My Favorite Memory: My favorite memory was when I taught the children in my class how to make snowflakes by folding paper and cutting it. They were so amazed when they unfolded their papers and saw the patterns they created.
I was surprised that….…the curriculum was very open. I was also surprised at how poor the teaching of the Nepali teacher was. She would write a question on the board and then write the answer and have the children copy, I would then have a conversation period with the kids and ask then the same questions that they had learned during the week and they had no idea what the words meant. I had to re-teach the children everything starting with what the numbers and words mean in the date, even though they had been writing it on their homework every morning.
The most difficult thing I experienced was….Working around the language barrier. I found it hard to try and explain things to the children because they didn’t understand what I was saying. I would have to then explain it to the Nepali teacher who would then translate it for the children.
My best received lesson……was taught to me by my family in Nepal. They taught me that family and friends are what is most important. They said that Nepali’s cherish a close social community over material things and value time spent with family and friends over anything else.
Tip for future volunteers… (Clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc)
Definitely travel on the weekends to different areas of Nepal to help broaden their view of Nepal because not every area is like Kathmandu. Traveling also helps learn how the different communities in Nepal function and it’s also really fun and relaxing to get away from the city. I would recommend going to Chitwan and staying at the jungle vista resort and visiting Bhaktapur and Nagarkot. Also bungy jumping was a big hit in the volunteer house. Future volunteers shouldn’t bring anything of importance and if they do it should remain locked in their suitcase at home. They should have a suitcase lock anyway if they don’t want their stuff to be gone through when they’re not home. As for clothing, women should cover themselves even though our generation is expected to wear clothing that a little less decent but if they don’t want the extra attention then they should show as little skin as possible.
Personal Paragraph (Testimonial)
Nepal was a great learning experience and the children at the project were wonderful. The volunteer home was wonderful and welcoming. The safety of the neighborhood was great. The entire family was very accommodating and helpful with whatever I needed help with. I’m so glad that I had a chance to meet a family as wonderful as them. In the end when I got stuck at the airport and went over to the Indian embassy and they said there was nothing they could do to help me out, Raj came and helped me handle the situation and Sunita called Scott and the other volunteers to go meet me at the airport and try and help me out there. After nothing worked Scott and the volunteers took my bag back to the house and Raj assisted me at the Jet Airways office. I’m so thankful that they were there to help me.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Yes
Lisette Volunteer in Kathmandu, Nepal
Volunteer Name: Lisette Martinez
Project Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Program Dates: May, 22, 2011-June 12, 2011
Volunteered at: Street Kids education
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