Two weeks in Nepal

Me and my friends had an awesome two weeks volunteering and traveling in Nepal. When we weren’t busy volunteering we filled our time with typical tourist activities in Kathmandu. We did a few trips to Thamel which is only a short cab ride away from our accommodation. Finding a cab is never a challenge as it would always find you first. We really enjoyed our trips to Thamel. The hectic maze of street side stalls never ceased to entertain us. Our highlight of Thamel was the restaurant or2k on Mandala street, the wide range of food was always delicious. In short breaks, we would often go to Boudhanath – the famous Buddhist stupa which was only a 10 minute walk from our accommodation. The stupa is such an incredible sight and is surrounded by a great variety of shops and cafes. We tried a few cafes there and found Ariya, a modern café to be our favourite with good food, reliable wi-fi and comfy couches. With so many great shops around the stupa, we were tempted to buy things but resisted as we could often find the same things but cheaper away from the main tourist attractions.

We also visited Pashupatinath which is the holy Hindu pilgrimage and was in walking distance from our hostel in Kathmandu. The monkey temple also known as Swayambhunath by the Nepalese people was also a highlight of our trip. We also visited Kathmandu Durbar Square. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the eight year old goddess, Kumari. The living goddess – Kumari, she lives in the Kumari house at Basantapur also known as the Durbar Square of Kathmandu. We even caught a rickshaw from the square to Thamel which was a fun thing to do.

Volunteer travel in Nepal

Half way through our volunteer travel, we took a 5 day trip to Pokhara. It was about an eight hour bus ride through beautiful scenery, so with such amazing sights the trip really didn’t seem that long. We stayed at Tulsi hotel which is just off the main street, lakeside Pokhara. The hotel was right next to all the shops and restaurants. Pokhara was quite different to Kathmandu, the bustling streets seemed to slow, it was a very peaceful place. We did a walk to the world peace pagoda, it is an incredible walk through luscious green forests up a hill. We did get a bit lost so it is important to make sure you don’t attempt the walk alone but the view from the pagoda is incredible. We spent an hour just soaking everything in when we got to the top.

We also did a bike ride to Davis Falls which is a waterfall located at Pokhara city with bikes only 80 rupee an hour to hire and mild traffic it is a great way to get around. The boat trip on the Phewa lake was nice too. We finished our trip in Pokhara by going Paragliding which we would recommend. Flying above the Pokhara city is an incredible experience and a great way to get the best view of all of Pokhara and the lakes and the mountains. If you want to escape the busy streets of Kathmandu, go to Pokhara. It should be on top of the list  if someone is traveling Nepal. On our last full day in Nepal our host took us on a trip to Kirtipur which is other town in Kathmandu then we went to his family home to make Momo. It was a really great experience to see his home and meet his family. A great finish to an incredible two weeks in Nepal.

Katherine
Australia

http://www.nepalihostfamily.org

world-peace-pagoda-pokhara
world-peace-pagoda-pokhara

Hamromaya Nepal: a charity from Germany starts work in Nepal

Hamromaya Nepal is a charitable organisation based in Germany. It was founded in October 2012. The name of the charity is derived from a Nepali word “hamro maya” which gives a combined meaning “our love”. It is the love which the founders of the charity have for Nepal and the Nepali children that made them establish an organisation to help the underprivileged children of Nepal. The organisation aims in supporting the Nepali children for their education, health by uplifting the standards of the Schools, Orphanages, Child care homes and Disabled homes. Our Non-profit, Nepali Host Family is working together with Hamromaya Nepal.

German charity organisation in Nepal

The members of the charity, Hamromaya Nepal have been fundraising, collecting donations in Germany to organize different projects in Nepal. The Founder of the charity came to Nepal in February 2013 with some projects. The main project was to provide new furniture’s to a school in Kathmandu. The plan was to provide new desks, benches and chairs to the Kindergarten classes of the school. The condition of this school is about average. They need financial or technical support. It was a nice time to provide them the new furniture’s which included 6 Desks, 12 Benches and 12 Chairs. At the same time, we worked on some other projects as well. Buddhist child home is the Orphanage with 35 children. Hamromaya Nepal helped in buying some stationery like note books, pencils and pens. They were also in need of curtains and pillows. So the charity helped to get curtains for fifteen windows. The other important work which we did for the orphanage was taking seven of the kids for eye checkups. These seven kids had poor eye sight and were facing problems in studying. So after checkups at the hospital, 4 kids were provided with the glasses and the prescribed medicine was bought for the other kids.

Another nice project which we accomplished at the same time was buying different supplies for the Disabled rehabilitation school in Kathmandu. Nirmal Bal Bikas Vidyalaya is a disabled rehabilitation school which is in urgent need of help. Hamromaya Nepal provided a small support by buying a Sewing machine, Woolen threads and Cotton clothes for them. They needed this for running their vocational classes. A kerosene stove was also bought for the kitchen of this school.

