Well it’s a bit hard to write about my experience as a volunteer here because I just got back from Annapurna Base Camp trekking. I went to Annapurna Base Camp trek and Poon Hill trek, did it in 10 days with my friend and saw the REAL Nepal. I am about to leave Nepal tomorrow. But I am thankful to Nepali Host Family; you really made me feel like home. I volunteered in two placements during my stay in Nepal. In the school, I was during the exams, so I helped the kids with some info and ask them a lot of questions to think about. In the Orphanage, I went after school to help the kids to prepare for their exams.
I am impressed how bright and kind are the Nepali children. I learned to be honest and to observe because this way I can help even when they don’t know how to ask for help. I taught some things which I teach back at home in Bulgaria, some Leadership training skills. The volunteering work at the orphanage gave meaning to my Nepal stay.
After having traveled through China, Hong Kong and Bangkok for 4 weeks, I arrived at my last stop before going home: Kathmandu. I came here because I had been looking for programs to volunteer abroad for a while and when I found the Nepali Host Family on Face book, I knew this was going to be it. To be honest this was mostly because it was by far the Cheapest option: all the other programs cost about a Month’s Salary for every 4 weeks or so, and that doesn’t even include the flight. During her travels my sister met a girl who had volunteered with Nepali Host Family for 3 Months, so I knew Nepali Host Family was a reliable organization.
When I arrived in Kathmandu it was a bit of a shock for me, after having been on the brand-new Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport, I kinda expected something bigger but Kathmandu Airport is very small. Make sure you have enough money (USD, Euro, other major currencies are also accepted) with you for your visa, otherwise you’ll have to go out of the airport, go to the ATM, go back in the airport, exchange your Nepali Rupees for USD and then get your visa 😛
I was picked up on time at the airport by a staff from Nepali Host Family. The taxi ride to the hostel felt like being on a rollercoaster, but you’ll get used to the traffic in Kathmandu soon enough J The hostel has been nothing but nice: lovely food, friendly people, a clean bathroom, yay! During my 9-day stay I volunteered at a local School, a relatively young school. I mainly taught class 2 (8-9 year olds), in math’s, science and English. The kids were really sweet and a little bit naughty 😛 I worked from 10 am till 1 pm and had lunch at the principal’s house afterwards. She’s a great cook!
In the afternoons I had time to explore the area. The hostel is near Boudha so I visited the Buddhist stupa there quite a lot J I’ve also been to Thamel a couple of times and visited Pashupatinath and Durbar Square. If you stay for a longer period you can obviously visit more sites and go to places that are further away from Kathmandu.
I’ve had a really great time here and I’ll definitely come back sooner or later. Even if I only taught ‘my’ kids for a week, I already miss them. I can recommend staying with Nepali Host Family to everyone, they’ve been nothing but awesome and the school could do with more volunteers, besides that it’s a transparent organization money-wise. Nepal’s a great country to visit with lots of cultural heritage sites, some of the most scenic areas in the world and definitely the best food in the world, so what are you waiting for?