In the very beginning the voluntary service in Nepal was not a part of our plan. This unexpected idea turned out to be an amazing experience. We decided to go for the service to a little mountain village Pipaldanda which was almost entirely affected by the earthquake in 2015. This experience filled us with plenty of energy, positive attitude, willingness to become better people, understanding, humility, respect for nature and diversity in our world, openness for what is different, willingness to discover and experience more.
It’s a shame to admit but for both of us it was the first voluntary service in our lives – but better late than never! If you consider volunteering, just do it! There is nothing to think about, too much thinking is a waste of time in this case 🙂
We found out about this possibility to help thank to our friend and founder of “Ej, odbudujmy Nepal” foundation (www.odbudujmynepal.pl). So we decided to use this chance to help others just a little bit.
The local government helps those who lost their houses during the earthquake only to a certain extent. Damaged buildings with destroyed roofs and cracked walls stand there for months and threaten to collapse any minute. In order to receive any financial help people have to first demolish buildings and separate different materials (stones, wood, metal and clay, all of them have to be gathered separately). Usually new houses will be built with those old materials.
The first problem is the mountainous area – there is simply no place to stock it all. The second thing is the lack of hands… This village is mostly inhabited by elderly and ill people, mothers with kids or lonely people who lost their relatives in tragic circumstances. These people live in very modest conditions: in shelters constructed with metal and wood, for more than 1,5 years now. They can survive only because winters are quite mild there. Although very soon the temperature at night will be close to 0 degrees.
We could see that our help was not only physical work. It was also a big motivation for locals. People are better motivated and somehow they start believing that things are possible when they are helped.
Life there is very modest – you might be wondering: how is it even possible? We do not see any anger at the whole world for the injustice of fate on those people’s faces though. They live their lives and stay cheerful.
We spent our time there by a family that we truly loved. They offered us a bed (!!!) in a stockroom with corn as well as mice and spiders, especially active during the night and two quite big buffalos living right behind the door. All together we were quite a funny team 😉 During the day hard work was pleasantly interrupted by chatting, learning how to play cards, drinking tea, eating fruit or the famous dal bhat (rice with herbs, a lentil soup and curry pickled vegetables). Other memories: showers with water directly from a stream taken on a potato field, squatting toilet, eating with hands, the closest shop one hour far away and a sky full of stars, incredible silence and peace, amazing nature, fruit and vegetables of all kind, everything one hundred percently natural. Full harmony with the nature. What a paradox: one is surrounded by this beautiful nature which one day may take away your home. All in all, being there was an amazing experience and we could write more and more about it 🙂 We really recommend this kind of volunteer service, in Nepal or elsewhere. It really is something we will never forget.