After graduation, I realized that it was very hard to meet new people and felt that I could easily being just wasting my time without doing anything. I didn’t want to spend my youth just making money or building up so-called ‘specs’. Thus, I looked hard for something that can motivate me and eventually came to encounter Human Asia’s Nepal volunteer program post on the internet.
I have done several overseas volunteer programs but Nepal was the most unique one among my past experiences. The power supply shut down randomly day and night making us light up the candles, and fresh water was not easily acquired as well as water for shower or dish washes. The street was dirty and it wasn’t hard to find the harmful effects of hierarchy. There were plenty of garbages in the river, and sanitation education programs dealing materials like washing hands before meals or brushing teeth was desperately needed for the children. As a social development major, I felt that my knowledge shouldn’t be just textbook theory but be applied to reality.
The people of Badikhel were warm and they seemed to enjoy their life very much even though they weren’t so affluent. They knew how to be thankful to what they already had and they made me shameful about my prejudice towards them since I thought, as a foreigner used to advanced technology, that Nepali people living in traditions could not be happy.
People were so innocent and it reminded me of the movie about rural people who didn’t even know war was going on during the period the were denied to the outside world. The children I met in Nepal didn’t whine for snacks. Nor did they avoid us even though we were total strangers to them. They waved their hands for us from the roof and they were touched by our small gifts. They came all the way to our place walking for thirty minutes to help us feel more comfortable and it made me feel ashamed that I was complaining about the boiler which was broken leaving us unable to take hot shower. Even though we had hard time communicating with each other, children waited for us patiently and every day after our education program is done I knew I was purified by their smiles on the way back to our accomodation.
Since the program was only 10 days long, we had certain limits on what we could provide to the children. I felt sorry for saying goodbye to them after the ten days. However, the volunteer program to Nepal motivated me, healed me, and reminded me of the strong motivation of my freshman year in university. Even though my intention was to help others, I realized that the real beneficiary of the program was me and I want to recommend this program to those who are exhausted building specs or those who need motivation for their lives.