Name: Clare Schrodt

Email: clare.schrodt@slu.edu

Home Country: USA

Travel Date: Jun 11 2018

Country of Volunteer: Nepal

Project of Volunteer: Teaching Buddhist Monks(Kathmandu)

Recommend to other volunteers? : Yes

Volunteering with the monks was an incredible experience. The enthusiasm of the boys and the older monks in the monastery made teaching a worthwhile investment, and I was certainly pushed to learn and grow as a teacher and person myself. I was able to join in the monk’s daily prayers (puja) and was invited to join the most senior monk several times to eat dinner or see parts of Kathmandu. Their welcoming nature will never be forgotten.

In general, my experience with the Global Crossrod associated part of the experience was a little disorganized at times, but even when emails were not responded to, they got me to Nepal and checked up on me throughout the experience.

My host family was welcoming and had had hundreds of volunteers stay with them in the past, so they definitely knew what they were doing! My host father tried to show myself and other volunteers that I met when I moved in with him many different aspects of Kathmandu, and he introduced us to his friends to make us feel more at home.

I wish I would’ve been given more information about the program such as the ability to contact a previous volunteer of the program, knowledge that I would be teaching alone, and ways I could’ve prepared more. Pick up from the airport went smoothly, but my last day at the program, my transport never came so I did have to taxi myself to my hostel before leaving Nepal. Overall, I was so happy and blessed to be able to spend a summer teaching and learning from the monks in Kathmandu, and although there were some logistical things that didn’t always go completely smoothly, the volunteer experience as a whole was one I will never forget.

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Nepal is wonderful

Saturday afternoon here (May 19th) about 3pm and I've just left the Children's Home where I've been staying since Wednesday May 9th. It was in incredible 10 days, a "home" filled with love (along with 37 children) and it all starts from the top the woman who runs the home along with her daughter Pramila. Never before (in over 20 years of teaching) have I ever come across children so loved, so clean, so respectful, so religious and so helpful. Those are just some of the attributes I can use with the children I have been lucky enough to share a home with. Besides all the wonderful things that happen each and every day at the home, I've also been blessed with being able to teach at the Durga Bhawani Academy School , specfically with 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades. The students at the school (although older than the children at the home) were also incredible! I really enjoyed working with them and together we had a blast. I brough along with me my laptop and had premade powerpoint presentations along with video movies I made while in Tibet last fall. That blew their socks off and each day we both looked forward to school. Unfortunately, the schools went on strike afterWednesday, so we all missed out on the final two days of working with each other. Not to worry, we have exchanged email addresses and one student (a 10th grade girl) is moving to Massachusetts later in the year with her mother to join her father and brother. They will only be living minutes away from me and I look forward to seeing Dawa Sherpa again.

While at the Children's Home, I took many, many photographs and then began making a movie. It's just about completed and when I get to Tibet (with much faster Internet connection) I will upload the movie for you to see. It's really incrediblw and Prmila is really happy with it as we stayed up late last night putting the finsal touches on it and watching it over & over again :)

Nepal is wonderful:

Krazy Kathmandu Drivers - Krazy Kathmandu Wild Dogs -

Tuk Tuks - Krazy Traffic, English speaking people everywhere (that's always nice to run into), Beautiful children, fun-loving laughing adults, helpful and hopeful people all looking towards a brighter future here in Nepal.

I wish I had a month (or two) to stay in Nepal ...

I wish I could speak Nepali...

I wish I could stay...

But, Tibet awaits!

I hope Tensin is feeling better. I hope I have an opportunity to see her and I also hope she is feeling better. I am looking forward to working with Sonam at JCWSS and still have TONS of supplies (both school and play) for the kids in Lhasa . The children in Nepal , as well as their teachers, were overwhelmed by what I brought them! :)

I have met up with many volunteers...and have heard many stories.

Knowing what some have had to work through, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with Pramila and to have worked at the Durga Bhawani Academy . I really think my many years of teaching experience has come into use as many of the othewr "kids" here feel lost or afraid when they are in the classroom. Something to be said for age (and expereince) ;-)

Looking forward to Lhasa and being in Tibet ...again.

