala, India I felt the level of English understanding would be too difficult. This problem was resolved when the principle returned and from then I only tock classes 10-4.

Another problem with Milly July was the number of classes give with only one class for all geades 10 to kindergarden I could not set homework as the next day I would teach them I would be too far in the future.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
I would give the following advice
a) Be aware of the class sizes, much bigger then European/ north American standards.
b) There is a big different the level of English from the government to private school. Private level is better.
c)The recourses in a class room/ school are limited often you have only a textbook, chalk and blackboard.
d)If you teavel in June, get ready for the hot weather- its heard to heep cool.
e) Satting homework, each night is prepared.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?

Yes- it was wonderful to live with Sita and her family. I would like to come back but perhaps when it is cooler and then I would be able to work even harder.
6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?
Future Nepal have very professional and well organized-indeed.

7) Suggestion or problem?
a) the number of schools;
What was organized was wonderful! and gave me a real broad insight in to each of the schools however ,if one of the schools could provide more lessons. For example instead of teaching at three school reduce this to or one. I think this would help the volunteer/ school/ children to get to know each other much better and settle in to productive classes much guider.

B) If a school can only offer one lesion a day , then may be is counter productive for both volunteer/ school/ children

8) Additional comments?
Although I have given many challenges and suggestions I was very happy with teaching in Parsadap. I have only made the small suggestion to hopeful make things easier for the future.

The Nepali classes were excellent, I just wish I was a faster learner. Durga you an excellent teacher.

Sita and the family looked after us so well. The hours was perfect and it was a delight to be mound so much greenery and animals.

The principle of Paramount School is very nice and hospitable person. I found working at his school most enjoyable, but I also enjoyed the greater challenge of working at the government school.

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

Name: Emily Tsai
Country: USA
Age: 27
Gender: Female

Program: Health post program in Meghauli-8, Chitwan
1.What did you average day look like?
Average day : Clinic from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the morning or evenings. I would play with the children, take walks with Baba in the village or Meghauli and Chitwan and learn about the farm (milking buffalo, planting)
2.Other things I did on my placement.
Other activities : Walking in jungle, visit Crocodile placement in Kasara(National Park)
3.What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Issues : No major issues. I had stomach problem one day
4.Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Advice : At the clinic, Saturday is the busiest day with about 50 patients and 3 doctors. Other days the doctor is only there from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, so the other time is helping the nurses or the clinic manager with administrant work. Try to join a health camp if it fits your schedule
5.Would you volunteer at this placement again?
6.Would you volunteer at this organization again?
7.Suggestion or problem?
No problem
8.Additional comments?)
No additional comments
9.Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
My time in Nepal was wonderful. I was impressed with Clinic Nepal and I learned a lot from and the other visiting doctors. Everyone was very kind and accommodating, and I especially enjoyed traveling with the medical team to provide health care in the neighboring villages. My host family was fantastic. I felt like a member of their family from the very first day. I am grateful to Durga and Bishnu for organizing my time in Nepal and for teaching me some Nepali. They made sure that I was able to see and do everything that. I wanted to do. My experience in Nepal far exceed my experience. I cannot wait to came back.

Name: Ziga Sustersic
Country: Slovenia
Gender: Male

Program : Farming Program

1. What did you average day look like?
Standing up at around 7am. After that work on the field began. At around 10am it was lunch time and breaktime during the midday.
Usually I spent it learning Nepali language and exploring the surrounding area.In the afternoon we worked again and after the dinner i was playing with kids.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
Beside field work I did short trekking near Pokhara.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
First and most difficult was language barrier. Besides that, this was my first time in Asian country, so there was a bit of cultural shock in first days.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Learn as much Nepali as you can before you come there. It will help you a lot when trying to communicate with locals, and besides that you will feel
much more welcomed. Teach some English songs if you don't know it , kids love it.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
yes is think so.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
If there will be possibility, yes I will.

