I arrived in Nepal with not much of a plan at the beginning of April in 2015, so just before the major earthquake.
I ended working with a group of children in a village not far from Kathmandu and stayed there a while longer, after the earthquake to help until the schools reopened.
At this point I joined this project. And I couldn't have been more grateful for this encounter in many ways. First of all the open and loving arms that received us all. There was no doubt in my mind about whether I should stay or move on. I felt entirely safe and taken care off. The community of volunteers was incredible. People, young and old, who were willing to leave all comforts behind and move out to remote villages for extensive rebuilding projects. And the wonderful thing about these projects was the way we, the volunteers, and the communities managed to get together over the job at hand. It really was an entirely joint effort.
I remember the first night I went out to the new project at the time in Nuwakot. It was great to see how everyone got together, the kids included, because this was their school we would be rebuilding. We all had dinner together and then sat outside under the exceptional village tree until late at night watching thunderstorms gather and unload themselves over the hills beyond the river.
The way they looked after us was just incredible. As much as it was sometimes really difficult in the hot and humid climate, in a very remote area, there was never anything that couldn't be found if needed. Because Gap Year Nepal is so incredibly well connected to those local communities, it felt like this was extended to us at all times.
And back "home" in Kathmandu we had a great, comforting hub to return to, in very close proximity to the international tourist area Thamel. Here we would meet not only with "our" volunteers and throw brilliant parties on the roof top. But also get together with other organisations doing similar work, to make sure that sustainable networks and plans were being made.
All in all, this experience has changed my life. And I can't wait to return to Nepal, see everyone again and start the next journey.