Caspar Erskine - General Teaching Projects in Nepal
I came to Nepal in late January preparing myself for a two month placement teaching in Nepal. Honestly it all sounded fairly daunting, checking up on the situations and thinking about the challenges of having about thirty children screaming and shouting at me in a different language! When I first got off the plane the change hit me automatically, be careful when tipping! A dollar will do! The Projects Abroad driver took us straight to our hotel, driving past a completely different world. Me and my friend eventually made it to our hotel and flopped onto our bed in a desperate attempt to clear some jet lag.
This feeling of unfamiliarity changed quickly as Guy, our Projects Abroad supervisor began showing us the ropes and introducing us to the rest of a small group of volunteers out here on the same mission. Me and my friend began teaching in Budhanikantha, to the north of Kathmandu. The scenery was incredible as our school was stationed right under the hills surrounding the valley. Nervous on our first visit to the school, the headmasters of Diamond school and Bishnumati were incredibly helpful in helping us to settle in. They introduced us to the children and gave us some useful tips for teaching. Over the following months I was slowly able to develop my own ideas for teaching the classes and became much more comfortable in their presence.
My host family was incredible. Ram Lama and his twin brother Laxman helped us endlessly to become familiar in and around town, showing us the all important email places and good places to buy sandals. They took us to a couple of traditional Nepali weddings and their family home in the hills where me and my friend attempted make momos (Traditional Nepali food). My cooking skills extend about as far as toast so there was a lot of serious difficulty here! The family was brilliant, fun and patient with us as the two months flew by, and now I have left my placement I miss them and the schools a lot.
Looking back on my two months, I think that it has to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I was supported well and made lots of new friends, and more importantly I never felt insecure but rather at home in Nepal. We did manage to get time off for a couple of trips out into the blue yonder and of course I had to take a couple of school trips! All were fun and an experience I will not forget.