Brian

Incredible Nepal

Incredible

Airport pickup was very good and we were made to feel safe during transport to Kalanki office. Language Course was organized and structured; learning something new every day and we were able to use our free time in the afternoon to explore Kathmandu. The sight seeing day was fantastic, learning and deepening knowledge about Buddhism and Hinduism. Our group were able to make closer bonds and friendships were formed. Good group dynamics allowed the week to move at a fast pace, however, I believe if it had been a smaller class the week could have dragged due to the intensity and fast rate the Nepali language was taught.

The days spent at Sulav's house introduced Nepali cooking, farming and family life to the group. We were able to enjoy hill hiking and walks through the village and farm land; it was really nice to enjoy the fresh air and have a few days away from the hectic city life of Kathmandu. The family was very generous and kind; always willing to help us learn more about Nepali culture. Learning how to cook DALBHAT was a definite highlight, using traditional cooking methods and equipments. The cultural dance was a great way to finish the program and the children were fantastic with lots of enthusiasm about their Nepali culture.

Incredible Incredible

Chitwan National Park allowed us to relax and enjoy activities such as bathing elephant, white water rafting and taking part in the cultural dance evening. Transport to white water rafting and Alka resort were very well organized and we didn't have to worry about anything. All activities were planned and we were able to enjoy the few days spent in Chitwan, sitting back and experiencing wildlife and sports. I thought I would never have the chance to take part in.

Incredible

The base camp Everest Trek was extremely well organized. Transport to airport, guide and porters were all pre organized and we always felt safe and in very good hands. Pema was an amazing guide who made the trek extra special, always there to help and give information about the magnificent Mountain peeks. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I will probably never see views like it again. I would recommend any volunteer to take part in the Everest Base Camp Trek organized through RCP.

I would however may be create on leaflet for volunteers that outlines the prices of showers and electricity throughout the trip and food prices so a budget can be created. Ramesh's family was very welcoming and kind to us, interested about our culture and families. Our mother was always there to help and made us feel like part of the family. The DALBHAT and snacks were very tasty and it was made sure we never went to hungry during our two and half week placement.

Incredible

The kids in the orphanage were all full of youthful sprit and enjoyed learning in the morning, eager to expand their knowledge. We really enjoyed playing with the children in the afternoon and the local life was very laid back. We were very relaxed whilst in Rampur and enjoyed the daily walks to the bakery.

The picnic program was very well organized and all the children enjoyed the day out from the orphanage. We had a great day, eating dancing and playing games with the Asna orphanage family.

Thank You .

My experience in Nepal

Incredible

I was well transferred to the hostel and extremely satisfied with the first day orientation about my project, program schedule, and host family information and about the situation of Nepal . Hom is a great teacher and I learned so much Nepali as it is possible in one week. I had an excellent opportunity to be the only one student in this class, so the learning was extremely intensive.

All I can say is that the first week was great. I am satisfied with everything. Maybe there could be more sightseeing tours! I was only person at this hostel at that time, so I would like to have somebody else (I mean some other volunteers) to chat with. But instead of that I got the opportunity to sleep as much as I wanted, so it wasn't so bad. To upcoming volunteers I can only recommend to come here.

Kaia-Kaire Hunt

My experience in Nepal

Incredible

The language program was very nice. Hom was very helpful and knowledgeable. The sightseeing was very nice as well. I did benefit from the course and I know I will improve during my time here in Nepal. Thank you.

The rafting was great and food and accommodation were excellent. The cultural dance in the village was very interesting to watch and also fun to be included in. The hill hike was very nice as well. The cooking was nice but I would of preferred to make Achaar and Tarkari instead of Bhaat and Aalu.The village family was so wonderful but they tried to hard to cater to us. I wanted to feel at home like a part of their family instead of a guest they had to serve.

Trekking:
Incredible

Considering the fact I am not too sporty nor have I hiked for a long period of time before, I am impressed I made it up to ABC and as well back to Naya Pull all in one piece. The quality of food and accommodation surely helped me hike up the mountain as well as the people who were accompanying me. Even though some days were too difficult for me. The positive attitude of the guide porters etc. always made up for it.

Project Stay:

After my observation at the orphanage in Tibet it was nice chance to see that all of the children are truly loved and not just a number. The members at the orphanage in Nepal Nanda, Bibechana, Ghaman and especially Bikas work hard to make it feel like a family for the children. I also loved that we were welcomed as part of their family, not just guest. I am very grateful I was placed here, Bikash's unselfish love, determination, and dedication towards caring for this family has been an inspiration. I would also come back to Nepal to specially visit Meg's Children Home again, and someday I plan to.

