It must have been the shortest eight days in my entire life. In the beginning I wondered how much I would actually understand and help those of different cultures in just eight days. But as soon as I met them I could see there was no hindrance between us. well, other than the language.
It was my first overseas voluntary service opportunity, thereby a very special occasion. Also from the conversation I happened to have with a tour guide on the plane to Nepal I learned a lot about Nepal. Nepal has only recently got out of king system and was the world's last to accept coinage into their financial system. It was good time learning various perspectives on such changes in Nepal.
He told me that Nepal was one of the poorest countries existing and that the people had little desire to advance their country--why their society has to become more innovative and progressive. On my way to accommodations, I even heard that the president has been switching every six months, thereby focusing on benefiting themselves after resignation. It could have been someone's personal opinion but because many situations resembled South America, where I grew up, I could, to some extent, grasp what it was like. I, of course, did not think all those aspects applied to the children there but it was useful to keep those considerations in mind.
What made the voluntary program special was the time we spent with the villagers sleeping and eating together, experiencing their actual lifestyle; it was more than a culture observation program. Because the homestay was quite long, we could learn and understand each other more, which was the most important prepartion for our serivce. I was grateful for the generosity of the kind villagers and the children's respect and interest in me, treating me as their old brother.
I will never forget the moments I ate my meal hand-mixing the rice with seasoning just like them, took a ride called 'Bearing' with playful kids at sunset, and sang songs with the villagers before campfire at night. Observing sincere and youthful smiles of the people in the village, I definitely realized happiness and humanity were not where the wealth was accumulated. On the last day in Badikhel, I was short of time to say goodbye to Jyoti's family and neighbors nearby. I wish I could have said goodbye to them; I will take this regret as another invitation to the village.
Such chances to learn a new culture and help someone simultaneously are very rare these days. I wanted to I joined the voluntary group to do something meaningful before my graduation and it was quite satisfying. I might have earned more from the time than what I had given to them. I would like to express my gratitude to those who provided such a good opportunity.