It’s a daunting prospect to live with a family you have never met for ten weeks, and most of us were nervous before meeting our new hosts. Thankfully, every host family in Amling has been extremely welcoming and made us feel comfortable straight away. We are all treated as members of the family and the entire community has accepted us with open arms. Ranjit, Dave and Tessa have all had birthdays since we arrived and their hosts went all out in preparing parties and special food for the entire team and community on these days.
One aspect of host family living that has been very useful is how we’ve been aided in learning the local languages. Our host family speak very little English and as we were both British we’ve had to learn quickly. After only five weeks we’re able to hold rudimentary conversations in Nepalese which is only possible due to the patience and humor of our host families as we bumbled our way through mispronunciations and incorrect grammar. Anna’s family were particularly amused when she informed them she was feeling like a goat and Dave’s pronouncing of ‘pugyo‘ (enough) as POO GO in the first week is still regularly referenced by our host family.
Living with a local family also introduces you to food that you may not have been brave enough to purchase if you’d seen them in the markets. The enormous spiky exterior of the Jackfruit is one such food item that does not look at all appealing however the fleshy seedy inside is one of the tastiest things I’ve ever tried.
The ICS model of living with a host family for an extended period of time is unique and provides an entirely different way of experiencing another culture. It provides a level of cultural immersion and allows for the development of personal relationships that is simply not possible when travelling via more traditional means such as hostels or hotels.
Written By: Olli P
November Charlie 7