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Volunteering in Nepal – Expecting the Unexpected

The most common advice given to anyone traveling far from their usual neck of the woods, is to “expect the unexpected.” As an American college student who has not explored much beyond the Western world, I knew I was in for a huge culture shock. As I packed my bags and made flight arrangements, I understood that there was no way to properly prepare myself for the three weeks of enlightening, surprising, loving, and challenging moments that would make up my Empowering Women in Kathmandu experience in Nepal.

Although Nepal is vastly different from America, it did not take long for me to feel comfortable and at home. Everyone-from the volunteers, to the supportive staff, to the Nepali people I worked with in my projects-were so lovely and welcoming. I have never met such kind people with such big hearts in my life.

Teaching women through the Empowering Women in Kathmandu project, I was able to deeply connect with the Nepali women I worked with, even considering the huge language barrier between us. It was a joy and honor to teach them. We spent the lessons laughing and actively interacting with each other, ensuring that they were learning as much as possible. It was very hard to leave them after three weeks. In such a short time, they embraced me into their world. I will always think of them and hope to see them again in the future.

I also worked at a disabled home and orphanage with some of the happiest and most genuine children I have ever met. I worked with them on their homework and played games with them each day.The volunteers I worked with were also very invested in each child. The kids were constantly hugged and held, always surrounded by love thanks to many wonderful volunteers.

Before coming to Nepal, I knew that this experience would change me for the better, but I did not expect to become so attached to everyone I met. Each day in Nepal was filled with more and more love and laughter. The days were unforgettable and made it impossible to leave.I found myself repeating, “I will come back! I will see you soon!” My experience at the Empowering Women in Kathmandu project was greatly shaped by the delightful and warm people of Nepal, and I am incredibly grateful for my volunteer experience there.