Our volunteer work began on the 29th of November, 2012 after meeting our host and establishing ourselves in our hostel in Kathmandu. Our accommodation was clean, spacious and in a great central location. It was wonderful to have a comfortable place to call home during our stay and having breakfast and dinner provided each day eased pressure financially and lessened the fear of getting ill. Breakfast often consisted of chapatti, a bean curry and fruits, sometimes there was porridge, pancake, egg. A typical dinner would be traditional Nepali Dal Bhat although we also had Macaroni and Thukpa on occasion. The food was always fresh, fragrant and tasty. Our host was extremely helpful in suggesting tourist attractions, by providing brochures and pamphlets and being enthusiastically and more than happy to help with any of our questions and needs. It really was invaluable to have tips and the help and guidance of a local.
The four of us including my friends, we were volunteering in a children’s home along with a school. Our role would essentially be to help the children with their homework and English skills while sharing some of our culture and experiences from our home in Australia. On our first day we met with our supervisor of the volunteer placement. Our supervisor was welcoming and friendly and we got to meet the 36 children in the children’s home right away. The children were extremely polite and friendly, incredibly disciplined and a pleasure to be around making us feel comfortable almost instantaneously
In the following days we went to volunteer in the school, a comfortable 30 minute walk from our hostel. Although our position in the school was originally to assist in teaching English, the four of us soon realized that our time could be used more efficiently. After a short discussion with the school’s principal we agreed to work on painting the school, focusing specifically on a feature walls. The principal was incredibly enthusiastic and helpful as often these renovations and general maintenance are unable to take place due to lack of funds and volunteers. With the help of some older students, we painted a blue sky feature wall and had the school kids plant their colorful hand prints amongst the sky. We also added inspirational quotes to encourage the children. Our volunteer work lasted two weeks, painting in the school from 10 am to 1 pm and helping in the children’s home from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm, Sunday to Friday.
It was wonderful to have a flexible volunteering program with helpful and understanding people who assisted us in making the most of our limited time in Nepal. Our trip to Nepal wouldn’t have been the same without Nepali Host Family staff and our volunteer program. It was so very valuable to experience Nepal’s school system, to establish friendships with the local children and to devote some of our time to a deserving cause. Our wonderful experiences and impressions of Nepal were shaped by the opportunity to volunteer with a trustworthy and comfortable organization and the four of us appreciate Nepali Host Family and their volunteering program. It was my first volunteer abroad experience which I would never forget.