4 weeks. I cannot believe that my trip is already up. It absolutely feels like yesterday a smiling Prakash picked me up from the airport after waiting in the pouring rain. How time flies when you’re chowing down Dal Bhat.
The people I’ve met on this trip have been absolutely lovely and are very sympathetic of each other and the fact that we’re all in the same boat in entering this totally new culture, which is exactly what Nepal is, a totally different culture. I mean like literally nothing in common with England from spice in every meal to no toilet paper or toilet seats. At first these luxuries that I took for granted at home were suddenly things I thought I couldn’t go without (especially toilet paper!).
After a few days in the luxury of the lighthouse, I was dropped into the rural village of Godawari. If I thought anything was rough at the lighthouse it was utterly nothing compared to the village, but after a few days of being out of my comfort zone and making every mistake possible, I started to really enjoy it. Embracing the surroundings that I thought were out to kill me turned out to be really good fun. Working at the school was definitely a learning curve. Even though they had me at my wits end I ended up missing the cute little kids at the village and their screams of “Ted! Ted! Chow mein, chow mein!” whenever they saw me. It was tough but I felt like a really big accomplishment to make it through my time there unlike some other people *cough Katie*. The family I stayed with looked after me with enough Dal Bhat to power the sun and boiled all my water without me asking, they were a lovely family to stay with. The Botanical garden was great and the air was so clean, I could never get bored of the views around that valley. After 2 weeks there I came back for a night and then spent a week in Chitwan and Pokhara, going around the jungle and trekking next to the Annapurna mountain range. Finally, I returned to the light house and spent my last few days there.
I cannot thank everyone at VCD Nepal for all they’ve done for me enough. It has been a life changing time and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. I feel that “life changing experience” as a phrase is thrown around a lot but I’m genuinely seeing my life of comfort through completely new eyes now. People in Nepal have so many barriers in their lives that I don’t even have to think about especially in terms of resources, education and pay. It is really making me reevaluate my life and what I want to do with it from my privileged position. Anyway, this shouldn’t be about me but about me thanking my amazing hosts, organizers and family. My Nepali Family.
Bikky, you really do care about those around you so much and it is touching to see. To meet someone with no ulterior motives but also putting all his heart and soul into the organization , giving up his life at the years at which people go out and party care free to be responsible and build this company from nothing to what it is today. Even if you don’t necessarily believe in a life after death Bikky, if there’s a heaven I’m sure that’s where you’ll be.
Prakash, truly lovely, hardworking and dependable guy. I feel like you’d scooter half way across the world to pick up a VCD volunteer. Bishal, always cracking the jokes and keeping everyone relaxed and settled in. Proud to call you a brother of mine. Dhivaj, unfortunately I only saw you for a couple of days, but I can’t thank you enough for being there when I was settling in.
Maggie, Jasmine, Morgan, Bart and Katie, my VCD family. My best wishes to all of you on your future adventures, I will always remember you all for various reasons. If by some set of unfortunate events lands you in Croydon then make sure to hit me up.
To summarize, Nepal has been so many things; meeting a large variety of people, tasting a variety of food (the majority of which was Dal Bhat) but what is has been for certain is the time of my life. I’m gutted to be leaving and could easily stay for another month. I have 0 complaints about the organization and execution from VCD Nepal and would 100% recommend doing a project through them as I assure you that I will be returning. As put best by a tee shirt I bought in Thamel: I love Nepal!
Big love, Ted |(19 years)
Teaching and Adventure – 4 weeks