Thursday, September 12, 2013

Chloe account of volunteering in Nepal

 I have just come to the end of an absolutely amazing 2 weeks volunteering in Nepal and wish I could have stayed for longer. It was no doubt the highlight of my month in Nepal.

We spent the mornings teaching at Annapurna Primary School, a small government school in Pokhara. This was really challenging, particularly with the language barrier and the variety of ages and abilities in the same classes. But the children are extremely receptive and eager to learn. Although volunteering is, as it is regularly described, rewarding, the opportunity to get an insight into Nepalese life and education is something I would have never gained from simply travelling here.

Our afternoons were spent at The Street Kids Centre. I absolutely loved going there and it provided the perfect complement to our mornings teaching. Here it was much more informal, it was mainly fun and games, arts and crafts. The kids are adorable and so welcoming, warm and kind. We will always remember them.  

 I cannot think of any other organisation I would have preferred to have volunteered with. PoD are a not for profit organisation with in my opinion, the right attitude to volunteering. They provide ongoing assistance to the schools and centres they support and are aware of the disruptive nature volunteering can cause. On a personal level, the support from Chrissy in Pokhara made my time here so easy and enjoyable. She was a constant source of local knowledge and help and even introduced and included us in her day to day life in Pokhara. We joined her on several Zumba classes which was so much fun.

All PoD volunteers stay with Bindu and this made our time here such a comfortable experience. Bindu and her family are incredibly kind and welcoming which made us feel totally at home. It is the perfect combination between a guesthouse and a homestay and after our trek we couldn't get back to Bindu's fast enough.

Pokhara is an amazing place to do a placement. When we weren't volunteering there was always something to do. We climbed the World Peace Pagoda, bobbed around on boats on the lake, went paragliding and enjoyed the many restaurants that Lakeside has to offer. From Pokhara we spent a weekend rafting and canyoning and at the end of our trip went trekking. It is a beautiful town and an ideal base.

I cannot recommend volunteering with PoD, in Nepal enough and I would love to come back!

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