Nepal

 
 

Spring and summer 2014 was a busy period for me. After returning from Australia and spending two weeks at home, I was leaving again for Nepal. Only this time, I wasn‘t planning to spend „regular“ holidays but I wanted to do volunteering. To be more precise, I‘d signed up for some teaching at a government school in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Everything was organized by an India-based company called idex.

To tell you the truth, it was even better than what I‘d expected. Many people had already told me about their volunteering experiences, but up to that moment, I hadn‘t given it a try. If you‘ve already done something similar, you‘ll know what I‘m talking about - and if not, you should really consider spending a couple of weeks, maybe even months doing such an activity: it‘s totally worth it!

What impressed me most was the helpfulness, geniality and kindness everyone treated me with. TBH, I‘ve heard of other classes that gave their teachers a hard time, but my first graders were a delight in person. And if you were unhappy with your projects - as was I with my first one: an elderly‘s home where work was just a bit too depressing -, you could ask the camp manager to be transferred to a different one.

Speaking of it, teaching was just my morning project - in the afternoon, I was renovating classrooms (what mostly came down to painting the walls with colorful motives for the children).

As you might guess, volunteering was not such a hard work in the conventional style, but I wouldn‘t say that it was easy either. It was a different approach to everything (you can‘t actually hold business meetings with 8 year old kids and in your office in Europe, you usually don‘t think about what pictures you should paint your walls with), but the joyfulness I experienced reassures me that it was the best decision I could‘ve made.

Yet there were also different sides I wanted to see that were quite important for me as well. Amongst others, I wanted to see a place „off the beaten track“. Okay, Nepal isn‘t really that kind of place at least twice every year (as to say in March/April and in October/November when the peak trekking/climbing seasons are), but if you get there in the end of April, all the tourist rumble has mostly faded. This makes Nepal a special place. I wouldn‘t say there are no tourists but mostly you‘ll just meet locals. And once you‘ve managed to get the hang of haggling, you don‘t even have to pay the overpriced tourist rate...okay, to tell you the truth, even the tourist rate is much lower than the usual rate in any Western country.

And one more thing: I wanted to do some trekking in the Himalayas. I was told that the Mt. Everest region is by no means as impressive as the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) so in the end, I ended up in the South Annapurna Base Camp with another volunteer from England just before the monsoon season.

But now, I think there is enough text to read through (if you‘ve actually managed it: congrats!!!) so let‘s get to the galleries :-)

Volunteering in Nepal 2014

Pictures above: the class I taught English & maths, the Annapurna massif, Chitwan National Park down South and World Peace Pagoda next to Pokhara