Cara Janelle Wasielewski

Incredible

My stay in my volunteering program was successful. The staffs from Nepal partner visited in every two weeks interval. I really enjoyed getting to know the monks, as they are all very fun to be around. All of them were very generous with their time and helped me learn more about Buddhism and Tibet. I would suggest they bring a few teaching supple for beginner and intermediate English speaker to help with classes.

Ashley Moore

Incredible

My arrival in Nepal was pretty nice. It was nice to see a person at the airport. Next days orientation was very satisfied. An experience has been very rewarding, although I always struggle with the language. Hom used several ways to interest and teach me. The sightseeing tour was good although I would have liked to know about particular temples. Food has been excellent although the washing facilities and toilets could be cleaner as it is common for volunteers to become ill. This would help a lot and make them feel better.

Some Suggestions:

Volunteers should all arrive on same day to stop them feeling isolated.

Would be good if volunteers could be informed more about particular placement.

Would be good if all volunteers could meet who are working in the same area so they can do other activities etc on time off.

Language phrase book is very good and helpful.

Volunteers were given local map of area at orientation, they could explore and get to know whereabouts quicker.

Jennifer Louise Robertson

Incredible Incredible

Name:Stuart Cameroh Rudolph

  • Airport Pick up: Yes
  • Orientation about project, Schedule, host family, situation of Nepal : Extremely Satisfied
  • Performance of Language Teacher: Extremely Good
  • Ability and Helpfulness of staff: Sufficiently enough
  • Room and food arrangement of first week: Extremely good
  • Travel activities of first week program: Very Good and organized
  • Over all performance of our Nepal partner for First week: Excellent
  • First week language program: Excellent
Comments:

The first week language program was great. I learned a lot about Nepal and as much as person can learn the language in a week. Hom was a great instructor and took his job seriously. It was always fun, we learned about as much as we could in a week. Good job Hom. My overall experience in Nepal has been great so far RCDP - Nepal is always there to feed me and answer my questions. It is a great organization.

Second Week Evaluation:

/Village Stay:

The food at the village was as great as Daal Bhaat can be. Accommodation was great; the family was extremely nice and always wanting to help. The Nepali dances by the women were exciting and entertaining.

Chitwan Program:

Food at Chitwan was not bad, better than Daal Bhaat. Help was also great and the guides knew the stuff. Half the programs were cancelled but we did other stuff instead no complains.

Project time feedback:

Work in the project is so rewarding. It benefits so many people and is also very educational. The working conditions are easy and very friendly. The TUK-TUK rides from Narayangarh to Rampur were very exciting. We always tried to do something new. The village was nice and full of great people.

Safety Concern:

I had no concern with the Maoists being a problem and now that I have learned about their intentions, have no worries about them. They are for the people and rural Nepal .

I haven't met any Maoists, only heard about them. Nepal is extremely safe, very friendlier than Europe . Nepal is very safe, if you're worried about it doesn't come. Nepal is the best place ever.

For upcoming volunteers: Rent a motorcycle to explore, do it on your own though. Bring a mosquito net and don't drink the water outside. Just relax and have the time of your life with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.

Name: Joseph London

  • Airport Pick up: Yes
  • Orientation about project, Schedule, host family, situation of Nepal : Satisfied
  • Performance of Language Teacher: Extremely Good
  • Ability and Helpfulness of staff: enough
  • Room and food arrangement of first week: Extremely good
  • Travel activities of first week program: Very Good and organized
  • Over all performance of our Nepal partner for First week: Good
  • First week language program: Excellent
Comments:

The first week was great. Hom was a great teacher and he was good. The only problem I had with class is when I got sick. I missed an important day that was hard to catch up. I feel like we coursed so much in our language class. It definitely was a cram session. It is hard for me to remember now but it will be very useful in the villages. I really enjoyed sight seeing and it was great to have a guide. I really enjoyed the first week and am excited to move on to the second.

Village Stay:

The village stay was great and our host family was kind and friendly. The food was great; I like Daal Bhaat more and more every time I had it. Hom made sure we had plenty of water. Our hike up the hills was great and the view was amazing. The cultural program was fun and cool to watch.