7. Suggestion or problem?
8 Additional comments?)

Organization during my stay in Nepal was very good, no problems. You provided good information before volunteering, short language course is also
very useful because it gives you good overview of what it is important to learn for your job.

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be
for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be
better roughly one full page.

I learned , enjoyed many things during my stay in Nepal, but I will remember it the most by one thing. That is beautiful Nepalese people. Working with
them, learning their language and culture, playing and simply their lifestyle was sometimes challenging but in general beautiful experience.
Future Nepal organization prepared me very well for the visit, providing me some useful language and cultural information, which is really helpful
especially if you are facing Nepalese culture for the first time.

Name: Cristina Valdivia
Country: USA
Gender: Female
Program: 4 week travel and volunteering

1. What did you average day look like?

Everyday I got up around 6:30 am when my host family were all awake. I would make my bed & Sweep my room and my host mother would bring me milk tea. Then I would do a chore or errand I needed to do like wash my clothes. At 10am my ‘Amaa’ (host mom) would bring me breakfast. I’d watch the news in the living room before heading down to the beauty shop, owned by a woman named Tara, a local business that I was helping. Around 3pm when my “sisters” were home from school I would speak to them and other neighborhood girls about women’s life in the U.S. Around 5:30 my ”Amaa” would bring me dinner. After dinner the family spends time together and sometimes my sisters would dance in the living room to new Hindi & Nepali songs. Around 8pm I would retire to my room to read or listen to music for a few hours before going to bed.

2. Other things I did on my placement.

During my placement I went to my 'Sisters' collage to speak to university girls about women's life in America. I helped a local women with her business. I also helped harvest rice.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?

A challenge I faced was language. There was a language barrier when trying to help the older village women with their small businesses. It may be helpful to have a teenage translate.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

My advice to the next Volunteer would have to be learn the language as best as you can and make yourself aware of local customs such as greeting people with the phrase "Namaste" while placing both your hands in prayer position close to your chest. This is a sign of respect which is appreciated & goes a long way

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
I would Definitely volunteer with this organization again and would be more than happy to volunteer in this placement again.

6. Suggestion or problem?
Everything is considered communal. You may fine your host sister or brother wearing the sandals you left by the door last night. If you and yourself in need of sandals it is more than acceptable to theow on a pare of their.

7. Additional comments?
What and how much you want to do is up to you. Care prepared with a plane of action, the sky's the limit!

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
Nepal was beautiful. After arriving in the hectic city of Kathmandu I was excited to be going out to the quite countryside. I looked out the window on the bus ride and saw beautiful rolling hills, mountains, river banks and streams. We got to the village I was staying at and I found Nepal’s people were just as beautiful as it’s country. My host family warmly greeted me . My host mother, brother and sister were absolutely wonderful. They were thoughtful, inviting, attentive and caring. They were everything you could have wished for in a host family and made my trip more than memorable. I will always remember my sisters dancing to the latest popular song, my brother making funny jokes and my mother bringing me tea every morning. I learned how to live a simpler less choosy life. Life in the village lacked the stress of many modern day cities and consisted of a closely knit community. I will always be grateful for this experience and hope to live a simpler and happier life life the one I experienced here when I go back home to the states. Over all I had a wonderful experience and appreciate Durga’s Strong support in the whole process.

Name: Dr Melissa Everett
Country: UK
Gender: Female
Program: 4 week travel and volunteering + 1 week volunteering program

1. What did you average day look like?
I usually got up at 6 am, the rest of the family would usually be up already. I’d hear Baba(Father of host family) playing his music and singing. I washed and dressed. No hot water in our house, I quickly got used to cold washes. We would then milk the buffalo & have warm buffalo milk before going for our morning walk, the morning walk was around the village – Baba & I always went, sometimes some of the children would also care. We did 10 minutes of exercises when we got back then I would usually write my journal and get ready for the day. Breakfast was about 9-9:30, dahl, bhat & buffalo milk. I would go to the clinic about 10 am, either by walking or Baba would take me on the back of his Motorbike.

