Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's time for me to say goodbye...

At a leaving ceremony at a rural village 
So it's time for me to say goodbye (at least for now!). I've been working with PoD Nepal for the past two years, and have had many volunteers come and go. I've worked with some incredible schools, orphanages, refuges and development centers in the local area supporting over 500 children in the area. Next week I am heading to the UK for the first time in over a year to see my family and friends, before returning to Kathmandu to work for my rafting and trekking businesses for the season. I will then go the to States over Christmas to visit my mum and sister and then after that....who knows!! Any suggestions?!

All the boys from the Street Kids Center

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone I have met whilst working for PoD, the local staff at our placements, the beautiful children and the volunteers. I've made some true friends in many of you and I'm always impressed by the work you all do, often in difficult situations and with limited resources. I have never met children who are so hardy, but also so happy and loving. Many of the children we work with come from incredibly difficult backgrounds of poverty, violence and sexual abuse, but when you spend time with them and really get to know them, you see their strength and that they really are no different to any other children in any other country in the world (believe me, all they want to do is play with your iPhone and play football...sound familiar!?). The children define their own personalities, not the problems they have faced and I am so proud of all of them and privileged to have met them and they will start in my heart forever.

With Bindu celebrating Teej Festival 
I couldn't go through this post without saying the biggest thank you to Bindu, Janice and Julia (who own the guest house where we host the volunteers). You have welcomed me as part of your family and I couldn't imagine a nicer family to work with. We've supported each other when things haven't gone to plan (mostly in my first month here!!) and laughed together most days, I'll miss having you guys as part of my daily life, but you won't get rid of me that easy.

It's been a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun. I hope Sarah enjoys the job as much as I have and that volunteers continue to come out to Nepal to help develop these worthwhile projects. Since being here I've seen huge improvements, not only in the children's English, but also the standards of the schools and things do seem to be moving in the right direction. For example since I got here Asha are now nearly totally self sustainable, Annapurna Primary School are working hard from teacher training we provided, the Street Kids have nearly perfect English and SOS Bahini have just recently moved into their new eco village and are steadily growing their organisation. These are obviously just some small examples when I could go on and on but you get the idea.

Me and my stepfather at Everest Base Camp 2014
The PoD Charity has done some incredible work since I have been here. Thanks to the generous donors we have now committed to our placements for the next two years to provide for them which is a great achievement. I'm planning another trek next year, similar to my trip up to Everest Base Camp (which raised over £1000 for the charity) this year to continue to help the charity. My sister (who is only 9) raised $100 for the charity last year by selling loom bands at her Christmas church service, this year she has already told me she wants to double her money which is fantastic, the more we can raise the more things we can do.

Thank you PoD, you have given me a great home for the past two years. I am very sad to leave, but also looking forward to the next adventure whatever that may be and you never know, I might be back next year!

Little Sagar from the Street Kids Center, just one of the
 few kids who stole my heart!
As I will no longer be managing the facebook page, if past volunteers would like to contact me, you can email Sarah who will pass the information on. You can see some photos here of my highlights of working for PoD. 

If you would like to volunteer in Nepal with PoD, which I can highly recommend then please contact Gemma on

Dhanybhat and Namaste! (Thank you & Goodbye)

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