Annie Merkley

Name : Annie Merkley
Gender: Female
Country: Spain
Program: Women Empowerment and teaching English

1. What did your average day look like?
My average day here was very varied I arrived during festival, so many of the schools were on break. This however gave me ample time to get lesson plans organized for the monastery students. I would come to breakfast at Durga’s around 9am, work on lesson planning or go sightseeing, come back for lunch around 12-12:30 and then go teach the student monks from 1:00-3:00. Dinner was at 7:00 and then free time after. Once the hindu schools were back in session I also tough women English in the library at the volunteer house from 4:30pm-5:30pm and visited/ gave presentations to students at a private school during the morning.

2. Other things I did on my placement.
During my placement I was fortunate enough to go with Durga at to the farm in Chitwan. I also made a point to chat with the women of Raniban, it was wonderful to get to know the people of the neighborhood and share in a bit of cultural exchange, and I played banjo and song for my student.

3. What are some of the issues or challenges you faced?
Lesson planning, the students at the school are at a higher level English than anticipated, and the women are at a basic level.

4. Advice to next volunteer going to your placement?
For the student monks, plan a game for them to get them up and of their seats and keep them interested. I would do half reading, writing, comprehension and half learning games. For the women, gear the classed towards their interests. Get them talking about their family, themselves, and their daily life.

5. Would you volunteer at this placement again?
Yes! I love it here. Sad to say goodbye to my student.

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

7. Suggestion or problem?
Before volunteers arrive, recommend that they bring whatever school suppliers they can! I wish I would have thought to bring some books/ coloring books/ English learning books with me.

8. Please write a Journal-type entry of your whole experience now. It will be better roughly one full page.
During my two week stay with Future Nepal I have gotten to know intimately a little pocket of Kathmandu and have absolutely loved working with my students. I am so terribly sad to say goodbye to the student monks and women that I worked with. Teaching English is such an incredible platform to really teach issues that matter to me and fan topics as well.
Durga and her family welcomed me in to their home like a member of their family. We shared food and laughter, and I even got a super informative lesson as Nepali history from Divas. Staying here in Raniban has helped me to see past the tourist viel, really sink my heals in and see what life is like in this gorgeous corner of the world. And during my time here I’ ve realized how much I enjoy being in classrooms and teaching, I think I’ve found my next life’s calling!