Namaste 🙏! Greetings from Nepal , as I am volunteering with IVHQ for the women’s education program in Bhaktapur. Friends were asking why volunteering and why Nepal. To be honest with you I don’t know, or better said I don’t really have a reason why I decided to do it, neither why I chose Nepal. It came so natural to me, wanted to do abroad volunteering for some time and I just went for it. Before deciding for Nepal, I think I was considering South Africa, but only for a couple minutes, and it was merely because I really wanted to be somewhere on the coast. Then I checked Nepal and that was it. No more questions, no more thinking. Nepal. Going through the IVHQ programs, I stumbled upon women’s education project and it was so interesting, something I truly believe in and went for it.
In December 2018 I booked everything for my trip, and for the next 5 months I was really happy to talk with people about it. Everyone, and I mean every single soul, that have been to Nepal before were saying only beautiful things about this country, it’s people and culture. This worried me, how come noone is saying anything bad about it, like no bad experience, any accident or of the kind. They said: “oh you’ll love it!” “the best country I’ve ever been to! BY FAR! “. I was trying really hard not to set up any expectations, almost impossible with all the nice impressions people shared with me.
Last Saturday I finished packing for 3 weeks in Nepal, was so nervous I could not eat and barely slept that night before the flight. The flight was really nice, actually was flying with Turkish Airlines with layover in Istanbul and had a chance to see the world’s biggest airport when it will operate at full capacity. That was my first experience with Turkish Airlines and would honestly recommend this airline. After landing in Kathmandu on Sunday morning, I went very quickly through the visa process (quick tipp!! Take a picture with you for Nepalese visa – it will save you time staying in a queue, but if you do not have one it is ok, they have special booths for that.) and someone was waiting for me outside. We were already driving for some minutes when I suddenly realized they have the steering wheel on the right side 🤦♂️. Also the ride was hmm how to put it correctly…insane maybe? I was trying to see if other people experienced the same as me and found this blog post explaining it very accurately with a fun note about driving in Kathmandu, please check it out. One more thing about driving is that I noticed that they don’t curse, they do honk but only for you to be aware that someone is behind but they do not curse. In Moldova I would surprise myself with the vocabulary I possess while driving 😲. Anyway, it was a fun/insane ride from the airport to the hostel.
We stayed at the Kathmandu Peace Guesthouse. I literally crashed after the long flight and not being able to sleep the 2 nights before so I slept until 6 pm, woke up for dinner and met more volunteers, but after I went back to bed. Yep, I was sleeping like for 20 hours 😴
On Monday we had the orientation session. It was a full day with breakfast at Bhojan Griha – an authentic Nepali restaurant, and then introduction speech about the programs and placements, then we went for momos, visited the Monkey Temple and came back to Bhojan Griha for dinner accompanied with traditional music and dance. The food was amazing, and I really loved the place, I tried the Nepali wine as well and it reminded me of home.
On Tuesday morning we had to leave the guesthouse and meet our host family. As I mentioned before we are staying in Bhaktapur, around 14 km from Kathmandu. We got very excited as our guide informed that we are having 2 little children waiting for us 🤗 As soon as we arrived we had to go to the center to meet the ladies we are teaching.
Well, I won’t lie but I thought it will be easy, teaching English is easy, right? No, it’s not. Thank God we had an intern who helped us, otherwise we would be staring at each other for some time. It comes easy for us but not for them, to understand that I am trying to learn Nepali words as well and it is hard, now imagine your mom learning English. Quite difficult if you think of it, and we really appreciate the girl helping us. There are around 20 ladies between 30 and 60 years old coming to the center. They are lovely and they smile a lot, this makes it easy. They are happy people. Today the class was better, we already knew what to expect and it requires a lot of repetition. Also learning some Nepali words on the way, and about them more. There are so many stories, and I love people’s stories.
After class today we went to the Durbar Square and strolled around. It was nice, and warm. Not so many people, so we could take pictures and just wander around. Tomorrow we will have the class and after we will pack for Pokhara. Going on a weekend adventure! Will post about it as soon as I am back!
I am sharing some pictures of these beyond the words beautiful places in Nepal!
Let me know if you have any questions, I will be happy to assist 😊