Chitwan Program:

The hotel here is great. In comparison to Lamatar the beds are nice and big and comfortable. It is nice to leave a real bathroom again. We killed our goat and they prepared for us. The program here was great and elephant riding was my favorite.

Project time feedback:

All the staffs were nice, friendly and very helpful. Spending time with the kids was by far the most rewarding experience. I have had in Nepal and may be my life. I felt a real connection with all of them and I hope I made as much a difference in their lives as they have in mine. My only advice is to show up with a positive attitude. Remember that working is different in Nepal in comparison ton where you are from.

Safety Concern:

All safety issues were great. I never felt unsafe once through the entire trek. There were no Maoist and if there had been it would be a story to tell.

Name: Erik Jon Jacobsen

  • 1-Airport Pick up: Yes
  • 2-Orientation about project, Schedule, host family, situation of Nepal : Extremely Satisfied
  • Performance of Language Teacher: Extremely Good
  • Ability and Helpfulness of staff: Sufficiently Enough
  • Room and food arrangement of first week: Very good
  • Travel activities of first week program: Extremely Good and organized
  • Over all performance of our Nepal partner for First week: Very Good
  • First week language program: Excellent

Comments:First week was amazing. We learned so much from such an experienced teacher. I recommend Hom for teacher of the year. He helped us to learn so much.

Village Stay:The village was a great cultural emersion program. The family was wonderful and I wish them the best of luck. Trek to the hotel at the top of the mountain and one through the rice paddies was awesome. Food was delicious and the room we stayed in was nice

Chitwan Program:Food was good until we killed the goat. The elephant ride and jeep safari were cool. Sleeping situations have been the best so far, soft beds.

Project time feedback:Working conditions were fine. If rained a lot so be prepared for delays. It was great to spend time with the orphanage children.

Safety Concern:As far as the bus goes, who knows the bus drivers are trained professionals but a little scary when it comes to the multiples potholes, and main holes that scour the roads. The trek was amazing. We were able to see true natural beauty.

Name: Andrew Lawrence

  • Airport Pick up: Yes
  • Orientation about project, Schedule, host family, situation of Nepal : Extremely Satisfied
  • Performance of Language Teacher: Extremely Good
  • Ability and Helpfulness of staff: Enough
  • Room and food arrangement of first week: Very good
  • Travel activities of first week program: Extremely Good and organized
  • Over all performance of our Nepal partner for First week: Excellent
  • First week language program: Excellent

Comments:Hom is awesome language teacher. One week is a bit too short for someone to pick up the entire Nepalese language, but Hom did a great job teaching us the necessities. Language course is great; I learned a maximum amount of information in one week. I don't think it's possible to learn more in the short time. I would have liked to see a few more temples but the sightseeing was good. The food was awesome, never bad meal. Future volunteers should be weary of street salesman; they all have goods to sell.

Village Stay:The food was great. I loved Daal Bhaat. All of the host family members were great and helped us with whatever we needed. The cultural dance program was a fun experience; it definitely made us feels welcome.

Chitwan Program:The food was all right, I didn't like the spaghetti. Everything else was great. Help was good but the hotel manager screwed us on motorcycle rentals but whatever it has still been great. The elephant ride was sweet. I have never done anything like it. The safari was pretty cool but could have been better with more settings. All in all a great time!

Project time feedback:We could have gotten more construction finished if the site was managed more efficiently. I was able to help those less fortunate than I by help building an orphanage. Not only that, I was also allowed to play with the orphans and influence them positively. Work as last as you can and try and get everyone else to work at the same place. The working conditions were fine, slightly primitive but very ingenuities.

Safety Concern:Civil war of sorts, take political coup. Maoists are gunning down political officials and military personnel. Nepal is safe; for those with common sense. If you need someone to watch over you at all times then don't come.