The clinic was often quite in the mornings and when there was no patient I’d study, or do some paper work. I did on inventory of the drugs and some auditing of the mobile clinics and dressings.

When patients came I’d see them with one of the helpful Nepali staff, who would translate for me. I could use same of my limited Nepali to ask some questions, but often had difficulty understanding the replies. The notes were in English, but often with typical ‘ doctors’ writing. There were different specialists who came on certain days, who I could sit in with, although little of what was said was translated so this was of limited benefit.

After work I’d be picked up, usually by Baba. The evenings before dinner were usually spent playing games- cards, chess or catch with the children, who were bright and cheerful and very interested in me and my things. I also spent this time helping with cooking dinner and learning how to make dahl bhat.

After dinner we’d sometime sit around the campfire, I didn’t understand much of what said but enjoyed being there, then we’d go upstairs. Baba would play his harmonium and we’d sing. After this we’d watch television for a while. There was often fruit to be share. Then I’d be exhausted & excuse myself. I was usually in bed by 8:30- 9 pm & read for a few minutes before sleeping.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
I had a chance to go & see the cancer hospital, government hospital & medical school in Bharatpur. This was an interesting experience and the difference between the beautifully laid out a wall equipped cancer hospital to the very basic government hospital with a poorly equipped emergency room to the still basic but much better equipped emergency room to the still basic but much better equipped medical school gave me a lot to think about.

I also decided to run a first aid course, I prompted by the presentation of a child with a scald in the clinic which had been treated with talcum powder. I had initially planned to do this at the school but couldn’t because of exams so instead do it for the local scout pack. Another volunteer was interested in helping so together we planned the course and wrote a leaflet to give out. We decided that with a language barrier and no resuscitation doll it would be very difficult to teach CPR, so instead concentrated on injuries, choking, burns and the recovery position. It seemed to go down well but a second course in CRP plus a review of what we’d covered would be good.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Language was an obvious challenge. I knew a few words in Nepali but had difficult understanding what was said to me, although this improve during my stay.

Often only a fraction of what was said was translated for me and also only a fraction of what I said was translated for the patient and the scant group.

There were also medical challenges, I found that often people were over treated and over investigated, especially with antibiotics. Again with the language difficulties offering on explanation as to why these weren’t necessary was challenging, I also suspect that not being given antibiotics by me, patients would get them from the pharmacy, where they seemed to be handed out to any body who asked.

Another challenge was that some of the medication used I was unfamiliar with and medication I was used to using wasn’t available.

Language surprisingly wasn’t a problem as much with host family, although I did struggle personally with same of the cultural differences.

That spring to mind are the ride and treatment of women, with them serving the men & children and eating separately and on the floor, while myself & the men sat at the table.

The second, that I only experienced a few times and not directly, was the disciplining of the children, through physical violence.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Take on open mind, books/ games for the children are also handy. Also take clothes that you're happy to leave behind - more room for souvenirs and the clothes are appreciated somewhere.

Learn as much Nepali language as possible, it really helps.

It’s very difficult to change how things work in a short time, but every little helps.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?

Yes, I’d volunteer with the placement again.

6. Suggestion or problem?

More Nepali language would be good, with a chance to practice conversation.

7. Additional comments?

Had a great time, I feel so lucky to have been able to go back and see how quickly the village is changing.

Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

I had some time in between jobs and decided to visit Nepal for work and travel I am a doctor and wanted to work in this setting I found Inside Nepal on the internet & and their volunteering and traveling placement suited my needs as well as my lack of time to organize anything myself.

I flew into Kathmandu & was met by the friendly & helpful Bishnu at the airport, who leant me money for my visa, as rather cash machine was working. I later met Durga and Sujan. My first few days involved some Nepali lesion and sightseeing around Kathmandu as well as some briefing on my placement & home stay.

