Kaleidoscopic perceptions on Nepal by every new traveler to this land of hidden Shangri-la have always made this country of Everest, a mysterious land to visit. Adventurous activities in Nepal include mountaineering, skydiving, rafting, wildlife safari, bungee jumping, paragliding and many more. Each adventurous activity offers the level of thrill preferred by the seekers. The nation well known for its diverse ethnical cultures and the cities admired for artistic and spiritual glory are addicted to celebration. Nepalese celebrate more than hundred different festivals throughout the year. Nepalese who are known for their honesty, bravery and kindness throughout the world are probably one of the best peoples to be with.
Ms. Donna Gee from Hong Kong and seventeen fellow travelers with her had something very special out their trip to Nepal this autumn. The trip focused on social activity also had massive cultural aspects of rural Nepal.
Here we have a trip report written by the group leader of Ms. Sharda Malla and at the end of the report we have a testimonial by Ms. Donna Gee.
Students of Choi Kia Yau School being welcomed at Maya’s Village
After arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu, our representative and driver escorted group (CKY Students) to Hotel Marshyangdi. Since the flight was delayed, the briefing on all the necessary and important details of the trip was postponed for the next morning.
After having breakfast at Marshyangdi Hotel, Thamel, the tour started at 9:00 am from the hotel after needful briefing on the itinerary. After 5 hours drive, the group reached Tipeni and had their Hot Lunch prepared by the cooking staff of Explore Himalaya. After one hour of lunch break, the group started hiking from the Tipeni. Group reached Ganesh Primary School at 5:00 pm where they were welcomed by the students, teachers and villagers with the tika and garlands. They attended short welcome program and went to campsite. The day ended with the dinner at the campsite.
The students had breakfast and hot shower at the camp before heading towards the school for the program. School requested the students to attend their regular morning assembly program where they had very interesting IQ Test session held by the students of Ganesh Secondary School for the CKY students. The students (CKY) actively took part in the test and enjoyed answering every question asked. Soonafter the assembly, the CKY students selected 30 primary level students of Ganesh School and divided them into 3 groups.
For the first group of 10 students, they decided to take English Class. Similarly for the second one they decided to take the Origami Class and for the last one they took them for the sports class. They also selected group leaders of these selected students from themselves and took each group to their respective class. The whole day was full of learning and sharing. They had rotation round for all the selected students after the completion of the class. Hence, all selected students could take part in all activities. The day ended after the school time got over. At the night after the dinner time, short d-briefing was done on the day activity around the warm camp fire.
A glimpse of Origami class
After the breakfast, students went for a short village walk. They enjoyed the beautiful scenery around and learned day to day routine of the locals. They also gave away small gifts to the small children of the village they met on their way. Upon returning from the walk, they attended school morning assembly. The local students divided them into two groups after the assembly and took one to the Nepali Language Class and other to the local sports class. They had the rotation for each groups after each the completion of their class .
These classes by Ganesh School lasted till the lunch break. After the lunch break, the CKY students again gathered the selected 30 students from yesterday. They divided them into three groups and took one to Origami class ,other to Rhythm Class and other to drawing class. They taught students to make lily and crane in the Origami Class. In the drawing class, they distributed white cap to each students and made them draw on it.
In the rhythm class they taught student to do the footstep and handclapping in a rhythm which sounded absolutely amazing. In between, on the student from CKY came with the brilliant presentation on the effective computer teaching. He gave presentation on the same to the Teachers, students from grade 8 and some local parents. The day ended with the end of these activities.
At the night, on the d-briefing session around the camp fire everyone shared their exciting experience with the group along with Team Leader from Explore Himalaya, Shrada Thakuri . Maya Gurung, Everest Summitter who was born and has studied in the same school also shared her story with the team which was really inspiring to CKY students and their teachers.
Bond establishing between the CKY students Hong Kong and local students of Maya’s Village
The day started after students having their breakfast and hot shower at the camp site. After attending a regular school assembly, CKY students divided themselves into two groups. Group A students took in charge of painting the classrooms and Group B took the charge of conducting other activities. Some of the students and teachers were interested to learn more about Eric’s presentation on computer class. Hence, Eric took special class for those interested one. Group B students taught the selected students to make greeting cards, snowflakes and Origami.
After the lunch break, students took a short hike to the place called Thal Dada where they enjoyed the amazing view of the Himalayas. They also didn’t forget to distribute gifts to the small children they met on the way. Upon return from the hiking, they came back to the school and had a small ceremony of handing over the gifts they bought for the school students. They officially handed over the sports items and Drinking water supply to the school authority.