Hamromaya Nepal e.V. hasn’t even been a year old and already the charity was able to do so much for the Nepalese Children. We would like to sincerely thank all the German citizens who had donated for the different projects of Hamromaya Nepal. Nepali Host Family is proud to have a partner organization like them.

Please visit the website of the German charity: http://www.hamromaya-nepal.org

hamromaya-nepal
hamromaya-nepal

Fundraising and collecting Donations for a cause

Before arriving to Nepal, me and my friends did fundraising for Nepali Host Family to put towards their various projects for the children in Nepal. Back home, we had fund-raised some money by selling bottles of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, sourced from regional South Australia. My parents helped bottle the olive oil into bottles bought in bulk from a family owned, local store. My brother then produced labels for the bottles which stated the cause of fundraising. With the help of both friends and family, I managed to sell 160 bottles of olive oil.

The bottles were advertised and sold via email and word of mouth. It was a great way to fund-raise because olive oil is such a commonly used item in Australia and so there was no trouble selling any bottles. Some of our friends had also donated for the cause. It was amazing how easily we could sell so many bottles in such a limited amount of time and we were over whelmed with the enthusiasm and generosity of our friends and family. Overall I believe it was a successful way to raise money for such a wonderful cause.

Alice
Australia

Fundraising would be the best way to help someone in need. We appreciate the efforts of Alice, her friends and their family for the help of underprivileged children in Nepal. The participant volunteers who travel to Nepal from different parts of the world to help in our volunteering projects – you are our hope and strength.

Nepali Host Family utilizes the fund-raised money for different social work projects in Nepal. With the money fund-raised by Alice and her friends, we have donated a Student Microscope to a local school in Kathmandu. This school does not even have a science laboratory. The teachers conduct the experiments in the classrooms. The donation of the Microscope was so much helpful for the teachers in teaching biology. The students are excited to see different histological slides of Amoeba, Hydra, animal cells and plant cells with it.
We aim to build a science laboratory for this school one day!

Some of the participant volunteers also help in our projects by collecting donations. They tell about the volunteering project they are going to get involved in to their friends, family and relatives. With the help of your family, friends and relatives you can spread the word in your school, university or town. People will be willing to donate if they can be made convinced that their money is going for a worthwhile cause.

Last year one of our volunteer from the Netherlands, Mr. Holger Neumann was able to collect enough donations to buy new clothes for the 35 children of an orphanage. Mr. Neumann had collected the donations from friends and family before coming to Nepal to volunteer in the orphanage. He took all the 35 children to a local supermarket for buying them new clothes. It was the first time for these children to visit a supermarket as they never get to go for shopping.

Our sincere thanks to all the wonderful people who have donated and fund-raised for our projects and thank you once again for believing in us!

We believe what Mother Teresa had once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Nepali Host Family team

children-shopping-nepal
children-shopping-nepal
donation-for-children-nepal
donation-for-children-nepal

Annapurna trekking in Nepal

A friend of mine and I did a week long ‘community lodge’ trek through the Annapurna ranges during our trek in Nepal in November 2012. The trek began in Nayapul (about a 1.5 hour drive from Pokhara) where most of the treks through these ranges begin and end. We had a fantastic group, consisting of two English couples and a Swiss guy, as well as a lovely Nepalese crew of porters, Sherpas and trek guide. The particular trek we chose was mainly on the ‘off track’ meaning no other trekkers were with us and we got to walk through local fields and villages, a great way to experience and see real Nepali culture.

Our mornings began at 6.30 am when two of the Sherpa’s would deliver warm water to us for washing purposes. We walked for 6 hours a day, mainly uphill of course and stayed in small lodges that were run by a local family. The lodges were really nice and cozy as we spent most nights sitting around a warm fire. Our staple food on the mountain was Dal Bhat which is a traditional Nepalese meal that was cooked on a clay stove. The food was delicious but nothing could beat the spectacular views that we had along the way of the mountains. We were so fortunate to have beautiful sunny weather, creating picture – perfect sunrises and sunsets.

A definite highlight of the trek was reaching Khopra ridge, 3660 meters above sea level. At this spot, we were completely surrounded by the Dhaulagiri ranges and Annapurna South and just a short walk away from the deepest gorge in the world. The scenery was indescribable and so breathtaking! Sleeping above the clouds was a pretty cool feeling. Our last night in the mountain was celebrated with traditional Nepali music and dancing with all of the trekking crew. It was lots of fun and a great way to end a fantastic week along with learning some new dance moves! The overall experience was invaluable with such positive memories. If you are thinking about trekking in Nepal then Annapurna trekking is much affordable. There are other world famous treks as well like the Annapurna Base Camp trek or the Annapurna Circuit trek which are longer treks.

Lauren
Australia

trek-in-Annapurna
trek-in-Annapurna

My Volunteer Abroad experience

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.

Sarah
Australia

volunteer-abroad
volunteer-abroad

Volunteer stories and Travel stories about Nepal