Volunteer Nepal: Till now everything went smooth and as I expected. This is life-changing experience for me. I got opportunity to explore my own self. I came to know that love, happiness; smile and help are away from nationality, culture, skin color or language.
1.- Hi Tell us about you:
- Full name (first and last): Dr. Chaitali Minama, Age: 28
- What do you do (study or work, where): MHA Student in TWU (USA)
- Where are you from (city and country): Houston / Texas
1.1.- Why did you choose to volunteer in Nepal Kathmandu, what program(s) are you doing and why?
- Why Nepal: I am Indian Origin. As of my culture it is always good to serve neighbours. Nepal is neighbour country to India. Culture and system are same so wanted to serve neighbours.
- What program: Dental Volunteering Program.
- Why this program: As a profession, I am (Indian) Dentist. I am trying to obtain DDS certification in states and serving under serve country give big opportunities to polish the skills.
2. What was the most surprising thing you experienced while in the program?
- Program: I did not find anything surprising because I was well prepared for the culture and was aware about the dental health.
- Host Family: They are very helpful, homely feeling. They try their best to help and provide enough information.
- Country: Beautiful country, lots of things to explore. Friendly people and lots to learn from the culture.
3. What was the most difficult thing you experienced while in the program?
- Program: I found all pretty much smooth, flexible and adaptable.
- Host Family: Getting hot water in such cold weather (December).
- Country: Transportation due to roads are under construction.
4. Any tips for future volunteers….
- Clothing: In December or January please bring warm cloths, better boots, and extra pair of blankets. Read about the weather before coming.
- Sightseeing: Nepal is very beautiful country, full of nature. Must go to Boudha Stupa, Pashupatinath temple and Monkey temple (Swayambhunath temple).
- Donations: I made donation like picture books for library and few tooth brush & paste for kids.
- Laundry/internet: 24*7 Internet and also facility to send laundry
5. Other things volunteers should know about:
- City/town: Roads and Map. 90 % people understand Hindi, 70% young generation speaks English. People are helpful around.
- Weather: Too cold day in December. Morning and late evenings are more colder than afternoon. Chances of getting Flu, cold and sore throat is very common. Stomach upset is second most common illness happens.
- Local People: They are friendly and helpful. Try to talk in Hindi or English. Try to avoid late night travel.
- Tours: I have not done any but heard there are many options available for tours like Chitwan , Pokhara etc
6. Personal paragraph (volunteer program testimonial), detail as possible:
Till now everything went smooth and as I expected. This is life-changing experience for me. I got opportunity to explore my own self. I came to know that love, happiness; smile and help are away from nationality, culture, skin color or language. Love and help do not need communication. I am too much satisfied with my work at dental clinic. Serving local people as Doctor and spreading smile made my days. People here are open and happy to greet you. They are kind hearted and helpful. This experiences a lifelong mark in my life story.
7. How would you describe your:
- Accommodation: Great, clean, spacious, comfortable, safe, easily accessible for transportation with enough amenities and facilities.
- Meals (favorite): Good food, traditional, definitely hygienic enough to make you feel full, homely felling.
- Security: The accommodation is in good neighborhood. Host family make sure you arrived, try to reach you if you not around. They are responsible as family.
- Host family: Kind hearted, always smiling face, warm welcoming people with cultural support and open-minded. Mrs. Sarita is very caring and friendly. The host father is really helpful and informative. They try to make your stay memorable and comfortable. I never had any issue.
8. What was your memory of this trip?
- Program: Friendly dental staff and co-dentists. Lots of OPD, many extractions, RCT, scaling, filling, pulpectomy, surgical extraction, CPD, RPD, Crowns and Apecectomy.
- Host Family: Food and their four-year toddler. Their smiley faces and fresh back home food.
- Country: Nature, beauty, roads, fruits, Momos, chicken chowmine, Temples, buses. Orphan house at Jorpati, Rudraksha etc.
9. How was the local ABV Coordinator, the staff and the support provided in-country? Be as detailed as possible.
- Airport: the coordinator was in contact with me through messages before I arrived. I found in just at the gate of airport with A Broader View board and my name printed on it. It was very easy to find him in crowds.
- Orientation day: It was very detailed and informative. As he explained with map, power point it was very helpful. The culture, weather, local area, work place everything is covered. Demo till the volunteering site is too much helping.
- Daily Support: They are always in contact through messages. They make sure you are around and safe. They go extra mile to help you and fulfill our needs.
10. How was the information you received from ABV prior to traveling?
Everything was enough and helpful. Just more about the weather updates and precaution measures for dust & pollution in Kathmandu. Do your own search about the country, weather, keywords and phrases to learn.
11. Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers about your volunteer experience?