Overall Rating:/ 10The host family was extremely generous in their accommodation to us and made sure that we were being treated well and given proper access to healthy food and water. They made it so that we were comfortable and welcome in their home. I took off two stars because there were two major concerns for my group: we were not comfortable with the locks located on the outside of our bedroom doors even though they were never utilized and also we wish we had been made more aware of the extremely different/difficult bathroom situation. [Thanks for this. We have updated our description to reflect the local bathroom facilities.]
This country has amazing sites to see and a very rich cultural and religious history. We were not aware of the amount of pollution and liter that plagued the country and I think that it would be extremely important to address their pollution issue as a volunteer organization if at all possible. Their lack of access to a proper landfill system (the nearest one being 2hrs away from the city and nearly full) causes for a copious amount of litter and during the winter months it is very common for citizens to burn their trash to stay warm which is detrimental to their ecosystem. Also, the country has a very different traffic system and it may be beneficial to alert volunteers on the difference/dangers of the traffic if they choose to take the bus or walk to their location. Overall, the cultural differences and culture shock were cured for my team when we met up with Almuni from our college who were able to bring our minds to ease and help us get more adjusted.
Project & Staff
The project was tasking but incredibly fruitful. My team and I were able to completely many various tasks while at the school. We painted a mural, painted the new section of the school building, refurbished and moved an old basketball goal, primed the metal around the play area where the very young children play during the mornings, and got to celebrate the national holiday of Holi (Festival of Colors) with the students after our first day of work. Keshab and Mamaj were extremely helpful during the process and were very approachable if we needed anything while we were working. Mamaj also came around every single day to check the temperatures of us and every student so that the school could monitor the health of everyone during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic even though there has only been one case in Nepal as of March 14th. We were also working with a local painter who made sure that we were taking all the right steps to do our jobs correctly.
When coming to Nepal, bring masks because of the pollution, some kind of flip flops for the bathrooms, house shoes because the floors are cold and you’re not allowed to wear outside shoes inside, bring toilet paper or wet wipes for the bathroom, they have hot showers but be prepared to take a cold one every so often if they run out of propane, bring little snacks for lunch time and throughout the day, go to the store upon arriving and buy three or four water bottles to refill throughout the week, get connected with someone locally to show you around and help you get adjusted, and be prepared to be comfortable being uncomfortable.