Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monthly donations, placement visits and pizzas...

It has been a busy week here in Nepal.

Chrissy and Phil have been showing me around all of the placements. I really enjoyed visiting SOS Bahini; I had not seen the new village that they have built for the girls to live in, as well as to provide important educational workshops and healthcare for the vulnerable women and children in the community. The facilities that they have built up there are fantastic and the support they are providing the girls, as well as the families in the mountainous communities who often don’t receive any help, is invaluable. It was lovely to see some of the girls returning home from school with their results and to find out that they are now top of the class; it is clear to see the benefit of a safe environment, love and care.

Our current volunteers have been working very hard at their placements, however they took some time off at the weekend to go and see what Nepal has to offer. Sian and Olivia went White Water Rafting and came back with some great stories. Their rafting experience involved themselves and 4 Nepali monks on the raft with their guide! 

Elizabeth, who we sadly have to say goodbye to at the end of this week, visited Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha and had a wonderful time. She will be hugely missed by everyone here, and we are very sad to see her go particularly the children from Street Kids who have loved having her around. Her, and our other volunteers, decided to take the Street Kids out for Pizza on Tuesday night; they had brilliant time. The record for most slices eaten went to Purnay who managed 10! The Street Kids rarely get to eat out and so it is such a treat for them. They were very happy and it was such a lovely gesture by our volunteers.

Two new volunteers arrived this week; Debbie and Sylvia. We spent the weekend with them visiting Shree Krishna School where they are now volunteering and then into Mahendropol to buy them Kurtas, the traditional Nepali dress. It was a lovely day, and they chose some beautiful material, we cannot wait to see the finished outfit!
On Tuesday, myself, Chrissy and Phil went to hand out the monthly donations to the projects we support here. We had a lovely day, and it was great for me to meet everyone and see all of our placements here.

We are currently bracing ourselves; next week we have a school expedition coming out to Nepal as well as five new volunteers. It is about to get very busy…

If you would like to join us here at PoD Nepal, then please email Gemma ongemma@podvolunteer.org.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hello from the new Volunteer Coordinator

Namaste! My name is Sarah and I will be taking over the role of  PoD Volunteer and Charity Manager from Chrissy. I volunteered for PoD in Nepal in the summer of 2013 for 6 weeks and loved every minute. I am so excited to be back in Pokhara and delighted to be taking on this role. Over the next few days I will be getting to know the current volunteers, meeting some new ones and reacquainting myself with all the different placements that are on offer here!

The next year is looking to be a really exciting one in Nepal, with numerous festivals and celebrations coming up, as well as the ongoing opportunities at the placements. I am excited to be a part of the great things that PoD and the volunteers are doing here in Nepal.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July - Quick Update!

We are now right in the heart of the monsoon in Nepal, which means it is raining pretty much every day for at least an hour, but it also means the entire country is lush and green and in my opinion absolutely stunning and we are getting some impressive thunder and lightening storms!

Yesterday was a festival worshiping one of the Hindu Gods, in which all the ladies get Henna done on their hands, wear green bangles and fast in hope of a good husband! All the volunteers had their hands henna'd (is that a word?!) at SOS Bahini and from Ashmita at the Street Kids Center to join in on this festival.

All our volunteers are currently busy at their placements, two of our newest volunteers, have now settled in nicely at Ward 6. Although they are finding it totally different from any day care center they have been to in England. I warned them that hygiene was one of the biggest issues at the center and one of the things we are working on constantly to try and improve. For example, one of the volunteers witnessed a helper wiping down a child who had wet himself, and they then went on to use the same towel to clean the faces of the children after they had finished their lunch. In the past we have donated new towels to each of the children to try and prevent things like this happening. This is an example of why it is so important for volunteers to set good examples at the projects we work with to try and improve conditions there for the children that attend. 

I have been spending this week out and about exploring outside of Pokhara to find a suitable village to host an expedition group that will be arriving with PoD shortly. I have to say, I've been having a lovely time, driving around the country side, meetings tonnes of locals in their villages. After three days, we found Kalabam (great name hey!), met with the majority of the villagers there and went to the local government school there. It looks to the ideal place for our group to experience a homestay and it's great that we can support a small, rural, local community. Now I have everything organised I'm so excited to get the group here so show them around!

We've got more and more volunteers arriving every week now which is great to be busy and support more of our incredible placements.

As many of you know (or may not know!) I am actually leaving PoD at the end of August, so Sarah, who was a volunteer with PoD last year will be coming to take over my role. She gets here on Wednesday so we will be showing her the ropes over the next few weeks and she has a very busy first month ahead of her!

If you would like to join us here at PoD Nepal, then please email Gemma on gemma@podvolunteer.org.