Adam Forbe – Nepal

Over the past few weeks we have started numerous new projects in Rampur. As tree planting season is over there was little work to be done in Nursery. I saw a need for change and insisted we start new projects which directly benefit the community. The projects include plastic collection and recycling, bush and flower planting in roadsides, Chowk and houses, garden building and maintenance, farmer support and teaching environmental awareness at local schools. So far the projects have gone extremely well and really been appreciated by the villagers here. Already we have cleaned many of the roadways here and sorted much plastic to be recycled. The villagers are shod red yet happy to see foreigner collecting their trash. Along the way we talk to many of them about the negatives of plastic and litter . They really seem to be interested and happy about what we are doing. Once we have cleaned a sheet or chowk we plant bushes there the storeowners and villagers love them. It is a great feeling to walk down a street here and see how clean it is. Soon we need to put in drums so the people have an obvious place to collect the plastic. We have also helped planting and maintaining a garden at the Monastery here and Local School (Dhaddaghari School) It is hard work but in both times the villagers and students were so happy and full of pride. The gardens look great, help the environment, teach students about plants, and we fun to make. The nursery just needs more flowers.

The farm support was the most directly beneficial to the villagers here. The farmers appreciate our seedlings but sometimes they really need more help. By helping to plant corn and radishes. We helped save farmers much time and money. They were so happy and thankful in the end. I hope to do some more help in the next few weeks. Lastly, We have taught twice in local schools and it has gone great! Topics covered include plastic, litter problem, air pollution, acid rain and much more. The kids have fun, love meeting us, and work hard to think up environmental solutions. Lila is great at translating. Education is so important for conservation work. I am sure in the future more volunteers will come who are interested in teaching. Our projects have all helped the community and cheered up many villagers. I hope they are continued in the future.

Adam Forbes, Chitwan, Nepal

Carla Vieira – Nepal

Incredible

Carla joining religious ceremonies in Nepal

I am staying in the guest house of Global Crossroads where I am fully taken care of. All staff members are real professionals having already studied and worked abroad; they really understand your concerns and wishes and are truly committed to helping you making the best out of your time here. Having specialized in microfinance I requested a placement in a microfinance project. The placement has fully met my expectations. The project participants are enthusiastic about learning and within just two weeks we have proceeded to the setting up of the project group's own business. My personal project facilitator, Krishna, is an excellent professional and helps me in every possible way to make the project a real success. Rajan, the program co-ordinator, is very supportive and understanding and helps you getting around the place and defies the many challenges you encounter in daily life in Nepal. I am having a very good time here and I am looking forward to coming back one day.

Carla Vieira, Switzerland

Ahram Choi

Incredible

It's been a wonderful experience for me. I will never forget how generous and warm Nepalese people are. I have been working at the monastery called Nechholing in Bramhapur village. I enjoyed the painting work there a lot. The village people, especially my host family, treated me so sincerely that I felt like I was with my family. Rafting and the trip to Chitwan National Park were also very nice, to enjoy the great nature of Nepal. I appreciate the office people and the guide who helped us by organizing all the programs.

Safety Concerns:

I was worried about the safety in Nepal before I came, but the Maoist problem was not as serious as I had thought. We volunteers had to stay home or at the hotel after dark at the village. Except for that, there was no problem for us traveling in Nepal. I traveled from Kathmandu to Chitwan and back to Kathmandu, yet I haven't had any problems due to the Maoists. I want to suggest that future volunteers don't have to worry about coming as long as they keep the rules and behave well in Nepal.

Carla Vieira, Switzerland

Cheryl Birt

Incredible

I had a lovely time with my host family. They really worked hard to make me feel welcomed. Westerners are used to having space between people, but Nepalese people are very friendly, touching each other. I really enjoyed the painting and other work. I had a wonderful time in the village and plan to return to Nepal.

Safety Concerns:

The Maoists have not been a problem, more of an inconvenience. While in Rampur, I was not able to take an early evening walk and had to be in the house by dark.

Clara Glass(Mini-Adventure, group of 4 volunteers)

Before Trekking

We all very much enjoyed working in the orphanage and feel we have already had an amazing experience. Everyone in the orphanage was very friendly and always willing to help. Accommodation so far has been great and we are all very much looking forward to visiting Pokhara and starting our trek.

Trekking Feedback

I really enjoyed the trekking once we got started. The guide and the porters were excellent and I always felt safe in their experienced company. I think the trek we did was very appropriate for our standards and even though we didn't go amazingly high, I still have a strong sense of achievement now that we have finished.

Thank you very much for an excellent experience.

