+977-9851088020, 9849056230 Thamel, Kathmandu Nepal Post Box No: 13481 Email: contact@futurenepal.org

Name : Anna, Carlota, Clara, and Ariadna (Spain)
Sex: Female
Program: Teaching in Monastery

1. What did your average day look like?
We woke up at 6:45am, had breakfast at 7am and went to Zumba lessons at 7:30. After the lessons we taught English at women’s concern, the class used to start at 9am until 10 am. Then we had free time until 13:00pm that we went to Himalaya Deep Jyoti boarding school, we went to monastery and we taught to the little monks from 16:00pm to 17:00pm. Friday’s we had the day off in the monastery and Saturdays also at school so we went to do sightseeing.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
We went to the monkey temple, Bouddanath, Bhaktapur, statue of Shiva, Thamel…(sightseeing and hiking)

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
The language barrier was challenging, sometimes it was hard to communicate with the teachers and the kids and also getting used to the traffic as well as the pollution.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Prepare the lessons because children really appreciate the effort and you will feel more secure while doing the class. Try really hard to fit in as soon as possible so that the culture shock is not too over whelming
.
5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
Definitely

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
Definitely

7. Suggestion or problem?
To have more information about the program before the placement even though once there you are really helpful.

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
For the three firsts days we stayed at hotel lily and in the morning we had Nepali lessons with Durga and in the afternoon we did sightseeing. The first week we did the monastery program and we stayed at Durga’s with two other volunteers from Israel and other from Sweden. The second week we went to another placement, an orphanage NCHPS, we had a really good time there but the living conditions were harder. For our last week we came back to Durga’s and taught again at the school, monastery and the women’s concern center.

Name: Linnea Petersson (Swedish)
Sex: Female
Program: Teaching English in School

1. What did your average day look like?
I got up at 6:30 went to Zumba class at 7:30 after breakfast. Then at 9 I had English class with the women. After that I went to school to have English or some other subject with the children. I usually come back around 13 and then had lunch. On the afternoons I prepared for the next day and just do whatever I felt like, just chilling or going sightseeing.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
I went to the KAT Center in Kathmandu where the rescue stray dogs. It was very interesting to see their job and what they do for the animals.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Getting used to not having electricity at different times, especially if my phone was out of battery should have brought a flash light.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Bring flashlight! And books if you are alone.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
It’s possible but there are still many other countries I want to go to, but I recommend it.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
Yes.

7. Suggestion or problem?
Maybe the possibility to work on a public school is the children are in more need of help with English. I liked the school and the children very much but they were already very good with the language and they had help from the teachers at all time.

Name: Christina Manriquit (US)
Sex: Female
Program: Teaching English in School and Monastery.

1. What did your average day look like?
Class with little monks(grade 1) or tutor older monk from 8-9am. Substitute for science teacher at Himalayan Deep School 9:45 – 11:55am (grades 6 7 and 8). Class with older child monks(level 4) 4-5pm. Dinner at 7pm, lunch at 12pm, breakfast at 7am. Bed time at 9pm. Sunday – Thursday I volunteered. No afternoon class at monastery on Fridays.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
Hike to White Gumba, but closed for 1 year for earthquake repairs. On Fridays and Saturdays, I went sightseeing in Kathmandu, Thamel.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
There were bugs in the apartment- cockroaches in my room. I had to buy bug spray. The bathroom was not as clean as I would have liked. Electricity + Internet outages were challenging because I used the internet and printer to prepare my lessons. There was little to no instruction by staff at school or monastery what to teach and what the children already knew and needed to learn. But overall it was a good learning experience in how to be flexible and creative.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
Be flexible – rigid lesson plans don’t work. Make teaching as fun as possible- just as much play as learning.
Little monks love to draw and play with little cards. Lessons incorporating these activities were very popular.
Children are very wild and unruly at first but they settle down once they get to know the volunteer more and you make the lessons fun and engaging.
Don’t be afraid to be very creative in your lesson plans or to take risk! (safe risks of course…)

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
I would like to volunteer at another Bhuddhist monastery possibly but live there instead of living outside the monastery.

6. Would you volunteer at this organization again?
Yes- Durga and her family are very nice, friendly, helpful, and reliable and they genuinely care for their volunteers and the Nepal is who benefit for the programs.

7. Suggestion or problem?
Ask volunteers to keep a reward of the lessons they taught and the materials they used. This will be helpful for next volunteer and the children too. Make a bathroom cleaning schedule.

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of you experience now. This will be for our monthly newsletter & also for our future Volunteers. It will be better roughly one full page.
I arrived at airport al 4am May 7. Durga arrived with a taxi to pick me up. I stayed at Hotel Lily for next 3 nights. There were 3 days of Nepali Language classes taught by Durga for 2-3 hours each day. The lessons were just the right amount of basic information to get around Nepali. There was sightseeing in the afternoon after classes with Divya, Durga’s daughter for 2 hours. We went to Monkey Temple, Bouddhanath, and Durbar Square. I went trekking for 2 weeks and did a meditation retreat, then came to stay at Durga’s apartment in Raniban, Kathmandu. The monastery and school where I taught were a 10 minute walk from Durga’s house. I ate all my meals at Durga’s because she is a great cook! Dinner time her two children were there too. Weekends(Friday and Saturday), I would take the microbus or taxi to Thamel and other parts of Kathmandu. Two Spanish volunteers arrived my last week and we went hiking in the nearby forest twice. Days were relaxed and there was plenty of time to prepare for lessons. I stopped going to teach at the Himalayan School because they had exams and there was no class. The last night the volunteers and Durga and her children went out to eat at restaurant nearby. It was very good.
Overall, had a lovely experience Durga and her family are very kind people. They are welcoming to foreigner and accommodating to their different needs and cultures. I really enjoyed talking to them and getting to know them.