After school in the evening time, AAMA Group (Local Mother Group) gave them a farewell program. They sang song and made them dance with them which the students enjoyed very much. Each member of Aama Group had a gift to each students which was made with the local products. The school authority gave a Vote of thanks to the students group along with the Tika and Garlands and wished them all the best . The last night of the camping ended peacefully.
A selfless act is remembered for years: CKY students decorating the walls of Ganesh Secondary School
After the morning tea and breakfast, group left the village and retraced back to Kathmandu.
On this day, the group set off for sightseeing hiking from Sankhu to Changu Narayan which took them one and half hour. They could not hold themselves from relishing the elegance of the valley from the hill of Changu Narayan. Some of the staffs from the Explore Himalaya also joined them . The group returned to the Hotel and had their lunch.
Then, they visited the historical and cultural sites like Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka, Kumari temple, and Kasthamandap. Local city tour guide escorted them along with the Tour leader from the EH and briefed them well about the importance of these place in the history of Nepal.
After the observant tour, group was free for independent activities like strolling and shopping in the evening. At the end of the day, they enjoyed the farewell dinner at the Hotel Shangrilla where they shared their amazing experience .
After having breakfast at the hotel, the group departed for their international flight with wonderful memories.
Campsite for students group from Hong Kong
Everything was wonderful. Dancing with the villagers on the mountain top in a traditional Nepali music was the bestexperience of this trip. Visiting the small villages in the middle hills of Nepal was equally wonderful. We had such a breathtakingly memorable trip that we won’t be able forget it rest of our lives.
The service of Explore Himalaya was excellent. We stayed in good hotels, and we had equally good food. Guides and staffs of the company were fantastic. They were kind, informative, caring and very helpful.
We had a great holiday. Thank you Explore Himalaya!
Traveled miles to get to new friends in Himalayan nation and few days of togetherness evokes love between them: Difficult moments of seperation
Kirsten, one of our Norwegian volunteers is assisting the health workers at the Nuwakot village Health Post.
Kirsten at the health post- getting to follow up on patients, checking their pulse, cleaning wounds etc.
This old lady suffered a fall and hurt her neck and shoulders. Kirsten who is studying physiotherapy, is helping her with some exercises.
(Photos courtesy : Kirsten & Taliah)
Volunteering/ GAP Year
This is how Kirsten & Taliah, our volunteers from Norway, are spending their days in Nuwakot.
Kirsten fetching water in a ‘gagri'(traditional water pot)
Kirsten takes time out to pose with travelling sadhus (Hindu holy men)
Taliah with a family member
(Photos courtesy: Kirsten & Taliah)
Volunteering & GAP Year
We finally got to hear from Taliah, that is, via e-mail. Going through her mail we got the feeling that the villagers of Nuwakot have won the hearts of these two young girls from Norway and vice versa. Unfortunately she couldn’t send pictures as the internet connection was too slow.
An extract from her mail:
“It has already been two weeks since we first arrived to Nuwakot, something that is really strange seeing as the time has passed so quickly, but at the same time we feel as if we have been here for a longer time.
One of the main reason we have got so comfortable in such a short time is our families here. From the beginning we were looked upon as members of the family and not as guests.
For me, working at the school is a challenge, but most of all a great experience. I am teaching English at 1st-6th grade and there are some language barriers but for the most part we understand each other, and the students seems to enjoy my classes and they want to know everything about Norway.
Kirsten is volunteering at the health post and is getting to follow up on patients – checking their pulse, cleaning wounds and at the moment she is working with a 10 year old boy that is yet to get a diagnosis but has most likely CP or MS, and as Kirsten is studying phsiotherapy, she gets to practise some exercise methods with him, to decrease his scoliuses.
Regarding the old lady, she is 70-75 year old and she fell down a steep road injuring her head, neck and shoulders. Kirsten is helping her with some exercises so she will suffer less from the injury.
I will inform you of more things as they come…have a good Holi .”
Volunteering/ GAP year
Taliah & Kirsten, our two volunteers from Norway who are on a month long sojourn in Nuwakot Village, are making the most of their time involving themselves in community work and helping out villagers. According to them they begin their day with a walk downhill to the village’s dhunge dhara (traditional stone water spout) early in the morning to fetch water and to wash up.
While Taliah is busy teaching and assissting the local teachers at Shree Bhairabi Higher Secondary School, Kirsten is back from attending the wedding festivities and is now helping out at the village’s sole Health Post. She said that she is assissting the doctor in providing Physiotherapy to an old lady patient. Both of them agree that the villagers are quite helpful and cooperative and have gone out of their way in welcoming them.
Volunteering/GAP Year Student Programme
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.