I spent six weeks in Nepal where I taught at a small school outside Kathmandu and Patan.
In the summer of 2019 I decided to take a break from work and commit myself to a volunteer programme. I contacted The Leap since our son had been on projects with The Leap in South America. I received so much support and positive energy from the team at The Leap; nothing was too much trouble, and contact was maintained by e-mail while I was in Nepal. From the first telephone call I was made to feel welcome and valued, and from that first call I became more excited and enthusiastic about my likely assignment.
After discussing the project with the organisers we agreed that the teaching project would be the best one for me to choose; that was my view too, after having looked at the website.
I landed in Kathmandu and I was taken to the hotel for the first night. There was then a briefing and I moved into the hostess's accommodation. There were other gap year volunteers there and we all got on very well. I started to teach within a couple of days of my arrival, supporting a member of staff. However, within a couple of days of my introduction to the schoolchildren I was asked if I wanted to teach on my own, and I accepted that kind offer. So, for just over 5 weeks I was teaching from 10.00 a.m. to around 3.30; I taught 4 or 5 different classes, depending on the timetable. My core subjects were English and maths., but I taught basic hygiene too since there is a lack of understanding amongst the children about germs, hand washing and personal care. I taught from Monday to Friday, and I was at the school by 9.40 each morning since reception is at 9.45 each morning in the playground.
The time in Nepal passed so quickly. I did not do any trekking or trips outside Kathmandu. I did have a couple of nights each weekend in Kathmandu, though. There are opportunities for trips and trekking, but I wanted to focus on the teaching and the sites in Kathmandu.
I shall never forget my time in Nepal. I shall return over the next few years. The people are friendly and welcoming; at no time did I feel threatened or unsafe. The food is lovely, and for vegetarians there is a large variety of dishes. The volunteers get together at the weekends, so there is a social life, and every Friday a social event is organised by the local management and then the volunteers have supper.
If you are thinking of having some time away, and if you want to give your time and skills and energy to a welcoming community, please do think about contacting The Leap and opting for a project in Nepal. Like me, you will have an unforgettable experience ..............