Why Nepal?

11th November 2015

We’re so excited about our first programmes in Nepal early next year – so we asked a few friends to tell us about what makes Nepal so special

We also wanted to ask ‘why Nepal?’ to someone who has chosen to be part of one of our first programmes in Nepal early next year, Ollie and our team share their thoughts below.

Ollie

OllieI’m travelling to Nepal with Raleigh in 2016. I chose Nepal because I’d heard nothing but good things about it as my mum went over there to hike in the foothills of Annapurna. I know someone who has been on the Borneo and Tanzania expeditions and he had an amazing, fulfilling time. I know Raleigh do incredible work and wanted to be a part of it.

I’m most excited about being a part of a team doing fantastic work. Also that part of the world is meant to be beautiful and so I cannot wait to do the trek!

I also plan to do some travelling after Nepal as it is well located to explore other parts of Asia. At the moment I’m working and preparing for a fundraising walk to help fund my volunteering trip.

I would encourage others to sign up because I think that it will be an amazing experience and the more people that go, the more we can help the people who are currently living without shelter and clean water.

Michelle

I went to Nepal in 2012 on a project visit for my former employer.
Nepal has stunning scenery, and Kathmandu is a safe city with amazing food and people.

My highlight of Nepal was a bus trip from Kathmandu to a valley 7-8 hours’ drive away. Driving all that way with the Himalayas right outside the window was breath-taking. it was amazing being welcomed into a Nepali family’s house, going through the traditional welcome ceremony and joining them for Daal and lemon tea!

If someone is thinking about Nepal I say go! It’s beautiful, people are friendly and the food is awesome! Bring a jumper! It’s colder than you think!

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David  

I went to Nepal in 1986, I was leaving school at 17 and wanted to do something unusual in the year before University. An expedition-minded art teacher at my school took three of us on an amazing trip through Nepal and north India; going higher than Everest base camp while we were there.  I completely blame this experience for my subsequent career in international development!

In November 2014 I got the chance to return when Raleigh decided to explore Nepal as first choice as the new country. I was able to visit some of the places I had visited 18 years earlier and despite massive changes to the city, found that some parts hadn’t changed at all.  Tragically, the earthquake has changed some parts of Kathmandu since then. ‘I saw clearly how much of a difference Raleigh’s volunteers could make here.’

Originally, Nepal was the opportunity to travel somewhere completely unknown to me.  The idea of adventure, the mountains (I have always been a keen hill walker) and seeing a completely different culture.
My highlight was ending a 2 week trek in massive valleys and seeing 80% of the night sky blocked out by the mountains on either side.

If you’re prepared for a physical, basic experience, Nepal is for you, but don’t forget the spiritual side of the Nepalese people too.  Visiting monasteries is unforgettable.

David

Frances' pictureFrances

I went to Nepal in the summer of 2012. I spent two months teaching at a school in Dang, in the southwest of Nepal.

I wanted to do something genuinely worthwhile. I knew that Nepal had a very low literacy rate, especially for women, and that a high proportion of its population was living below the poverty line.

Nepal is so diverse, especially for such a small country! One thing that really struck me was the incredible hospitality of Nepali people, who treat guests with immense goodwill and respect.

I was also astonished by the richness and colour of Nepali culture – there seemed to be a different festival every week, all of which were lavishly celebrated.

Go to Nepal if you ever get the chance! I’d advise you to learn some Nepali before you go even just a couple of words will make all the difference – English is not widely spoken, other than in tourist hot spots.

Be prepared for your assumptions to be challenged. Join in with everything when you’re there, from dancing at festivals to eating coconut rice pudding with pickle (though you may only want to do the latter of these once!)

 

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