Volunteer's Experience 2013

Name: Megan Preston
Country: USA
Gender: Female
Program: Teaching English

I was placed in Meghauli, Chitwan at the Eco- Park Farm of Bishnu Poudel. I spent 1 month in Chitwan in July. There were many volunteers during my stay, most involved in farming. I was the only one teaching in the local schools.

1, What did you average day look like?

My typical day: If I wasn’t too tired I got up around 6:30 or 7:00 for tea & biscuits (little coconut coolies that were so good). Bishnu  soon realized how hungry I was when I got up, so sometimes he would make fried rice from yesterday’s dinner. I would then prepare for school or read or help to make dhal baht. At 9:30 we all ate dhal baht. At 9:50 I left for school. Bishnu let me choose the hours I wanted to volunteer at the school, & because it was so hot. I choose only to volunteer between 10 am & 1 pm. I taught 4 classes at this time. Because I was at the school so long I sometime taught about computers, my culture, and music in addition to English. At 1 pm I typically went to the market for a coca cola, & chowmein  or momo if I was hungry. An ice cream store opened in town while I was there & it was very nice to eat an ice cream in the hot of the day during an electricity out. I then returned to the farm to relax, read or nap. Bishnu provide another snack around 4. at 6:00 we began helping prepare the evening meal of dhal baht. I usually took a shower around 7pm, when the sun went down and it cooled off. We ate dinner at 7:30 and played cards, danced and sang or relaxed together for a few hours before bed.

2. Other things I did on my placement.

Bishnu offered many experience for me on Saturdays. I took an elephant ride and saw many rhinos. The tiger were elusive. I had the option, but declined, to go to a crocodile park, to go ride horses, and to spend a couple night on a jungle walk safari. I did visit people in the village and become a mini celebrity when I was gifted a sari from the other volunteers on my birthday. Everyone knew me as the teacher with the beautiful sari, and they would all ask me to dance when we went to different celebration. Everyone was very friendly in my placement and they were so generous and caring especially compared to western culture.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?

My biggest issue was adjusting to the heat and humidity. I spent too much time in the sun, and became ill for a full week, but Bishnu was great at taking care of me. I was surprised at how different the school was, and it took me a while to understand how and when to change classes. I didn’t really know what was going on the first couple of days. I think they just wanted to let me do what I wanted because I was a volunteer but it was confusing and I wish it had been more clear from the start. Also I had some money stolen on my last night, but it was my error, because I didn’t lock my door when I should have. I was lulled by everyone’ friendliness, but not all Nepali (especially the youth) are as nice an everyone else.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Things I wish I had brought: a towel/ more tank tops and shorts an umbrella, flashlight, some American items to give as gift to my host family, and some gift to give the children. I was very concerned about the culture aspect of not swing too much skin, but on the farm it was ok, it was just too hot to wear ¾ length sleeves and long skirts all day. I would advice future teacher in my placement to be very firm with the students from day one. I was very uncomfortable hitting the children, but they except this. I ended up having less control because I wasn’t sure how to discipline them effectively. Also, be very flexible. The school sometimes closes and you’ll hare on unexpected day off. I took 2 days and went traveling to Pokhara, so give yourself a change to do that as well. Time is very flexible in Nepal, you can do everything you want, as long as you let Bishnu or Durga know what you want.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?

I would love to go back and else Bishnu again. Since my only free months are July and August I would probably stay for less time. I’d also like to set up a program if I came back where I would teach after school, when it was less hot. Many many children came to the farm to see what was going on during the time I was staying there I think I would like it better to set up my own “school” instead of going into the actual school.

6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?

Yes, I would volunteer through this organization again I felt like the money I spent was well invested in my teaching(language classes, sightseeing, adjustment  to the food) as well as helped economically boost rural Nepal.

7. Suggestion or problem?

I already suggested that Bishnu build a swimming pool for the volunteers. I will spend money and come back and give swim lesson. May be include laundry service if financially possible?

