Monday, January 28, 2013

New clothes for the Street Kids

The Street Children's Rehabilitation Center is one of our favourite placements in Nepal. It is home to 10 children who for a variety of reasons have found themselves without a home and the Center provides them with a warm place to sleep, food and education. 
 In the winter months in Nepal it can get very cold, not just because the temperatures drop below 0 at night, but also because there is no central heating, no hot water and very bad insulation (if any!) in houses.

We noticed that every day we went to the Kids house they were wearing the same clothes every day, so decided to buy each child a new set. Trousers, Jumper, Hat and socks!
Myself and two volunteers spend the morning shopping in Mahendra Pul to find clothes that were suitable for keeping them as warm as possible but also practical. We then went straight back to the center to give them their new clothes and their excitement was amazing! They all quickly changed into their new gear and started parading around. When we went back the next day it was great to see that the kids we wearing their new clothes, although Purnay had gone back to his old hat which is what he arrived in and even sleeps in so we weren't too upset about that.

Thanks to our amazing PoD Volunteers for helping out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Trek to Everest Base Camp

This December I am planning a trek Everest Base Camp to raise money for the PoD Charity in Nepal.

PoD Charity

I am planning on doing this trek later in the year and it will take me just over two weeks to complete. Currently I am working out which itinerary to use as there are many different paths that you can take. I have not spent much time at altitude in the past (the highest I have been is only 3500m) so I will need to go slow so that the altitude does not affect me too badly. The trek will take me up to a height of 5,364m.To give you an idea Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales is only 1085m!

I am fundraising for this trek to support the PoD Charity which works with over 500 children in the Pokhara region of Nepal. The money that you raise will be spent on clothing orphans, giving scholarships for children to attend schools, help under funded schools, provide salaries for teachers, provide educational materials for schools and orphanages, help vocational training at a women's refuge and more (our 'wishlist' of what we would like to achieve will be posted soon!) 

Planned Itinerary
Day 1 - Fly to Lukla and then trek to Phakding (2656m)
Day 2 - Trek to namche (3450m)
Day 3 - Rest day in Namche
Day 4 - Trek to Dole (4084m)
Day 5 - Trek to machermo (4410m)
Day 6 - Rest day at Machermo
Day 7 - Trek to Gokyo (4750m)
Day 8 - Ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m) and trek to Tragnag (4690m)
Day 9 - Trek to Dzongla via the Cho La Pass (4830m)
Day 10 - Trek to Lobuche (4928m)
Day 11 - Trek to Forak Shep then Everest Base Camp (5364m)
Day 12 - Kalapatar then Dingboche (4410m)
Day 13 - Trek to Namche (3450m)
Day 14 - Trek to Lukla (2800m) and fly back to Kathmandu

Please click the link below to go to my fundraising page, even £1 will help support these children.
Many thanks for your generosity. I will be updating this blog as I go along, so keep an eye out for pictures.

Donate now

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Responsible Travel's Top 10 Volunteering and Gap Year's.

I'm very excited to announce that our Two Week Volunteer Experience program run in Nepal has been added to Responsible Travel's Top 10 Volunteering and Gap Year Holidays list! 

Responsible Travel is a well trusted agency that promotes responsible/eco travel globally so it is quite exciting for us at PoD Nepal to be listed on their 'Top 10'. 

During our Volunteer Experience you will live in Lakeside Pokhara working alongside volunteers from all over the world. Working within a team we will run activities in local orphanages, give teaching support at underfunded schools, get involved in arts and crafts at our local street kids center and help the little ones at our slums project to read English.

If you are short of time, but still want to get involved and volunteer in Nepal, then this is the ideal opportunity for you.  To join the PoD Nepal team for the two week volunteer experience and support PoD's ongoing development work in the local area, then please email Gemma in England on The trip starts on the 29th March, there's still time to sign up!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nepali Lessons

From January 2013, when you sign up with PoD in Nepal, we will now be giving you a complimentary two hour Nepali language course when you first arrive in Nepal.

In this lesson you will learn basic Nepali language skills that will help you at your placement. You'd be surprised how just a few simple phrases can go a long way. Local Nepali's love it when people take the time to learn their language and it can really help immerse you into their culture. Greetings, classroom commands and getting to know you phrases are some of the language you will learn.

If there is anything in particular you think would be useful to know how to say then please make a note of it and let us know at the lessons!