We then journeyed to Meghauli, which is a tharu village in chitwan district. It wasn’t on the tourist trail and saw few westerner. There were buffalo, goat, dogs, chickens and ducks galore, but few cars. I was introduced to the friendly clinic staff and my new family. The next 3 weeks passed very quickly, with seeing patients, day trips to hospitals, local beauty spots & places of interest. I came to love & respect my family who worked incredibly hard, I helped on the farm, learn to cook dahl bhat & to milk the buffalo, was welcomed in the family & taken to a picnic & music programs, gave & received tika, was invited to many peoples houses and become known around the village for our morning walk. The clinic staff was friendly & helpful. The work itself wasn’t particularly challenging, but the language problem, patient’s expectations and usual medical practice was while there I also planed and run a first aid course for the scouts, climbed a tree to escape a rhino and experienced elephant both time.

The rest of the program was well planed My Sherpa trekking guide was always happy . The rafting was fun & set as add as I had feared, the lovely Durga joined in which was great I am already planning my tour trip to see my family & do more trekking – Everest base camp here I come.

Name: Cameron Hawke-Smith

Age: 64 Gender: Male

Program : 5 weeks

volunteering in orphan home and monastery
Ist placement (at Orphanage, Khusibu)

What did your average day look like?
Up at 6.30, breakfast with the children 7am, helping to get them ready for school, during term time. Accompanying children to school talking to teachers and attending some classes. Teaching two classes a day of English at junior and senior levels. Accompanying children back. Spending 2-3 hours with them helping with reading, homework, joining in games.

Other things I did on my placement
During the holiday (and the school’s closure due to the ‘strike’) I spent some time thinking up games and activities for them and took them for a walk to Bazantipur.

What were some of the issues and challenges you faced?
The accommodation was spacious but very noisy at night (didn’t sleep well!). The sanitary facilities were below an acceptable standard.

Would you volunteer at this location again? I enjoyed the experience and found the children and adults very friendly and supportive. There was not as much teaching as I would have liked, and the children were younger than I am used to. I am not sure whether I shoild chooseto do it again.

2nd placement (at Theravada Buddhist Monastery)
What did an average day look like?
Up by 5am for breakfast (and attending puja, for time to time!) 10am I hr session with other teachers, improving their English and discussing reching methods); 3pm I hour lesson in English with juniors (about 20 students ages 7-15). 7pm I hour teaching seniors (15-18). Otherwise could attend meditation sessions, puja, etc as desired.

What were some of the issues or challenges you faced?
The monastery school has its own methods which are in some ways alien to the modern western educational approach. There is a huge emphasis on rote learning, and little importance given to thinking for oneself. The children do not play games and follow an exceeding rigid daily routine. My approach to teaching (which is standard for TEFL these days) was very different and I was successful with the teachers and the seniors, less successful with the juniors. There was little opportunity to get to know the children well outside the classroom and the school structure and routine was complex and sometimes off-putting.

Advice to next volunteer going to the placement?
The variety of Buddhism is the SE Asian type (which claims to be closest to the original teachings of Buddha). There is massive emphasis on self-perfection and very little on social activities. I found little in it to inspire or excite, though I still learnt a great deal. The volunteer will not find a very supportive system in place in terms of accommodation and presentation of lessons. There is almost nothing in the way of resources: no computers, projectors, even basics like blus tac, cellotape, crayons are hard to come by. The facilities at the monastery were extremely clean.

My month in Kathmandu
I chose to go to Nepal because I wanted to find a country as unlike Britain as I could. That I certainly achieved. I chose to volunteer because I wanted not to see the country as a tourist sees it, but to understand it as someone living and working there. The two placements were an outstanding opportunity to do just this. The first placement was very positive: I learnt how people live on almost nothing, coped with daily cuts in electricity, shortage of water, and political shutdowns, but always managed to stay calm and happy.
The second placement gave me an entirely different set of insights. I had perhaps thought as a westerner that Buddhism had some of the answers to our global problems. I still think there is something in this, but I learnt also that even the most idealistic institutions have their shortcomings. We are all human.

