Volunteer Name: Ariel Lee
Project Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Volunteered at: Local Hospital
1- How were the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
The support was great! I never met Scott but he contacted me via email and was very helpful. The sisters at the volunteer house were absolutely amazing and took care of everything I needed.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
The most surprising thing was probably that most of the people in the hospital came from other parts of Nepal (very few from KTM) and they all walked for days to receive treatment.
3- What was the most difficult situation you experienced or had to overcome?
Probably overall the language barrier. At first, it was hard to understand the doctors so I didn't have much idea about what was going on. But after a few days, I started to understand and it was all fine.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Hiking pants came in handy. Also for women -long shirts and a tucked in tee shirt are an awesome go-to outfit.
4.1-Other things/tips for future volunteers: a.-bring a day pack (like a camelback)
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I have paraglided, trekked, canoed, ridden elephants, explored ancient temples, traipsed through jungles, had tea on a mountaintop above the clouds, and watched a Himalayan sunrise. But as I wrap up my time here in Nepal, there is no doubt about what has been my greatest adventure of all: third world medicine. The doctors I was lucky enough to learn from work seven days a week and never go on vacation. They pay out of pocket for those who are too poor to pay for treatment. They fundraise relentlessly for basic equipment and can only afford to dream about CT scanners and MRI machines. They fight every day to treat health problems that would be little more than a passing concern in the United States. This experience has been life-changing and opened my eyes to the incredibly blessed life that I lead. And although it is difficult for just one volunteer to make a difference, I feel truly honored and humbled to have been able to touch even a few lives.
6- How would you describe/rate your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared). Any suggestions for improvement? I would give it a 10! Considering we were in a third world country it was incredible.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
My favorite memories all happened at the hospital. I don't have a specific one but Dr. Gupta really took the time to teach me things and I learned so much more than I expected.
8.- How was the communication and support you received from ABV prior to traveling?
Any suggestions for improvement? It was awesome! My emails were always answered right away.
9 – Are you willing to email/speak to potential volunteers about your ABV experience?