While you volunteer with Volunteer Society Nepal you will be staying with a Nepali host family. This unique insight into the culture of Nepal is a key part of why volunteers come back again and again. Staying with them gives you a far deeper understanding of Nepali culture than if you were staying in a guest-house with only other tourists for company.
All our host families have lots of experience of hosting volunteers. They receive special training to deal with the unique demands that volunteers can have. When you arrive in Nepal we will introduce you to your host family. We give you a full tour of the premises.
Many of the host families have children. You will enjoy helping them with their English, learn to cook Nepali food and mixing in with their life. Our host families can also cook vegan or vegetarian and can take allergies or diets into account.
Do not expect luxury on your stay in Nepal. It is a developing country and it is different from what you are used to at home. You may have your own room, but you may also have to share a room with other volunteers working in the same area. The rooms are always clean and comfortable.
The quality of toilet and washing facilities vary significantly between placements. If you are based in Kathmandu you may find you have a hot shower and a Western style toilet in your home stay. However, if you are in a rural placement then it is more likely that you will have a traditional squat toilet and a cold shower of some description.
If you feel like having a hot shower and flushing toilet is a priority then make this clear when you are applying and we will see if it is possible to find you one of our more well equipped host families. We can not promise it, but we will do what we can.
The electricity supply in all areas is limited. Sometimes the power can go off for a couple of hours. A head-torch is a very useful thing to bring, together with a multi plug if you have many electrical devices.
On placement you will eat with the family and share the same food as them. At least two meals a day are provided for you while volunteering. The usual meal times are between 9 and 10 am and 6 till 8 pm. The family serves you the national staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari which is a tasty and filling plate of rice, vegetable curry, lentils and pickles. It sometimes has some meat on the side such as a small bowl of chicken or mutton. So if you are vegetarian it is not a problem. The Dal Bhat may be supplemented occasionally by noodles, eggs and other snacks dependent on your host family and placement.
We are living with the most welcoming Nepali family. This lovely family is consists of Tej and Rupa, his gorgeous wife, Riza who is five and Tia 2. Then, there is Laxmi, the house keeper, whose big smile greets you for hot Nepali tea every morning. We are now all addicted to Nepali tea and Dahl Bhat which is served two times a day. Our host family is very much a part of our daily life, as the office and accommodation, is on the second floor, and they live on the top floor. All is shared: work, the office, internet, meals, travel, stories, sickness and children. There is always your large comfy room to retire to for time out. I have found by giving a little, I have received so much especially from the children. This could just be in a smile, a side glance or a little hand sliding into yours. Regardless of power-cuts and strikes that stop the nation, who could want any other type of holiday. This is not a transient experience, as we are very much a part of the local community. As we walk down the street the shopkeeper waves, the kids in the street recognizes you, neighbors practice their English but more importantly we are part of a Nepali family who are doing great work for their community. Thank you to everyone at VSN for giving me this wonderful experience.