Name: Carol Wen Szeto
Country: US
Age: 27
Gender: Female
Program: 5 weeks Travel and volunteering

1. What did you average day look like?

Wake up at 6 am. Have a cup of hot tea together with everybody in the house. Walk with the boys to Karate class around 6:30 am, while breathing in fresh morning air and watching the sun light up the peaks of the show capped mountains. Take a stroll or jog around the neighborhood while waiting for class to finish. Go home, have daal bhaat around 9:00 am, and send the boys to their school bus stops. Free time from 10am-2pm. On some days, I walk out to town to use the internet and do some shopping. On other days, I just stay around and read a book or help with house work. Most children come home between 2-4 pm . We usually play some card games together while waiting for tea time. After tea, it’s homework time. If no one needs help with his home work, I will water the garden. In the early evening, I play with the boys in one of the empty fields around the house. Dinner is served at 7pm. I eat with the house father and mother after the boys go off to bed. After dinner and some chit chat, everyone retires to bed around 8:30pm, and prepare to rise early the next mornings.

2) Other things I did on my placement.
Much of my work was summed up in. Since there is a housekeeper and two other volunteers staying at the orphanage, there were not as much to do as I had expected. The main objective was to give the boys as much attention as possible. Outside of spending time with the children, volunteers also help with house work, such as watering the vegetable garden, house cleaning, helping the boys with the laundry, washing and cutting vegetables for meals, and occasionally helping the house mother with food shopping. On one of the days, we found that a lot of the children’s clothes had holes. So I and the other volunteers spent a day sewing up all the worn-out clothing for them. In the final week of my placement, most children had holidays from school. Be took them out for a day trip to the ‘Kahun Dhanda Viewpoint’ in one of the surround hills.

3) What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Having enough energy to finish the day. Although it seems there was not much to do around the house, just spending time with the boys can take all the steam out of you. Children in Nepal are exceptionally energetic, much more so than those back home. They can run, play, roam around the house and the neighborhood all day long and expect you to be able to accompany them. The first two days I was so exhausted by the end of the day I went to bed early and skipped dinner.

Taking children out on day trip can be a major undertaking. At times it is good to be liberal and let them choose where to go. But remember you should retain the final control. Each of them would have a different idea for what they want to do and the competition would get so fierce that they would not start fighting with each other. In the end, no matter idea are adapted, someone would be unhappy. There is never a consensus,

Adapting to the Nepali diet and meal schedual was probably the biggest challenge. I am not accustomed to having a huge meal of rice and curry very early in the morning. Usually I would not have much appetite for the morning daal bhaat. Then the day can be very long before another substantial meal is served again in the evening, I almost always had to eat something else during the day, and it feels impolite to let the house mother know that her food was insufficient, especially when everyone else in the house is eating the food. But other volunteers are expressing the same concerns. So it will just take time to adjust.

4) Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
a) Have a plan for what you would like to achieve in the placement, particularly if you only have a short time. Otherwise, the days can fly and you will feel like you haven’t made the changes you would like before it’s time to say goodbye. On the other hand, you should also be flexible or have back-up plans. As I have learned in my 5 weeks here, everything in Nepal can change constantly. There are always surprises. Other than “same same, but different”, the one phrase I heard the most during my time here is “not fixed”. It can be frustrating when you made plans to do something or a particular day and something came up and totally change your plans. So have back-up.

b) If you plane to come during the winter months, be prepared for some shoking but relaxing cold showers! There is no hot water in the house. So it best to take your showers around noon when you can sit under the sun and warm yourself up after a cold shower. Or adopt the Nepali way and shower only once a week when everyone else in the house gets a bucket of hot boiled water for shower.

