10 weeks in Nepal
Kathmandu Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Well it all started on the 6th of August 2009. I woke up about 4am in the morning sooooo excited. I didnt get much sleep the night before... I was flying to NEPAL!! what was i expecting!... anyways i had everything packed and left for Glasgow International Airport at around 9am. My flight from Glasgow to London flying with British Airways left about 11:30am and took about one hour. When i arrived at Heathrow i felt so scared and alone. I had never been this far from home without friends or family so it was a little shock at first. I was also feeling very nervous as i was to go to Terminal 3 to meet with 12 of the other volunteers who i would be spending the next 10 weeks with. I can remember going from T5 to T3...
After a couple of minutes chatting with them i felt so at ease as if i had known these people for years. okay well i have lots to write so im going to skip a few details........ Our flight with Jet Airways left at around 10pm at night from Heathrow and the flight was sooooo long... We werent complaining as you have free alcohol for the whole flight... so we passed the time by getting drunk hehe!
After about 8 hours on a plane we arrived at DELHI in India where we would make our transfer onto another plane which would take us to our destination - Kathmandu, Nepal.
Stepping off the plane at Kathmandu Airport was just amazing. I had a clear view of the hills surrounding the Kathmandu Valley and they just blew me away... I could also see some of the higher mountain peaks of the Himalayas peaking through the clouds. After going through security and collecting our luggage we then left to step into Nepal. Walking out of the airport, we where mobbed by loads and loads of men offering to carry our bags and to drive us to our destination.... It was all very hectic at first until we then spotted a Rep. from IDF ( Ideal Friendship Nepal )... They where the in country partners of Platform2...So we met them and in Nepalese style they greeted us with a huge smile and a firm handshake. The group where then taken to the coach which had been waiting for us. While the bags where being loaded, the project supervisors from IDF gave us a traditional Nepalese welcome.
After the bags had been loaded, we where on the coach and on our way. Barat(my project supervisor) stood at the front of the coach and gave us a little speech on where we were going to live. He told us we would spend four days at Tibet Holiday Inn in the Thamel area of Kathmandu where we would be given our orientation. When we got to the hotel we where given our room keys and told to settle in. I shared my room with a guy named Leon who was from Liverpool. He was a friendly guy who i could relate to so i was glad i was chosen to stay with him. After a couple of hours we went to the hotel rooftop restaurant for my first experience of Dhal Bhaat.
The next four days in the hotel where pretty much the same... Wake up and spend the whole day in a room learning all about Nepal,Nepalese history,language,culture,traditions and learning about the work we would be doing in our communities.
During the 4 days orientation we where given a city walk tou through Thamel, the main tourist area of Kathmandu... I just remember the Noise of the horns of cars,the strong smell of the inscense and countless street sellers trying to convince you to buy their goods.
After the 4th day at the Hotel we then got on another coach and left for our projects. My project village was a place called Sirutar in the Bhaktapur district of Kathmandu about 12km south east of Thamel.
So after about 40 minutes we arrived at the small village of Sirutar. First impressions where actually quite good... Small traditional nepalese homes with field after field of rice paddies. The place was the sort of place you would see in a documetary or something.
So the bags where unloaded and we where then taken individually by barart to our Host familys. I remember the short walk to the house where i would be living.. I was feeling so nervous... what if i didnt like the family or what if they didnt like me...?? my brain was doing overload!!!.
Okay im going to quickly tell you about the next 10 weeks as i will be here for days if i give you every single detail :)
My host family included Aama(mum) Bua(dad) Kailash my host brother and his wife Monita. They have a little baby boy who they just called Babu which means baby. Then there was my special best friend.
The actual work itself was pretty hard. We where the second group to come to Nepal so the building of the school hadnt actually started as there was so much preparation work that had to be done first. The project site had to be dug out and leveled which took us about half the 10 weeks... it was very tough work especially in very hot weather conditions... i wasnt complaining though as i was getting a rather nice suntan haha... the next part of the project was to develop a surrounding wall for the school.
During the 10 weeks we had our "free time". This was from Friday after 2pm where we could go to Thamel for the night and do as we please... Most of the weekends were spent with me and my volunteer friends having a good old drink and party... The Kathmandu Nightlife isnt for the party animal.... more for the chilled out party animal lol.
Well after the 10 weeks i was glad that i was getting the chance to go back home and see my real family who i had been missing very much. I was also sooo excited to meet my new baby nephew who was born while i was away!!..... But to say goodbye to my second family was heartbreaking.... in all seriousness, the morning of leaving i really was considering just staying with them... for good! they told me that they are going to make a bedroom up for me for when the next time i visit. I was so grateful for their kindness towards me and i will never ever forget them.
I just want to say sorry for this rubbish blog lol... its just 10 weeks is a very long time and i couldnt possibly fit everything in so i will let my photographs tell the story. Thanks for reading!
Platform2 is a global volunteering scheme for 18 to 25 year olds who wouldn't otherwise be able to visit a developing country and get involved with global issues of justice and poverty. It is funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development. and run by Christian Aid and BUNAC.