Saturday, September 1, 2007

Story /Advice from Aarthi Rao

To prospective volunteers,

I have spent the past two and a half months in Nepal and I’ve had a wonderful time. I have been volunteering with VSSN and have been based at of Chapagaun (about half hour south from Kathmandu). In the past few weeks I have got to know Chapagaun very well. I also assisted the health post with their yearly monitoring and evaluation survey and in this capacity came to interview almost 100 patients. There is no better way to know a place than to get to know its people. Although I was based in Chapagaun, I made for day visits to another health posts. I have been to Badharjhula in the southern Terai, Dhading and Ghale Gaun. Each of these trips has been unique and has helped me to meet a wide range of people. One of the advantages of volunteering is that you have the opportunity to visit isolated places (that are always interesting) that you would have never encountered as merely a t traveler. Also, I have been able to seamlessly incorporate my own travels into my trip. I have enjoyed the lake in Pokhara, ridden elephants in Sauraha, and rafted down the Trisoli river. I have had my share of obstacle and frustrations in Nepal but the longer I am here the easier it is to handle it all. Once I adjusted to the pace of life, I ran into very few problems.

All the good experiences I’ve had more than make up for anything negative. If you’re considering coming to Nepal at all I would strongly encourage it. In terms of advice most of my suggestions are closer to a packing list. As long as you are willing to keep all of your in country plans flexible you’ll have a good time. If you want more specific information feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

My photo album: click here


Aarthi Rao, USA