The first time I went to Nepal it took my breath away. The second time it broke my heart. Now, living here, this country continues to surprise me again and again, every single day. And now you have the opportunity to join me here in Nepal with World Vision, on a trip that is sure to change your life too!
During your time here in Nepal, you will experience what Nepali life is like firsthand in the communities that World Vision works in. Through sharing in meals, playing with the kids and interacting with World Vision’s community development projects – focusing on the areas of child and maternal health, water and sanitation, micro-finance and child rights advocacy – you will acquire the knowledge and the passion needed to change the world for children most in need.
You will also engage in this incredible culture, experiencing its tastes, sites and sounds. And of course what trip to Nepal would be complete without a trek into the majestic Himalayas!
So what are you waiting for? For more information and to register your interest, simply click on this link.
Read on to discover how I fell in love with this country I now call ‘home’…
Nothing can prepare you for coming to Nepal. Staring up at the vastness of the Himalayas is an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. It was trekking these mountains that first brought me to Nepal along with my brother, almost five years ago. We were young, and perhaps a bit naïve, but full of a sense of adventure and exploration!
Just as we experienced on that first trip, you too will discover the richness of this country culture and its people. Nepal is a flowing mixture of ethnicities and religions. From the fluttering prayer flags of the Tibetan Buddhist monks, to the bright orange robes of the Hindu Saddhus and the small vibrant gatherings of Christians found throughout the countryside, their joyful songs floating through the villages.
It was almost a year later that I arrived back again into the rush of Kathmandu’s busy streets. Bustling as always with fruit sellers, samosa stalls, taxi ‘wallaahs’ and dazed cows meandering their way through the chaotic traffic. This time I had come with a completely different agenda. I was being sent to the Jumla region, a remote outpost of villages high up in the foothills of the Himalayas, over 3400m above sea level and another two light plane flights away from Kathmandu. There I would join up with an Australian film crew to shoot a series of short-stories for the 2010 ‘40 Hour Famine’.
When we arrived at Lalu’s village, it was like stepping back in time. Women called out to us from above, as they threshed out wheat upon the flat soil packed roofs of the red mud-brick homes. There wasn’t a single sign of modernity except for the new steel wire suspension bridge that crossed the rushing glacial river below (which I was very thankful for!). The community lived without electricity or running water.
Lalu lived with his Grandmother and Grandfather and was 7 years old, despite looking more like 4 or 5 as a result of the malnutrition that had stunted his growth (at that time over 86% of children living in villages like Lalu’s were classified as officially malnourished). Lalu was an orphan. During the civil war that ravaged the countryside from 1996 – 2006, the Maoists had forced Lalu’s Father to carry their packs and when the government troops arrived, they shot him in suspicion that he had been a Maoist himself. Lalu’s Grandfather told us through his wrinkled, stoic expression, that this year, drought had destroyed their first crop, and then a flood had completely wiped out his second field down by the bank of the river. All that was left was one bag of grain to get them through the winter.
Sarita was another young child seemingly trapped by the same stubborn poverty that had appeared to have fallen heavily on these villages. Yet her spark and the hopes that she shared with me for her future left me with a new realisation; all that she and the countless other children like her needed was the opportunity to pursue the dreams and the potential that they were already filled with.
I realised then that if these children only had a fraction of the opportunities that we so readily take for granted in Australia – like the chance to go to school, to drink clean water and to live happy, healthy lives – Sarita and children just like her could escape poverty and transform not just their own lives but the future of their communities and perhaps even their country.
It is this hope that has continued to see me work with such children ever since. And it is this hope that I want to share with you here in Nepal.
You can watch Sarita’s story below.
And now Nepal is my home. I am privileged to live with my wife in this incredible country, to speak the language (ok I’m working on that one!) and to engage in real and deep relationships with its people.
I wonder what Nepal will mean to you? Why not come and find out…