Gerbug Kamm

First Week & Second Week

I didn't did the first week & second week programme

Mid Term

My family is very friendly, caring and helpful. It's just that the water situation is difficult for a Westerner to understand. Explain to people before that there may not be running water everywhere and all the time.

When I arrived on my work place they did not seem to be very informed about my coming. They were having exams for one week, which means; no lessons. I'm starting to work tomorrow (4 Aug 2004). The organization should find out about schedules before hand and plan accordingly.

Final Evaluation

My students were very grateful and affectionate all the time; they worked with enthusiasm and discipline. The same can be said about the monks who gave me their support and accepted me completely. Also my host families did everything possible to make me feel at home.

The project needs better pre-planning and precise programming to make better use of the teacher's time. There has to be better coordination between the organizers, the school and the host family. Volunteers should be informed about the water situation in Kathmandu, so that they bring appropriate clothes and prepare themselves in many other ways.

Political Situation

I've been living here for a week; in the city there don't seem to be any direct problems from the Maoists. I didn't know much about the Maoists. I'm not concerned in Kathmandu but I would be in a remote village. There are newspaper articles about killings every day. Very worrying also their use of land mines. I think Kathmdnu valley is safe; I haven't been outside the city so far. From what people tell me, the Maoists don't attack international tourists. Give detailed information to people before they decide where to go and what to do.

Hannah

My name is Hannah and I have traveled from England where I was under the impression that the Maoist activity presented a very real and dangerous situation for me. However on my arrival, the real situation that has unfolded is hardly what I had imagined. The national Bandas are disruptive and it is necessary to re-organize itineraries, but there has never been a dangerous situation for me. The Maoist trouble has never affected me directly, only through the strikes. I have never been in direct contact with the Maoists and I have not at any point felt threatened personally. The current political situation seems to be more animated than reality shows.

Hannah. (Teaching)

Jennifer Abel (Internship Program-Nepal)

Incredible

Coming to Nepal was the best decision I have been ever made. The mix of language and village culture during the first two weeks helped me adapt to Nepal food, lifestyles, and even schedules. The amazing things about Global Crossroad's partners are that I get to share these initial experiences with other volunteers from all over the world. The week long Rampur portion of my internship was amazingly helpful and personally special. The host families in that village deserve many thanks. During the summer months, May – August, perhaps you should plan an overnight trip other than Nagarkot, because the sunrise and sunset are often blocked with bad weather. Bistachap is a great experience as well. I wish I had been able to communicate via e-mail with my internship professor before I arrived. Diwash (my supervisor) is very intelligent and was very helpful for me.

Jeff (Teaching)

I have been in Nepal now for approximately 2 months and started volunteering with Global Crossroad's partner. I have yet to encounter these so-called "Maoists". My friend and I have been from the Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas to Chitwan National Park in the low Terai region and everywhere in between. From news reports on T.V. to daily newspapers to other westerners' opinions, they all proclaim that not a single tourist has been killed or even harmed in any significant way in the last decade or more.

From the outside looking in, it can be very easy to conclude that Nepal is a very hostile, unpredictable and dangerous place. Well it can be. However, listening to the right people and making smart decisions, it is very easy not to come in contact with Maoists or any violence what so ever.

The only real "targets" the Maoists have are the Nepali Army and Police forces. Deaths among these three groups, from what is shown in the news, do happen quite regularly. Most people who I have talked to say the Maoists lead an isolated, nomadic life in the hills and jungles in relatively low populated areas, mainly outside the Katmandu Valley. They use surprise, ambush attack methods and then scatter as quickly as possible before anyone has known what has happened.

Most of the resistance between the Nepali Government, or what's left of it, and the Maoists stems from the fact that they (the Maoists) want a Communist-led government and currently and most likely for years to come, the Nepali government is Democratic. Hence a large problem has ensued.

Many actions carried out by this Communist group, seem to feel very intangible by the average tourist. One thing however, that affects us and the rest of the Nepali citizens – when the Maoists proclaim a "Banda" or general strike, everything stops. They pretty much freeze all activities in either a specific location or the entire country. To me this seems that the Maoists control the country and no group is willing or able to stop them. The word "hostage" sure comes to mind when I think about and live through these Banda protests. To sum things up, to westerners or tourists alike, you SHOULD NOT fear for your life if by coming to volunteer in Nepal by some chance you happen to run into a Maoist. From what I have heard they simply ask for a bit of money and let you go on your way.