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

My name is Megan. I traveled from north Carolina in the US to Nepal to teach English as volunteer. I wanted to teach English because I teach French in the USA, so t have experience teaching languages, and I was looking forward to helping further develop Nepal’s rural area through language knowledge. I hare not traveled to a third world country before, so Katmandu was a bit of culture shock for me. It was so nice to meet Gaurev and get language training in Nepali. It made me feel like l could communicate although a lot of Nepali people speak some English. After a couple of days(and a lot of dhal baht), we went to meghauli, Chitwan. The trip crossed many beautiful and stunning vistas. Life in Chitwan was hot! I realize right away that I had too many heaven clothes. I wanted to be culturally appropriate(long sleeves and long skirts) but it was just too hot. I treated so much and my energy level were so low. We on an elephant ride (amazing!), I learned how  to make dhal baht (easy!), I got sick(bummer!), and I met a lot of awesome people. The towns people were all so interested in us, and as a teacher I had instant fame in the village. I brought a roll- up electronic keyboard to teach the kids some English songs, and after school a lot of them came to play and learn more songs. They taught me how to dance Neplai-style. I felt so welcomed and loved. I celebrate my birthday and my host Bishnu  birthday and danced a lot. I played a lot of cards and swapped stories about different cultures with other volunteers. I ate momos in town and became facebook friends with everybody. It has truly been a memorable and exiting time in Nepal. I’m so happy to have been here making a difference. I really feel like my outlook life has changed. I’ll be come back!........

Name: Selina Westbroek
Country: Netherlands
Gender: Female
Program: Teaching at Monastery and Farming

1, What did you average day look like?

Monastery: Waking up at 6:45 for breakfast, teaching class at 8:30, lunch at 11:30. Sometimes I joined the pkayeks but most of the rime I just played with the kids. Tea at 5 and dinner at 6.

Eco-Farm:Waking at 7 for breakfast, working on the land from 8/9 till 11. Break till 3 and then                       working till 6/6:30.

2. Other things I did on my placement.

Monastry:  teaching the monks english (especially spealling ), maths (basic multiplication )and drawing .Farm: making a garden in 3 different shapes, planting seeds , cleaning plants of small weeds , watering painting digging  and shoveling soil.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?

At the monastry I got told that there would be na lessons fok the rest of the month. Lucking the english lesson started a couple of days later.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Monastery: Really speak out when you want to teach because if there ake a lot of volunteers, your wishes can't be all the time.

Farm: Just do your best and enjoy the time, beautiful surroundings.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?

Monastry: yes, I would like to see how all the kids are developing and growing.

Farm: I don't think so; I think it might get a little bit too much of the same after a while.

6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?

Yes, I got all the help I needed.

7. Suggestion or problem?

.................................

8. Additional Comments

..............................

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

Monastery: Everybody it felt unreal to call this beautiful building my home for about 2.5 weeks. The atmosphere in the monastery is very relaxed and the kids are wonderful, so funny and kind. They will immediately make you feel like you're part of the group and they're all very helpful.

Farm: This beautiful eco-farm is a very nice place to stay at. You will soon feel at home since Bishnu and his parents are so welcoming and kind. The work can be hard, but if you see how the eco-farm is growing into a beautiful place it's all worth it.

Name: Yana Lyashenko  
Country:
Gender: Female
Program: Teaching at Monastery

1,  What did you average day look like?
My average day: Weke up bell around 5am, breakfast same personal activities like washing clothes, shower etc, lunch, tea break,walking around or other activitiey, dinner at 18:00 doing, game or playing with kids!

2. Other things I did on my placement.
......................

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
I didn't face many difficulties, but it was not easy to not have hot water(some days we didn't have any water at all), but all the rest was amazing.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
To be friendly and open-minded, to be ready to deal wile kids and reidele sere problem, to carry medicine wile you as well.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
At the monastery i spent an incrediable time, was happy to know the buddhism lifestyle, to teach kids, to know the other and make new freinds.

6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?
I would definitely volunteer with 'Future Nepal'. The service and help they provide is amazing, the programs are very interesting and the cost is acceptable. 100% yes.

7. Suggestion or problem?
Make more programs, like takeing care of animals(chitwan, elephant's for)or other children support programs. No programs at all.

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
The program is very interesting,  looking for volunteer experience is asia. I chosed Nepal because it seened to me as an amazing placed that combineds, to different religions in a perfect way. I wanted to learn from Buddhism to know more about it and wanted to teach kids. It was a fabulous experience and thanks again to my dear Durga!!!

