I’ve visited around twenty countries in the world and not a single one compares to Nepal – it has everything; spectacular mountainous scenery, fantastic wildlife and the most genuine, warm hearted people I have ever met and much, much more.
When I arrived at the lighthouse I felt at home immediately and really loved the first few days walking around Kathmandu with Maria. The temples in Kathmandu are beautiful; the peaceful atmosphere in Pashupatinath Temple was amazing and the Boudhanath Stupa at sunset is an absolute treat for the eyes!
My placement was at the orphanage in Souraha, Chitwan and although it was only one short week, I learned so much from those kids. When we first met they all said namaste and were really shy, but once the card games started I was jumped on and hugged from all angles. They all have strikingly different personalities but look after each other like any family would; I loved how they made up each others hair in the morning before school.
On the second day I was lucky enough to go to a wedding and eat some really lovely food in a remote village in the middle of nowhere, it was all a bit surreal but really eye opening. Elephants passed the orphanage several times a day and there was a random camel across the road! Everyone seems to have a dog, chicken or goat in Nepal. There was one moment I will never forget – when I watched a woman walk her goats down the road.
Power cuts are common (you’ll be lucky if not daily), so be prepared and take a torch! The kids appreciate anything you can creatively come up with; I learned a few of their card games which we played endlessly, we drew some pictures and coloured in and I helped them decorate their Christmas tree.
After the orphanage we, Maria and I, stayed in a lovely little place called Wildlife Adventure Resort down the road and went on an elephant safari, it was amazing. We stayed in a little eco cottage suspended over the river for two days. The food was delicious and we were well looked after – all the staff were really friendly and talkative.
To Bikram, you are one of the most selfless, kind people I have ever met and I wish you all the luck in the world with your projects! And to Maria, thank you for looking after me! I hope the rest of your time in Nepal is as amazing as my two weeks were!