5) Would you volunteer at this placement again?
I would go back and visit the boys and family, just to see how they are doing. The house is very nicely kept and living condition was much better then I had except. However, if I had more time on hand, I would prefer to be placed at another orphanage where my help is in more demand, and somewhere that I can really do something to make a different.

6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?
I would come back to Future Nepal for help finding volunteer placement. Future Nepal has been great in getting me orientated and introducing me to the country. I cannot imagine getting settle in at Kathmandu without the help of Future Nepal.

7) Suggestion or problem?
The Program was a great introduction in to Nepal, not only from a tourist’s perspective. It is also allows me to look closely into the daily life of a typical Nepali family, and inspire me to think about ways to help make a different in this needy country. This was indeed a once-in-a-life time experience for me, except that 5 weeks is too short with too much to explore! Nepal is a fascinating country, with some of the most sincere people I’ve met, beautiful natural sceneries, and a unique yet diverse culture, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent here, and look forward to a even more rewarding and meaningful journey back in the near future.

8 Additional comments?)
It was unfortunate that I had no more opportunity to visit or teach the children in their school to get a better understanding of the education system and school life in the country. I look forward to a chance to do this in my next visit, particularly in a government school, where better teaching is more immediately needed to benefit the country’s next generation

Name: Alex Kowalska
Country: Poland
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Program: 3 mohnts Volunteering and Traveling

1 ) a. Where did you go for placement?
I went to the orphanage house in Kathmandu and in Pokhara.

b. How long did you stay there?
I stayed one month in Kathmandu and two weeks in Pokhara.

c. What did your average day look like
After waking up I went to the orphanage to say good morning to children, we had breakfast together. Then I helped the children to get ready for school and then we walked to school together.

2) List 9 other activities you have done during your placement.
I was practicing yoga and meditation at the yoga center
I went sightseeing
I went to Pokhara for a 3 day visit
I went trekking to the Everest Base Camp
I spent time with Nepali family and learned about Nepali culture .
I went rafting
I was riding on the elephant when I did Jungle safari in Chitwan National Park
I attended lectures on Buddhism and meditation at the Kopan monastery
I went to Tibet and China

3) Describe some challenges/ issues/uneasy situations you have across.
Once you realize that you are in a developing country, it is much better to accept the things they are without worrying about them. I found it difficult to have shower in cold water at first. Later on I was happy there was water available. No matter if it was cold or warm.

Sometimes people see you and think that you are foreigner and you definately have a lot of money. Because of their assumption they may ask you to give them some money and they might try and sell things to you with much more expensive price, etc...

You may find yourself in the situation that the taxi driver is asking for much more than you should normally pay. You just need to get used to it. Sometimes you will manage to bargain, sometimes you won’t. What to do...(as the Nepali say)

I really cannot think of anything more than that. People are normally very friendly, attentive, fun loving and open.

4) Is there any advice, suggestion or recommendation that you would like to share with other volunteers going to your or similar placement?

I think the volunteers can share a lot of similar experience but each of the situations is different. I can only suggest staying calm and going with the flow. Not to worry as everything gets sorted out sooner or later and everyday is a great adventure. When you look back at the situation you you managed to solve, you get a great sence of achievement and satisfaction.

5) Would you like volunteer with the same organization again?

I would love to volunteer with the same organization any time. Actually I cannot imagine volunteering with any other. Durga has been just exceptional. I became friends with Durga and with all her family. In case of any little problem or question I had I could always ask her for help and she did more than enough to help me. Furthermore, Durga is a very open minded lady looking for improving her organization to suit everybody’s needs. She is very responsible and she never let me down.

6) Would you like volunteer with the same placement again?

It would be really wonderful to be able to come back to the same places and see the children I have been working with.

7) Evaluate your overall volunteering experience.

I estimate my experience for 10. I cannot compare it to anything that had ever happened to me before. I have learned so much about the world, about the people and about myself. I think that if I stayed at home doing what I am doing I would have never had an opportunity to explore myself as a person in the similar way and receive so much love and care.

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