I went on the 2 week special trip (Care and Community) for teens to Nepal over the summer, and not knowing anyone to begin with was a bit scary. However, I quickly began to feel at ease once I met my flight escort (from Projects Abroad) and the four other (teen) volunteers at the airport going to Nepal.
Once we arrived in Nepal we were greeted by more Projects Abroad staff (based in the country) who were very friendly, informative, and ready to help.
Every morning, the care and community group (filled with people from different countries) would eat breakfast then head over to our placement-- a school for kids around 5-18. Every day we were greeted with such love and positivity by both the kids and the teachers, who were always eager to talk, play, and help however they could.
For our volunteer work, we helped repaint many of the classrooms with fun colors and designs to brighten up the rooms. We also spent a lot of time playing with the kids and getting to know them. Once we were done at our placement, we would either have some down time back at our hotel, free to nap or explore the city, or we would go on exciting day trips to places like different temples and homes for abandoned children or children with HIV/AIDS. On the weekend in between the two weeks we went to Chitwan, where we went on nature hikes, rode elephants, and saw cultural shows.
Although it was a little hard to adjust to such a different culture at first, I always felt comfortable and safe with the fantastic staff, and had so much fun with all of the friends I made. What I loved about the Nepali culture was that it wasn't so consumed with time; everything ran on its own--relaxed--schedule and it was so easy to settle in to the culture. Food was always taken care of everywhere you went, although you were free to buy more at all the local shops.
There was never a time when I felt bored during this trip. I always felt like I was learning something new, whether it was about how to interact with different people, or even how to view life in a different way. Everyone that was a part of this trip-- the volunteers, the staff, the students at the placement--was so great to interact with and every single relationship made held value.
Overall, this trip was one of the best experiences in my life and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.