I had an amazing time in Nepal, I loved everything! The people in general were so nice, and the kids at the orphanage were great to work with. The food was also delicious and I loved learning to eat with my hands like a true Nepali person! I had very few challenges with the work. It was pretty hard to see and experience how hard life can be in Nepal, with little things like limited electricity and no hot water. Otherwise, I loved getting to know the kids, and experiencing life in Nepal. I definitely want to go back!
We had an amazing time, I really enjoyed the experience and having time with Kate was a lot of fun and precious. I was very proud of Kate and how she worked so hard to make the experience for the children one to remember. On the Thursday we got dropped off in Ubud by our Taxi after we had been teaching to do some shopping before coming home on the Saturday. We saw a lady out the front of her shop and she was smiling and waving to us like she knew us. So we crossed the street and said hello. It so happened that her son was in our class and she shared how her son would tell her of all the experiences he had during Kindy. It was wonderful feedback especially for Kate to hear such positive comments. I could tell you of the many experiences of our time but as time is short I will attach for you some photos that tell of our time there. Many thanks for all you did to organise the trip, it truly was an experience that I will never forget.
Things have been great so far and I'm honestly having a really good time. The orientation week last week was lots of fun, especially as there we heaps of other volunteers around and we got on super well. We even went on a weekend trip rafting and bungee jumping together!
I got to the monastery on Tuesday and it is one of the most magical places I've ever seen in my life. The surrounding and views are amazing, and even the buildings are impressive. I've been teaching English and science to the 2nd and 3rd classes and it definitely is a challenge, but getting easier as time goes on and the monks and myself get on better (at first they were a little shy and so didn't speak at all!)/
Today I have a day off so I am enjoying the surrounding and relaxing before teaching some more tomorrow.
Today is a bit of a sad day for me because I am leaving the monastery soon. The past 4 weeks here have been such an amazing experience and the monks are all so friendly and from the beginning I felt so welcome here. So today instead of school we had a little goodbye morning tea and the monks sang some songs and I received some gifts and it was just such a nice way to finish off an amazing few weeks here!
China was amazing! I'm so glad I chose Mianyang, the people there were incredible! I felt that they gave me the real Chinese experience, showing me how to make dumplings, taking me sightseeing and tasting the local cuisine. I was invited into their homes for family dinners and gatherings which i just loved - although the conversation was limiting it was so much fun.
It is very surreal being back and I already miss it. 7months was a long time but I learnt so much and am eager to find work over there in the near future. It is an amazing country full of amazing people.
I enjoyed every part of my experience, from the accommodation to the volunteer work. My first week- the introduction week was lots of fun. I did it with two other Europeans, we had a cooking class, learnt some of the local language, were shown the town and given other useful tips such as what to tip people. It was a great way to feel comfortable in India without being too overwhelmed by all the changes.
I was originally planning to do the culture week, but I really enjoyed the volunteer work so decided to do that instead. For one week I helped make a garden for the boys orphanage. The next 4 weeks I volunteered at Swastha school. I absolutely loved it there. The teachers and workers were so friendly and helpful, always making sure I was okay and the students were all beautiful! I felt really welcome from day one.
The coordinators at the house were really kind and very helpful. They made sure everything was okay and were always asking how things were going. I lost my voice within the first week of my trip and the next morning they took me straight to the hospital to get some medication and my voice was back the next day. They really looked out for everyone at the house.
The trip went really smoothly and was just a wonderful, life-changing experience.
At this stage the one word to sum up Kenya was AMAZING!
I always wanted to travel to India. I was fascinated by the culture - but I also wanted an opportunity to give a little back and make a small contribution. The thought of travelling solo in India petrified me - so I decided volunteering would be a great way to meet new people, discover a new culture and see India. I chose WEP Volunteer Abroad, because it offered short term programs and I liked the idea of participating in an orientation week.
Arriving at Goa airport I couldn't work out if I was excited, scared, nervous or exhausted. The co-ordinator Sunil was there waiting with my name on a sign and it was a sudden relief. The orientation week was such a great start to the trip - it gave us all a chance to bond with each other and do sightseeing activities such as cultural, cooking and language lessons as well as visiting spice farms, temples, the beach and flea markets, a trip to the capital and seeing a Bollywood movie. The co-ordinator Namita was amazing and I was amazed at how fast the group felt like family. It was amazing how fast we became friends and it felt like we had known each other for years.
The first week flew by and all us volunteers made a weekend away trip to the beach. Monday came and I was volunteering in a school - 3 days with primary and 2 with high school. We prepared lessons and did arts and craft activities with the little kids and played games and sang songs in English. With the older students - we taught them English by running though practice conversations and helping with pronunciations. We also made English work sheets and taught the teachers how to use Google etc. etc.
School finished by 1pm and we were able to use the afternoons in the near city to do produce shopping, get supplies, have a traditional massage or go to the beach. Everyone who worked at the partner organisation were all so helpful from the cook Lotta, to the co-ordinators, the cleaner and the drivers. They were so approachable and helpful. My only regret is not having more time! The time flew by and I made new lifelong friends - I hope that I am lucky enough to have such a wonderful experience sometime again in the near future.
Just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help with the India trip, I had a fantastic time and loved the volunteer work in the disability school and orphanage. It was an experience of a life time and would love to do it again someday.