Sunday, October 6, 2013

Volunteer Experience September 2013

So we've just completed our second ever Volunteer Experience here in Nepal. The Experience is an intensive two week programme where we (myself included) volunteer at a variety of our placements in a group. The emphasis of this is to improve conversational English, but also, fun! We try and make things a bit more exciting that our usual programmes by taking them out on excursions to places they may have never been, getting arty and doing things in a group. Once again, the Experience was a great success.
The monestary we visited on the sightseeing day

We started off the week with a day of sightseeing. In just one day we managed to go for a swim at Begna Tal (the 'other' lake), see Devi's falls, 2 bat caves and a monastery.
Looking around the museum

The first day at school we took Class 1, 2 and 3 of Annapurna Primary School to the International Mountain Museum. I am always so impressed with how well behaved the children are and how much attention they pay to all the displays. Although, if you ask the kids, probably the most exciting part of the day was getting to ride on the bus there and back (many of these children won't even have been in a car before, so travelling on their own bus is very exciting!). We then spent two more days at Annapurna School doing lots of painting, singing and generally having a lovely time.

We also took one class of Shree Krishna School to the Gurkha Museum. Unfortunately I missed this day due to illness, but all the volunteers, teachers and children told me how much fun they had. After the trip to the Museum, they then went on a walking tour, over the Balam Bridge (one of the longest suspension bridges in Nepal), through the fields to one of the biggest hospitals in Pokhara and then back to Lakeside. The other day with Shree Krishna we spent in the school with some sports on the field.

We also had a couple of days at Ward 6 which is a day care center for under 4's. Although it is much harder to get a structured activity going here, we still had a lot of fun playing with bubbles, balloons and doing colouring. This is one of our poorest placements and they do not have many toys to keep the children stimulated, so anything we bring in is always a welcome change and gets their motivation up.

All the kids climbing the moutain!
On Friday afternoons, we normally spend the afternoon at Asha, with is one of our orphanage placements. As a treat for them, we decided it would be a nice idea to get them out of the center for once, and we took them to the lake where we hired out some pedalos. We then paddle to the temple in the middle of the lake to explore and chilled on the lake for the afternoon. It was so nice to see the children out and relaxing, as normally when we are at their home, they are always working, collecting grass for the cows, washing their clothes or working in the farm. We finished the afternoon off with a plate of momo's each before it was time to go home.

And of course, not forgetting the Street Kids! We spent every afternoon at the Street Kids Center, playing football, painting, making origami, and helping with their homework. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to take the children out of the center, but they have had lots of trip to the park so are doing ok!

I would like to thank the volunteers who worked so hard on this Volunteer Experience and who helped make it such a success. Already I am looking forward to the next one!

If you would like to join us, our next Volunteer Experience in Nepal is on the 4th April 2014. Please email Gemma on for more information.

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