Volunteer Review: Isabella G., Care & Community in Nepal
During my summer holidays, I took the trip of a lifetime to volunteer on the High School Special Care & Community Project in Nepal. As a 17-year-old girl, who has never traveled overseas alone before, this trip was an incredibly memorable moment. It is a trip that I will cherish and remember for a lifetime. I have always wanted to pursue some form of solo overseas travel where I could delve into a new culture as well as give back to a community less fortunate than my own. However, most companies only offered this type of experience to people who have finished high school.
Shortly after starting my search, I stumbled across the Projects Abroad website and instantly fell in love with all the projects they offered for people my age. Little did I know, that soon I would be flying over to Kathmandu to experience it for myself.
Our flights to Nepal
At the airport in Australia, I was lucky enough to meet up with two other volunteers who were going to be doing the same project as me. Having them with me was the biggest blessing as we ended up missing our connecting flight due to the plane being delayed. We had to take a detour flight with a 10-hour layover in Bangkok. The staff at Projects Abroad was amazing and supportive and we gave them regular updates of our whereabouts in the world.
Arriving in Kathmandu
I was bouncing out of my seat with excitement for my arrival in Kathmandu. With my big puffer jacket on and my luggage in my hand, the cool cold breeze of Kathmandu's winter hit me as soon as I stepped off the plane. Coming from Australia where the average temperature had been 34 degrees the week before I left, the cold was a slight shock. However, it was very easy to adapt and I couldn’t have been any happier to be in this amazing country. At the Kathmandu airport, we met our Projects Abroad supervisors and then made our way to the accommodation. When we arrived, we met up with the other volunteers. I then settled into my room which I shared with two of the other girls.
My Care Project
During my first week, we traveled to a nearby school where we painted multiple classroom walls and later added bright and colorful murals. These classrooms were for a variety of age groups so we were able to paint murals reflecting the age groups of the students using the classrooms. Myself and two other girls painted the alphabet, numbers and other picture murals in a classroom for kindergarten children. When we weren’t painting, we worked with the children at the school.
We ran activities and games with all the children which was such fun. They were always excited to see us. Meeting all these children was so heartwarming. The farewell on our final day was amazing. Some of the kids had even prepared performances for us which we absolutely adored.
Weekend and after hours’ activities
On the weekend, we took an eight-hour bus trip to the nearby city of Pokhara where we watched the sunset in the mornings, visited multiple temples and, of course, went shopping at the night markets. It was sad to leave Pokhara after the weekend, however, we were all very excited to return back to the school that we loved. Throughout the two weeks, we had multiple nights where we went out. We ate traditional Nepalese food and watched traditional Nepalese dances.
On the last day, it was very sad to leave this beautiful country and the people that we had met in Nepal. It was also extremely sad to say goodbye to the other volunteers who I got very close with over the trip. We all decided that in the future we would all come back to Kathmandu. However, we all felt so grateful that we could make an impact at this school as we could see how much our contribution meant to the amazing kids and teachers at there.
This volunteer story may include references to working in or with orphanages. Find out more about Projects Abroad's current approach to volunteering in orphanages and our focus on community-based care for children.
This is a personal account of one volunteer’s experience on the project and is a snapshot in time. Your experience may be different, as our projects are constantly adapting to local needs and building on accomplishments. Seasonal weather changes can also have a big impact. Find out more about what you can expect from this project, or speak to one of our friendly Program Advisors.