My Favorite Memory: Seeing beyond the visibly obvious to “see” the spirit, smiles, energy, beauty and love of the people.
I was surprised that…. I wanted to fix their problems, especially where the government was failing their people, only to find that the people didn’t need to be fixed. They were perfect, beautiful, authentic and happy. I still think their government needs the US to put pressure on them to provide the important infrastructure the citizens of Nepal deserve (power, clean water, access to healthcare and education and a sanitation department).
The most difficult thing I experienced was….
1. Know people would die for unnecessary reasons like Strep Throat. That the people living the in the breathtaking villages had not access to healthcare or education.
2. That the cast system still exists and an entire class of people were considered unworthy
3. That the US Embassy was massive and yet these conditions existed.
4. How helpless I felt.
My best received lesson… Do not impose my US based perspectives upon the people of this developing region. They are beautiful and perfect. It was me that needed to transform and just “be” with them. What a gift they gave to me.
Tip for future volunteers… (Clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc)
Bring shorts, comfortable shoes and tee shirts. I was so worried about mosquito bites that I was overdressed and needed to buy clothes while I was there.
Be sure to go to Chitwan. Be prepared to suffer for 6 hours on a bus trip, to get to this life changing adventure with the elephants, rhinos, royal bengal tigers.
Visit the temples and take time to give thanks with the Buddhists and Hindus who place a high priority on their faith.
Surrender to the environment, people and chaos. You’ll be blessed and transformed for doing so.
Personal Paragraph (Testimonial): I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be touched by their greatness which is made me a better person. Now that I’m back in the United States, time and distance will have no impact on how close they are in my heart. Being a part of what they do every day, has transformed me. Witnessing them, I am more peaceful, humble and appreciative of how everyone has the opportunity to create a world based on humanity and no other construct. I will do what I can from the United States to support you and look forward to seeing you soon.
How would you rate your experience working with the ABV staff, both in the USA, and in-country?
How would you describe your accommodation ( ie: host family, on-site, shared housing etc) Considering where we were, it was great. Of course, it would be nice to have some of the comforts of home while staying at the volunteer home.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
Diane Volunteer Abroad in Kathmandu, Nepal