Name: Li-Fang Wang
Country: Taiwan
Gender:Female
Program: Assist orphans

1,  What did you average day look like?
I stay in an orphanage home in Balagu Height,kathmandu . There are around 10 children , from 4 to 14. They are well-disciplined. They do their homework ,dress themselves, clean their laundry, prepare food, wash their dishes. The older kids take care of the younger ones. As a voluteer living with the children and the family who runs the orphanage , I was treated like their family member.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
Everyday I help with their household tasks and spend time with the kids. Since they are quite disiciplined, there's not much duty for me, I have lots of free time which I can do and go whatever I'd like . I also went off to other cities for a few days.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Come with an open mind to accept differences.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Good Job.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
If I ever come back to Nepal, I'll definitely visit the family I stayed with.

6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?
Yes.

7. Suggestion or problem?
Make more programs, like takeing care of animals(chitwan, elephant's for)or other children support programs. No programs at all.

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
The family takes me into Nepal: life. This is the memory I'll cherish for the rest of my life.

Name    : Courtney Younkle (USA)
Gender    :Female
Program    : Community Health Post

1) 1.What did you average day look like?
An average day in Meghauli for me was working up around 9am. My host mom would serve milk tea and bread soon after, she would feed me a meal of dal/bhat around 9:15, and I would go to the health post at 10:. At the health post, I would assist with dispensing medication, bandaging wounds, changing old bandages, give vaccination , help with prenatal check ups and assist with deliveries if there were any there that day. I would get done at the health clinic any where from 2:30 to 4pm. My host mom would serve a small meal when I got home. and would hang out with the family, watch TV, go for walks with my host sister during my free time in the evening. The dinner around 7pm dal/bhat.

2) Other things I did on my placement.
At my health post, I did the above mentioned tasks. With the pharmacist, I would take prescription and give medicine out with instructions or how to use. With bandaging, I would help the house clean wounds  and wrap wounds with bandages. Every 1st day there is a vaccine day where infants come in and get their sequined vaccines, and I assisted in administering many of there. In prenatal checkups.. I
was responsible for checking blood pressure + weights. During deliveries, I would mainly watch but also helped check dilation and helped massage the uterup  to prevent hammoraging .

3) What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Some challenging in my placement were that many of the villagers in Meghauli as not speak English, So communication was difficult at time. This made it harder to help at the health post.

4) Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Learning the language of Nepal will be very helpful if you are placed in more rural village you will be able to make a bigger impact.

5) Would you volunteer at this placement again?
If  I volunteered again, I would like to return to the clinic, but I also think that it would be very interesting to volunteer in a hospital setting as well, I might have a higher patient volume.

6) Would you volunteer at this organization again?
I would volunteer with Future Nepal again. Durga is extremely kind + helpful, and makes the volunteer feel welcome and at ease. She is always available if you have questions or concerns. The traveling
package that are set up were also well organizes and enjoyable.

7) Suggestion or problem?
………………..
 Additional comments?
……………
 9) Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

Volunteering as a nurse with Inside Nepal tough me so much about health care in rural locations. Volunteers with health backgrounds can make such a positive impact in village where quality healthcare is difficult to come by.
I will miss beautiful Nepal and its kind + genuine.

Name: Ziga Sustersic
Country: Slovenia
Gender: Male

Program : Farming Program

1. What did you average day look like?
Standing up at around 7am. After that work on the field began. At around 10am it was lunch time and break time during the midday.
Usually I spent it learning Nepali language and exploring the surrounding area.In the afternoon we worked again and after the dinner i was playing with kids.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
Beside field work I did short trekking near Pokhara.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
First and most difficult was language barrier. Besides that, this was my first time in Asian country, so there was a bit of cultural shock in first days.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?

Learn as much Nepali as you can before you come there. It will help you a lot when trying to communicate with locals, and besides that you will feel much more welcomed. Teach some English songs if you don't know it , kids love it.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
yes is think so.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
If there will be possibility, yes I will.

7. Suggestion or problem?
….
8 Additional comments?)

Organization during my stay in Nepal was very good, no problems. You provided good information before volunteering, short language course is also very useful because it gives you good overview of what it is important to learn for your job.

9. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.

I learned , enjoyed many things during my stay in Nepal, but I will remember it the most by one thing. That is beautiful Nepalese people. Working with them, learning their language and culture, playing and simply their lifestyle was sometimes challenging but in general beautiful experience. Future Nepal organization prepared me very well for the visit, providing me some useful language and cultural information, which is really helpful especially if you are facing Nepalese culture for the first time.

 





 



 

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