Volunteer Name: Irene Chou
Project location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Volunteered at: Disability center
How was the local Coordinator and the staff and the support provided in-country?
Amazing !ABV checked in on us via e-mail.our local coordinator was fantastic, he was always very helpful and accommodating, making sure to eat dinner with us every night and ask us how our day was. I felt very connected and safe here.
What was the most surprising thing you experienced while in the program?
How people live side by side (literally) with dogs, cats, chickens, goats, cows just wondering the streets and the fields. Also everything is incredibly cheap here, compared to things in America, which just goes to show what a different world Nepal is from state.
What was most difficult thing you experienced while in the program?
Navigating the streets as a pedestrian-there is a constant honking, winding vehicles, and heavy pollution /dust. It was a rather stressful experience but you get used to it. It helped to wear face mask. Honestly, it’s all part of the Nepali experience.
4. Any tips for future volunteers….(clothing, travel information, packing, sightseeing, donations)
Bring face masks for the pollution as well as allergy medicine/vitamins/ cough drops/ etc in case your body decides to react negatively to the air here.
4.1Other things volunteers should know:
The buildings are not insulated in Nepal, so if you’re coming in winter time make sure to bring thermals &enough warm clothing in general. Prepare to eat lots of delicious local food specially bread and rice along with curries.
5. Personal paragraph (volunteer program testimonial):
The broader view program has indeed given me a broader view of the world and of life. My 2 weeks living in Nepal, eating Nepali food and volunteering have opened my eyes to a whole new world. I can only hope I have made at least a fraction of the amount of impact the kids at the disabled care center have made on my life, on their lives. I looked forward to spending my mornings and evenings with them and I have really learned so much about kids with disabilities in Nepal.
6. How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security?
Wonderful. Accommodation was similar to home, warm beds &shower, delicious &filling home cooked meals that I looked forward to everyday ,home stay was in more peaceful / quiet area of city. I always felt safe here. Everyone got along and had meals together, which was always really fun and interesting.
7. What was your memory of this trip?
Some of the best, most rewarding and enjoyable memories of my life.
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?
Great –I was well prepared.
9. Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers about your volunteer experience?