Katharine Anne Murtagh

First Week

I would have liked to know more about my placement and have someone talk to me individually about this. I have really enjoyed learning Nepali although at times I found it difficult. I hope I will become better with practice.I have enjoyed sight seeing in Kathmandu. Food and accommodation were very good.

Second Week

I thought the village stay was ok, but I would have perhaps liked a little more contact with the villagers- perhaps staying in a host family in pairs rather than all in one room.

The rafting was excellent and I really loved Chitwan. The food and accommodation at the hotel were excellent.

The staffs at Global Crossroad were very helpful.

Mid Term

I have really enjoyed my stay here. At times it has been difficult and very challenging but I am pleased I took a harder, more rural placement as I feel I have experienced more about the Nepali culture. An easier city placement could not have tested me, nor would it have brought such reward.

In my host mother has been particularly helpful and I have really enjoyed spending time with the children.

I advise upcoming volunteers to bring with them things use e.g. Coloring pencils, toys etc. they are in desperate need.

The village stay was very nice. The family was really friendly and inviting. Rafting was fun! Good guide & lunch. Accommodation in Chitwan was nice but would rather stay a family practice Nepali. Food was ok. Overall 2nd week programme was fun.

Trekking Feedback

I really enjoyed trekking. Pema was an excellent guide, very helpful. It was a shame that the weather was not better, perhaps it would here been better to go at the end of my stay in Nepal rather than at the beginning.

Language class was ok, village stay was fine and I really enjoyed the Chitwan National Park.

I thought the trekking was for seven days but it was only for five. It would have been better to know this.

Final Evaluation

The most rewarding thing was working with the children at the orphanage. It was difficult to adjust to a new culture and living there at first. I had previously experienced. However, the opportunity to work with these children who are in need of care and attention was amazing. It was difficult to love them at the end as I had become attached to them and the place I was living. I think Global Crossroad did its best to care me from beginning to the end of project I really enjoy my stay.

Katherine Kim

My most rewarding experience while volunteering with Global Crossroad in Nepal was the time I spent working with the lama family in Rampur, Chitwan. Although it was unbearably hot at times, knowing that our hard work would allow these wonderful families to celebrate Buddha and his teachings in a newly renovated monastery was more than enough reward.

The families in this village welcomed us with open arms and hearts; even without language to communicate, we found a way to share with each other. They fed us ever too much food, cared for us when we were not feeling well, shared music and dance, laughed at us and with us and cried with us when it was time to say "GOODBYE". My only constructive criticism for this project (and perhaps other "short programs") was that it would have been really nice to have spent just a couple of hours learning a few greetings/basic phrases of Nepali before our home stay - simple things like thank you, good night, good morning, I am full, I ate well, this is delicious/good, I am tired, I feel sick, water!!! I realize proficiency can not be achieved in such time, but some words would help. I'm sure the host families would appreciate it as well.

Kathryn Ica Schaffer

volunteer experiences

The first week was very good. We got a great teacher & very patient with us. Food is very good. The bathrooms are not very clean. The sightseeing was ok but our guide was very hard to understand. The staff is very friendly and helpful.

Second Week

The second week program was good. There is a little too much sitting around time. I was very frustrated that no one knew where my placement was the night before they were supposed to drop me off.

Kimberly Shelby (Internship Program-Nepal)

volunteer experiences

My stay with the K.C. family has been the highlight of my visit to Nepal. From my first day at the house, they welcomed me as a member of the family instead of just a guest. By living with such wonderful people, I have been able to experience Nepal and its culture in a way that is different from any of the other visits I have made here. What strikes me most about the family, however, is how warm and caring they are. As I stated before, I really feel as though I am a member of the family. I will be leaving Nepal in a few days, and I know that saying goodbye will be very difficult - and yet I know that I will be back soon, because they are now my family. Any future intern or volunteer would be very fortunate to be able to live in the K.C. household.

Kim Leong

volunteer experiences

The cultural renovation program I participated in was amazing. It was more than what I expected. When we started with a rafting trip I was excited to see what else was in store. Once we arrived at the village we were greeted with immense warmth. I felt so welcomed. The local people really accepted us into their homes and village.

