Volunteer in Nepal We started by moving dirt as part of raising the level of the yard around the library. We then scoped the brick fences in the library yard and along the access part to the street. We scrubbed, cleaned and primed galvanized panels to go on top at the brick fences (Added security).
Volunteer in Nepal
1.- Hi Tell us about you:
- Full name (first and last): Vincent Casalaina, Age: 71
- What do you do (study or work, where): Retired from video production
- Where are you from (city and country): Berkeley, CA
1.1. – Why did you choose to volunteer in Nepal Kathmandu, what program(s) are you doing and why?
- Why Nepal: The person I race sailboats with her trek in Nepal and told me about how beautiful that is. I wanted to go there.
- What program: We researched volunteer program and ABV was highly recommended by many people.
- Why this program: We wanted to do community development.
2. What was the most surprising thing you experienced while in the program?
- Program: Learning to work within the tools available. In the US construction techniques are hugely different and I had not realised the vast gulf.
- Host Family: They gave us a great height into the culture of Nepal.
- Country: This was my first trip to a third world country. I was not prepared for the differences but learned a lot.
3. What was the most difficult thing you experienced while in the program?
- Program: Project management work had delayed construction of the library so our work was on a number of ancillary but related aspects.
- Host Family: No problems.
- Country: Poor road conditions / lack of sanitation around town
4. Any tips for future volunteers….
- Clothing: Bring as little as possible. Plan a washing often.
- Sightseeing: Take advantage of both local trekking options and longer term trekking before or after program.
- Donations: make it easier for us to donate to the community developments project.
- Laundry/internet: Hand washings hang on line on roof. Internet – down at least some everyday but connectivity good when up.
5. Other things volunteers should know about:
- City/town: No street names or building numbers so need to have a good sense of direction.
- Weather: It was hot and no appreciable rain while here.
- Air pollution: Consider bringing a good N95 mask with extra filters. Not every day use but needed a number of days.
- Local People: Very friendly.
- Tours: 1 day trip to Nagarkot – saw beautiful hill town & had a good lunch at the hotel at the top.
6. Personal paragraph (volunteer program testimonial), detail as possible:
We started by moving dirt as part of raising the level of the yard around the library. We then scoped the brick fences in the library yard and along the access part to the street. We scrubbed, cleaned and primed galvanized panels to go on top at the brick fences (Added security). We painted the brick fences along the access path. We painted galvanized panels. We cleaned additional galvanized panels and primed and painted them.
7. How would you describe your:
- Accommodation: We had our own room with double bed. There were two single beds but they were not needed by other volunteers. We were given very comfort room
- Meals (favorite): Dinner was very good. Dal, served vegetables options, rice or noodles and roti. Over the two weeks there were many different combinations. One dinner with Chicken done with cheese.
- Security: We always felt secure and never felt we needed to be concerned about our belongings.
- Host family: Very helpful. Very friendly.
8. What was your memory of this trip?
- Program: By the end I felt like we had accomplished something useful to the library.
- Host Family: Hard working and very dedicated to making us feel welcome.
- Country: Hoping to see it become a cleaner, more prosperous country as more people become more educated.
9. How was the local ABV Coordinator, the staff and the support provided in-country?
- Airport: Spectacular! After our long flight from San Francesco to Kathmandu, seeing the ABV sign amidst the many other signs made us feel well taken cared.
- Orientation day: We learned a lot in the presentation and learned how to get around/ change money. Since most of us have smart phones. It would be helpful to point out maps. Me app works without wifi connection.
- Daily Support: Talked with host family every morning to layout daily work plan. Sudhir always got the material & tools we asked for (that were available)
10. How was the information you received from ABV prior to traveling?
More emphasis on language emersion on the website & in emails. Even a little bit of Nepali helped us get around Better. So I recommend highlighting the language immersion class.
11. Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers about your volunteer experience?