My recent holiday as a volunteer in Nepal was an exciting, extraordinary, and far from my expectations. It was the third of my volunteer jobs in the space of three months but it was by far the best and unexpected to say the least. If you are an adventures person, and like to dabble in the unknown then this is for you. I arrived in Kathmandu when the Nepalese people had signed the Constitution which took about 11 years to do. The excitement was palatable, and all the local people were so excited there was dancing and singing and lighting candles, sharing food and sweets, and generally talking to anybody whether it was their language or not at all.
I went to the monastery two days later, it was a nunnery and the children were absolutely delightful. They couldn’t please you more than their enjoyment of singing and dancing and so anything that was words in English and nursery rhymes was just so acceptable. I had two classes, one junior and one senior
The seniors were interested in travel knowing about other countries, and full of information and wanting to participate. However it was the services in the monastery that were the most exciting. My first introduction to a Pooja, which lasts for 12 hours, is full of service, symbols, music and chant. It was something I never experienced in my life and was so enthralled by the activity that you don’t feel 12 hours had gone by. You felt so accepted by the nuns, I even got a cooking class in making dumpling one morning with all the nuns who were full of fun, chatter and ever so helpful. The scenery from the hilltops around Kathmandu is wonderful, it’s so clear, and full of sounds made by the various monasteries from the hilltops.
I hope you’re an early riser if so, you will certainly enjoy the birds, the music, and the city of Kathmandu as it appears through the fog later in the morning. My two weeks went by so quickly and I felt I floated out of the monastery by all the wonderful stoles, the children presented to me as a parting gift. My farewell would have made any Lama envious. I spent my last three days in the Chitwan wildlife sanctuary, riding elephants, sailing on the river watching the wildlife on the banks, taking a walk through the jungle and seeing antelopes and lots of birds, and being entertained by the staff of the sanctuary resort. As a volunteer teaching English was exciting and full of the unexpected. Sharing with the wonderful Nepalese people who are so friendly, sharing, and always appear to be happy. So if you want an exciting holiday one which you have never experienced before then Kathmandu is waiting to greet you with open arms.
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