Volunteer Review Monica Chenglo Volunteer in Kathmandu, Nepal Volunteered at: Disability Center
How was the local Coordinator and the staff and the support provided in-country?
Upon amuing at Kathmandu, local coordinator welcomed us with a big smile and assistant coordinator showed us around Kathmandu Durbar Square and pashupatinath. I liked how he took his time to show us the hidden gems of his town. Additionally Sudhir and Sarita our host family, gave me a sense of closure +comfortable at Nepal. They were always engaged with us and did their best to accommodate our travel interest. Sudhir took me a local artists shop because he knew how much I loved local craft. Even, Sarita taught me how to cook local Nepalese dishes!
What was the most surprising thing you experienced while in the program?
I was very surprised to learn about the school system in Nepal. I found it interesting that kids to go to school 6 days a week. Also riding on a really stuffed microbus, with barely any personal space left a strong impression on me.
What was most difficult thing you experienced while in the program?
The pollution is heavy dung the winter due to vehicle exhaust trapped in the Kathmandu valley. Hence, it took my body awhile to adjust. Also, the traffic is hectic. Cars and motorcycles don’t necessary stay within a lane and often zoom very closely to pedestrians.
Any tips for future volunteers….(clothing, travel information, packing, sightseeing, donations)
I recommend brining some snacks. However, do be open to try new things just ask your host family for recommendation. Additionally, bring a mask due to increasing pollution in the cities. If possible bring environmentally friendly toileteres, to help with their drainage systems. Personally, I found familiarizing some Nepal terms to be a great hit among the locals. If you have specific dust or allergies, make sure to communicate your preferences the first day you meet your family no food goes to waste in Nepa
Other things volunteers should know:
- Bring small photo prints of your portrait. Many phone companies in Nepal may require a photo when you purchase a sim card.
- Bring thank you cards/gifts to give the staff + local volunteers
- Bring your own toilet paper when you head out. Many local bathrooms do not provide those accommodations.
Personal paragraph (volunteer program testimonial):
Through working with the kids at Disable center, I find myself reminiscing every day. The kids have such unique personalities. Even with minimal English, the children welcome you. Our greetings of “Namaste” turned into meaningful conversations. Being able to see the children support each other allowed me to recognize the child’s potential +interest and not by their disability.
How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security?
The accommodation was very comfortable we even had a personal sunroom for the volunteers to relax. Sarita also provided clean bed sheet and helped with all our meals. Even sudhir would go out of his way to buy local treats like Gulab jamun for us. The food was incredible. The house was also situated in a nice neighborhood.
7. What was your memory of this trip?
My time with the kids has been the highlight of this trip. Being able to recognize a cruds potential and not by their disability has been inspiring. Through them. I‘ve learned a bit more about Nepalese culture.
8. How was the information you received from ABV prior to traveling? (Emails, website, support) was there anything missing or should be included to prepare other volunteers?
Prior to amusing, the ABV staff was very informative and responsive through e-mails. The Nepal orientation PDF file helped tremendously. I would recommend links to ABV volunteer videos and a “how to” page on where to connect with other volunteers and helpful links.
9. Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers about your volunteer experience?
I would be happy to! This was one of the most memorable experiences that impacted my life.