Heading to Nepal after the earthquakes

Everybody needs somebody

(Written by Steph)

When we arrived in Nepal, our aim was to do three weeks volunteering. 6 weeks later, we had managed a sum total of 14 days. Here’s what happened…

By the end of this summer we had handed in our notice at work, were just about to get married and were due to go travelling for 6-8 months. It was to be an indulgent honeymoon, in time, if not in standards. We would put some of this time to good use, we thought, and decided to volunteer in Nepal before heading off on our planned route around South East Asia.  We found out about a grassroots charity that was helping rebuild after the 2015 earthquakes; it was expensive to volunteer with them, and with a wedding coming up and fundraising exhausted, we weren’t sure if we could manage it, but we would try.

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One missed skype date and several emails with vague information later, we finally got the list of what we needed to bring…2 days before leaving. We went through the list. Okay, yup, no problem. Then we got to “Tent.”  Now it’s not that we don’t love camping, but this wasn’t exactly what we had envisioned. Off for 8 months, we weren’t that keen on the idea of lugging a tent around, so we packed the Tesco value tent without too much thought; we would leave it after the volunteering…

We arrived in Kathmandu to torrential rain and thunder storms. “I’ve just remembered,” announced Nick, “my legs stick out the end of the tent.” Plus we had two backpacks, each the size of a small person, to fit in. Fantastic. This was not going to work.

Luckily for us, there is no better place to find out about volunteering in Nepal than in Nepal itself.  We had met some guys doing day by day volunteering with another organisation, just nearby to our guesthouse. They were called “All Hands,” and we were told you could just turn up with a pair of closed shoes and some insurance to say you would be covered if someone pic-axed your leg, or threw a rock at your head.  We were in.

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