Can't Wait to Go Back!

Impact: 5
Support: 5
Fun: 5
Value: 5
Safety: 5

I volunteered in Nepal through Love Volunteers back in March of 2014. It was an overall great experience. Kelly was very helpful and always got back to my emails and questions very quickly. I was picked up on time at the airport by Keshab and shown around a bit before we went back to the volunteer house. I had my own room with a cute balcony, which was very peaceful as it was situated in the hills. It had a bathroom with a western toilet, a shower, and a sink. The beds are low to the ground with a pad for a mattress, but there were so many thick woolly blankets, I just used a few of them for extra padding. The power goes off for 6 or more hours at a time in Nepal, there is a daily schedule so you know when it will go off. The house was equipped with solar lights in every room which would last a hour or two. Food is served for every meal. The cook and his family live on site and really make some great food. Expect rice, veggies, chapati, and sometimes noodles. No meat is served. Chicken and mutton can be found at any of the restaurants. But it is not readily available everywhere. This didn't bother me, I got a healthy diet (for once) of veggies, felt better than I usually do at home, and lost some weight! I had signed up for the environment program, which wasn't clearly described at the time on the web site. I found out when I got there that they primarily wanted me to teach children at the school about the environment, which I expected to do some of, but also more hands on clean up kinds of projects. Teaching at the school turned out to be amazing. I enjoyed it very much and loved spending time with the children. I spoke to Keshab about the more hands on part of the program, and he arranged for me to stay one week at an eco farm in Pokhara (Mountain View Eco Farm--google it!) Keshab and Manoj arranged my transport via bus on Swiss Travels. I stayed the weekend in downtown Pokhara, which was really a great experience. Many shops and restaurants, I even did a bit of a trek up to the Annapurna viewpoint. After the weekend Manoj met me by car and took me up to the eco farm personally and introduced me to the family. The farm is at the top of a large hill, or small mountain, and is a mud style house. It was beautiful and you can see the Annapurna range in the mornings. I got settled in my room, which was basic, with dirt floor and little bed with pad mattress. I had a beautiful view from my window every morning! Bathroom is a squat toilet outside, and shower is outdoor too, with an option for hot water (you have to boil it.) It was a rough experience, but nothing I couldn't handle. The family was great, and the wife would make great food that we picked fresh from the field each day. In the morning you help her pick the food for the day, and then you might help build a structure, like a green house, or plow a bit of a field, or plant. Sometimes they do seminars on eco farming for other local farmers to attend and learn. Down the mountain a bit is a coffee plantation and honey farm. It's a real treat to walk there in the morning and have fresh ground coffee and honey in front of the mountains. After that I went back to Kathmandu and stayed the remainder of my trip in the volunteer house. Keshab helped me arrange transport to Nagarkot to the Everest view point. They are really so accommodating and helpful, they went out of their way time and again to help me and make sure I was having a happy and fun time. At the school and volunteer house there were Chinese students also volunteering. We went out quite a bit by bus to Thamil, a nearby market. At the eco farm there were 3 other Americans volunteering. I had a great time where ever I went and would recommend this trip to anyone! If you can handle tent camping you shouldn't have too much of a problem with the living conditions :) it's worth it trust me!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed