Team Nepal 2016
Our 2016 Nepal Team have been fundraising all year to raise money to help teach English to students in a Nepalese school. On Thursday 7th July those students set off on their travels to Nepal, to provide essential support and resources to those affected by the earthquake in 2015.
Follow their journey here:
Day 1- We visited Pashupatinath, a Hindu temple where students rubbed shoulders with sadhus and were blessed. We also stopped off at Durbar Square, students gained a real feel for the old city and witnessed some of the devastating effects of the earthquake.
Day 2- We returned to Durbar Square in the morning to see the Kumari (a living Hindu goddess). We then visited Boudnath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. Students completed a Kora amongst the Tibetan monks and observed a mediation session. We then tackled the 365 steps to enlightenment at Swayambunath, everyone made it to the top and viewed the wonderful sights of the city below.
Day 3- We started our placement at Shubakabana Academy in Kiritipur. We were greeted by a welcoming assembly where each of us received a kata and a tikka blessing from the head teacher. The students then taught lessons to a range of classes from 8 year olds to 13 year olds. Lessons included topics such as space, construction, first aid, story telling and more. In the afternoon we explored Thamel and enjoyed some traditional Nepalese cuisine at Funky Buddha.
Day 4- We visited Dakshin Kali, a Hindu temple known for performing a ritual sacrifice with animals or coconuts as an offering to the deity. Tuesday was a busy day at the temple where people queued in honour of the Hindu goddess,Kali. The setting was on the top of a hill in a remote and rural area approximately 18km south of Kathmandu. We then visiting Pharping where we were able to enter a Buddhist temple and tour the grounds of a monastery. In the evening the students tried a traditional Nepalese dish called mo mos. We are all humbled by the welcoming nature of the Nepalese people and admire their happiness and dedication to their culture.
Day 5- We returned to Shubhakamana today to continue with our teaching project. The students had a great time teaching the children of Nepal. In the afternoon we visited the Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation; this foundation was built in memory of the owners son who unfortunately passed away at the age of 7. The foundation offers a great amount of support for the local community including; housing, cafe, heath clinic, kindergarten and much more. The whole foundation itself is fully self sustained; for example the buildings are made from recycled glass bottles and the food is grown through biodynamic farming methods. The students were amazed at how resourceful the people of Nepal are, nothing is wasted.
Day 6- Our penultimate day at the school, the students have now started to develop some very strong relationships with the children at the school. Once again they were greeted by a stampede of children who were offering flowers upon our arrival. The students enjoyed teaching the older children today, despite being nervous at first they fully embraced themselves in the delivery of their lessons. After the school we went and visited our tour guides home, his family greeted us with a drink and biscuits; despite having so little they gave so much. The students enjoyed taking in the views of the Kathmandu Valley; they were stunning.
Day 7- Last day at Shubhakamana Academy. We said our farewells to the students and teachers who hosted a special leaving ceremony for us all. We also met the student we have sponsored, Akrisha Tharpa.
Day 8– We made the long journey to Chitwan arriving in the late afternoon. We then ventured out with our guide completing a river walk where we got to see a variety of the area’s natural wildlife such as crocodiles, spotted deers, kingfishers and rhinos.
Day 9– We commenced the morning with a canoe boat ride along the river to the elephant breeding sanctuary. The students learnt about the conservation project. We then returned to the hotel to be greeted by some more elephants who were having their daily wash, the students were to hand. In the afternoon some of the students went on an elephant ride around the jungle. In the evening we went to a Nepalese culture show which included various ritual dances, we took part in the finale dance on the stage.