Here's a few snippets of Nepali language to get you started -
Nepali  English
Namaste  Hello, 
Namaskar The more respectful version of Namaste
Hajur Yes? Pardon, Excuse me?
(Tapaiilai) Kasto Cha? How are you?
(Malai) Thik Cha I am fine
Khana khannu bhaiyo? Have you eaten? (used often as informal greeting)
Dhanybhad Thank you
Tapaiiko naam ke ho? What is you name?
Mero naam Sally ho My name is Sally
Maaph garnuhos Excuse me/ pardon me/ sorry
Maile bhujhina I don’t understand
Maile bhujhe I understand
Pheri bhetaunla See you again

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

World Class Academy spends time with PoD

Blog post from one of the students from the World Class Kayak Academy who recently spent three months in Nepal
Each semester World Class Academy plans a service-learning project aimed at supporting the local communities in which we travel. This Nepal semester, WCA supplied the funding and the manpower to paint a government school as well as a day of play with a shelter for Nepali children. Senior Alex “Ziggy” Zegart gives a first-hand account of this wonderful day, where all those who participated were touched by the simplicity and beauty of human interaction and the empowerment of individuals making a real impact.
This November, World Class Academy participated in a two-day service-learning project in Pokhara, Nepal, facilitated by PoD Nepal. On day one we had the opportunity to help a local school by painting classrooms that were in dire need of some attention. The next day we spent time with orphaned kids from a care home, teaching them how to kayak, and playing games with them such as cricket, tag, and frisbee.

The day started early, with each student hauling a large bucket of paint to a taxi outside the guesthouse, which would carry the supplies to the school. Upon arrival we organized into groups and began our mission. In total we were able to paint eleven classrooms at the school in about six to seven hours, energizing them from a dull grayish color to a bright assortment of yellow, blue, purple, green, and red. In some classrooms we were able to add drawings that acted as helpful learning aids for under-supplied teachers. Two students in particular played a huge part in this process – David Miller and Josh Zimber, as they are extremely gifted artists. With their help we were able to draw, and then paint, numerous animals in the preschoolers’ room such as butterflies, snakes, tigers, flowers, and the Nepalese flag. Another great help with the illustration of the classrooms was our Nepalese student Surjan Tamang. With his knowledge of the Nepalese language, we were able to add in the alphabet and number system (0-20) in not only English, but in Nepalese as well, thus giving the students a greater window through which to learn. As a final piece to the school, David painted a tree in the stairwell of the school. Then, each member of World Class Academy dipped their hands into a bucket of paint and pasted handprints representing leaves on the tree. This was our finale and a way for the school to remember us.

The next day was a completely different experience for everyone. Instead of painting classrooms, World Class got to take out a group of four- to nine-year-old children from a youth shelter to a lakeside field for a day of fun and an outside picnic. For one day we were like the older brothers and sisters that they never had. This was an unforgettable experience. None of these children had the kinds of privileges we had when we were young such as swimming or playing sports. When we took them to this field they were all overjoyed, and for the next few hours we taught, played, and talked with them.

Alexandra Muck and Anna Bruno taught a group how to hula hoop. Andy Hatch and Sean Madden showed another bunch how to juggle. David Miller and Ryley Penner took each kid out in pairs for a short little kayak lesson. This was probably the most exciting thing for the kids, because none of them had ever been in a kayak before. After a few hours in which time flew by it was lunchtime, and everyone sat down to eat some fried rice. During lunch Liam Fournier was kind enough to share his Coca Cola, giving the kids another treat, which they would normally never get. After lunch everyone split off into little groups: Surjan and Ziggy (Alex Zegart) went to play cricket with some kids, some of the teachers showed the children their cameras and how to use them, and a few others just sat in the shade, relaxing and talking with the kids. After a while the cricket game ended due to the heat and a new game had started, the “pull the kids in the kayaks around the field game.” This was extremely fun, and when one “puller” became too tired he would switch out with another person, who then became the next engine that pulled the kayaks over the field. But like all good experiences, the day eventually ended, and we had to say goodbye to our new little friends.

Even though we had to miss two days of kayaking and, “sadly” enough, two days of school…  everyone at World Class thought it had been worth it, for in those two days we livened up a whole school with bright colors while having an unforgettable experience with an awesome group of orphaned kids.

World Class would like to thank our sponsor NRS for helping us realize our service-learning goals. We would also like to extend a thank you to Chrissy Dawkins from PoD and GRG Kayaking for their support and organization with this project.