The cultural night was an unforgettable night. The people treated us like gods – eating their finest food and singing & dancing to Nepalese music. The host family I stayed with was amazing. I only wish I could have stayed longer to get to know the family better. Working in the Village was quite the experience. Aside from working in the humid heat, it felt great to make a small contribution to their community. Overall it was a fun and great experience I will never forget.

h5p class="orng_color">Safety Concerns:

I had the impression before I came that the Maoists did not bother tourists so I was not too concerned about them by traveling to Nepal. I've been in Nepal for 2 weeks so far and I've had no problem. I find this place safe so I don't think future volunteers would have any worries.

Mellisa Kolnik Szymczak

volunteer experiences

This is Mellisa from Nepal. I am happy with Global Crossroad Program. First I was a bit sad as the school was closed but I was managed in government school to teach class ten students. I am happy and guess that they have learnt at least something from me at the ultimate time of SCL exam. The students are curious and want to learn many things but I am unable to teach them as the SLC is started. I am also helping orphanage children in the morning and in the evening. During day I go to teach in school. I felt better to teach government children than private as they are from poor background. Last day of my government school was exciting as I taught them playing game and Rajan was very happy to see it and the students gave me many gifts for my birthday. I am good here.

Mary Alida Coughlin

volunteer experiences
First Week

Over all programs is wonderful. It would be better if food condition is a little improved.

Second Week

Village stay & Chitwan program was great and successful. There are no problems about Maoist.

Trekking Feedback

I loved doing the trekking with our wonderful Sherpa guides. They wanted us to see as much of the Annapurna Mountain, as possible and I am grateful for that. It would have been disappointing to teak for so long without seeing way of the great peaks.

Our guides were so thoughtful, helpful and friendly. Pemba took after time and care of me because I'm elder.

I feel that I have seen the real Nepal because the trekking brought us into the breath love of this beautiful country.

Thank you dear Sherpa brothers for sharing your heart and your story with me. I will bring back loving memories to America when I leave Nepal.

Nynke Vander Veldt (Sita)

volunteer experiences

My orphanage stay was great. The staff members are so friendly and they really care about the children. They really like their work and that made me happy. They gave me such a great time in Nepal. The children are just the best. They are so happy, thankful and enthusiastic. I have only positive things to say about the orphanage and Nepal. I stayed in the room near the orphanage that they rented for me. I liked it very much; it was really private.

The children deserve the best. Rajan (Nepal staff of Global Crossroad) is very co-operative; he helped me a lot to change the place where I am now. I enjoyed the program very much. I appreciate that all the Nepali people are really concerned for our well being.

Rachel Smith (Mini-Adventure)

Although our working project only lasted a week, it was great that it allowed us to get a real feel for Nepalese culture. We were able to meet such interesting people, enjoyed simple local food, and stayed in completely non-western surroundings. We were given a great amount of freedom, which allowed us to explore local areas from 10-4 each day.

Sally Heane

The program is very nice. The Pokhara Child Welfare Centre was a wonderful placement. I recommend only this place if future coming volunteers ask me. Food and accommodation at the host family was very satisfactory. I also recommend Pokhara as a cheaper, safer, cleaner place with wonderful views close to trekking, etc. There is no safety concern if volunteers take the advice of local people and do not listen to the gossip of other tourists. The Global Crossroad staff is very frank and co-operative. Overall, I liked it very much.

Stijn

My internship is going well. The staff members are so friendly. I am doing my internship researching for my thesis and working with the website. I enjoyed Nepal a lot. I enjoyed the program very much.

Stijn (Internship Program-Nepal)

Than Ron

volunteer experiences

My name is Than Ron and I have traveled from france with my friend Mangnus Dovina where I was under the impression that the Maoist activity presented a very real and dangerous situation for me. However on my arrival, the real situation that has unfolded is hardly what I had imagined. The national Bandas are disruptive and it is necessary to re-organize itineraries, but there has never been a dangerous situation for me. The Maoist trouble has never affected me directly, only through the strikes. I have never been in direct contact with the Maoists and I have not at any point felt threatened personally. The current political situation seems to be more animated than reality shows.

Stijn

My internship is going well. The staff members are so friendly. I am doing my internship researching for my thesis and working with the website. I enjoyed Nepal a lot. I enjoyed the program very much.

Stijn (Internship Program-Nepal)

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