I would like to start by saying that my time in Nepal was incredibly enjoyable, exciting and SO worth the money. As soon as I arrived in Pokhara and met a few of the other volunteers I knew I was in the right place for me. The volunteers new and old were all friendly and up for a laugh, the accommodation was not too glamorous but it did the job well, and the staff were helpful and welcoming. As for the project I was on construction so it was mostly lifting, painting, brick laying and making and laying concrete. While this can get repetitive at times, when you get to see the progress your making in the building and interact with the kids whose lives will be improved with the results of your hard work, it becomes a very satisfying and enjoyable project. What I think will be most memorable though is the people that made the trip so amazing; the other volunteers, GVI staff from abroad or who live in Pokhara, and the Nepali kids and workers that we met while working or playing football in the street. I made friends with other volunteers from Switzerland, America, Ireland, Australia and all over the UK that I will never forget. What is even better is that all this happened in what is maybe the most attractive country in the world in terms of landscapes and natural beauty. I remember catching just a glimpse of the mountain they call Fishtail and it made me want to stay in Nepal a lot longer. The town of Pokhara is also a great place to be; there are shops, bars, cafes and great views of the lake just a few minutes walk from the homestay, and trust me its far away from the chaos of Kathmandu.
The project and the whole experience definitely added to my personal development; travelling out there, being introduced to a population and a country so different to my own culturally, economically, and socially, expended my world view and helped me appreciate the level of comfort those of us in the Western world live in compared to those living in third world nations. With the project I felt we were able to at least make a slight difference in combatting the poor opportunities of children and people in Nepal, and more closely improving the local community and schooling system by improving infrastructure for education and learning. However, I felt personally that three weeks volunteering wasn't quite enough time to make a real difference; I would recommend staying for four weeks or more so you can get the most out of the place, the people and the project.
To conclude, I couldn't recommend more strongly the project and the country. It was one of the best life experiences I've had so far in so many ways and I strongly believe it will be for anyone who decides to sign up. Believe me, you won't regret it. #GVINepal