Dear Bicky and associates at VCD.
When I first arrived in Kathmandu, on the car journey from the airport, Bicky told me to have no expectations for my time here and also told me that, compared to home, it is a crazy place here. I thought at the time that it was a little unrealistic to have absolutely no expectations. Before I came here, I anticipated that it would be completely underdeveloped and the culture would be completely alien to me. I think it is better to have low expectations, as then you can only be pleasantly surprised!
From the car window on that trip, I was hit with a sensory overload of people, lights, fires, holy cows and the smell of wood smoke. I thought that whatever my time was like, it would certainly be interesting. After that first evening I have got more and more used to being here and at every stage I have been delighted that my expectations have been surpassed. It is, indeed, a very crazy place but it is also one which you can really enjoy and become comfortable in.
After seeing some of the sites of Kathmandu I went to the orphanage in Chitwan for a little over a week where, together with Mahesh and Sarah, I enjoyed helping out, playing with the children, and relaxing in the tropical heat. The day of the jungle safaris was amazing and I had so many new experiences in Chitwan, seeing a Hindu wedding, in addition to the orphanage and jungle experience.
Next I went to Pokhara for trekking. This was definitely the highlight of my project. The views of the Annapurna range from Poon Hill were awe-inspiring and it was definitely worth the early start. I also went kayaking on the beautiful Set River, or maybe I should say I swam the rapids! I finished off with 2 weeks of teaching in Godawari with the peaceful countryside and long walks with a badly behaved dog.
My time has gone really quickly and 6 weeks seems a very short time, looking back on it. Nepal has given me a great time and I will take away fantastic memories of the country and its people.
My thanks go to Bicky, who like a giant laid-back spider, sits at the centre of the web, pulling strings to influence people and make sure that everything goes smoothly. He is without doubt the best fixer in all of Nepal, if not South East Asia, everybody knows him and like a guiding elder brother he ensures his volunteers make the most of their stay.
Thanks for everything.
Teaching at the school and at the orphanage