Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Cosmic Brontosaurus in Pokhara

As you may well know, this week saw Vicky returning to the PoD Team for another stint of hard work and good fun in Pokhara.  She arrived a few days before the start of term and so made the most of this free time by brushing up on her Nepali skills.  This got me to thinking...our volunteers often find themselves working in the local community where there is little, if any, English being spoken.  Whilst we are a resourceful bunch and generally get by with elaborate hand signals and pointing out words in the dictionary, it really is helpful to have a few Nepali words and phrases at your disposal to break down the language barriers - it also gets your brownie points with the local community who rarely hear Nepali from a foreigner's mouth!  So, I contacted the Cosmic Brontosaurus Language School and asked them if they could do some special PoD Volunteer language courses and they were most helpful.  Below are details of the various courses on offer which can be booked when you arrive in Pokhara and know when you are free and ready to start learning!

Basic Taster Course (1,400NRS)
This is a 4 session course, perfect for short term volunteers.  Topics covered include:
  • Basic introductions (hello, how are you? What is your name? etc.).
  • Useful classroom phrases and commands (copy this, open your book, sit down etc.).
  • Farewells

Intermediate Conversational Course (3,000NRS)
This is a 10 session course that is well suited to volunteers staying one month or more, or are planning to go to a rural placement.  The course includes:
  • Everything in the Basic Taster Course
  • Market skills (buying goods, bargaining, numbers etc.).
  • Finding the way around (asking, giving and understanding directions).
  • Talking about feelings (I am happy, I am sick, I like Nepal etc.).
  • Basic grammar skills
  • Half day cultural programme at one of Pokhara's pilgramage sites

The classroom at the Cosmic Brontosaurus
Advanced Nepali Course (4,125NRS)
This 15 session course is aimed at long term volunteers or those who just really, really really want to learn Nepali!  It includes:
  • All of the above
  • Additional grammar and conversational topics
  • Conversational practice
  • An extra cultural programme
  • A copy of the Nepali Survival Phrase Book (worth 375NRS)

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