Volunteering in Nepal

In September/October 2003 I stayed four weeks in Nepal to see the country and work as a volunteer in an orphanage.
The placement was arranged for me by a Kathmandu-located organization I found by searching the Internet, RCDP Nepal.

This journey was one of the most colourful and interesting I have ever done.

For those interested in what it was like and maybe even want to do a volunteering project themselves I have assembled this little photo gallery.
All pictures were taken with an analog Pentax reflex camera, digitalized and then compressed for faster display.

If you want to know more, see more (or in better quality): Feel free to write an email to
kendo (at) kaltenpoth.de


1. The Group Experience


The first part of the trip was a one-week Nepali language course (including one day sightseeing).
Tapaaiko naam ke ho? Mero Nepali naam Prakash ho! ;o)
I was in a group of 10 volunteers, all bound for different projects afterwards, from a choice of: English teaching, orphanage work, construction work in a village or helping at a health post. We were staying in a RCDP-managed guesthouse in Kathmandu, where the class room was located as well. The group was a nice mixture of nations and ages, and I found this week a pleasant start to get into the unknown depths of the 'volunteering business'.
After the language course most of us went off to the second stage of country introduction: village stay, rafting, trekking. Not for me, though, because my vacation time was pitiful short, that I skipped that part and began working in my placement immediately afterwards.


The language class... Lessons began at 10 a.m., for only about 4 hours a day, so it was pretty relaxed.
But everyone did some 'homework' on his own, so in the end we were able to speak a respectable
little bit of Nepali! Here we have Canada, England, Germany, USA, Australia sitting side by side ;o)


Tapaaiko pariwaarma ko ko chha? Means: Who belongs to your family? Our friendly teacher
Raj wanted to know all about it ;o)


Break time on a sunny morning. There was a nicely tended mini lawn behind the guesthouse,
and lying on it was definitely comfortable ;o)


After lessons there was enough time to do some exploring in the neighbourhood to get a first
glimpse of what Nepal (or at least Kathmandu) is about. Here a typical tailor store ;o)


Volunteers on their way to downtown Kathmandu.... The roads were mostly in a very poor condition.
Because at the end of September the Monsoon was not quite over. When it rained, many places
became a nice mess of mud you had to walk through. As for paved streets: There was always a
wide choice of potholes to fall into ;o)


The guesthouse was located almost immediate beneath the famous Swayambhu temple hill,
or monkey temple, because of the many monkeys living in the surrounding forest. A beautiful


Locals turning the many prayer wheels set into the walls of a Tibetan temple at the base of Swayambhu.
Nepal is mainly a Hindu country, but because of many people exiled from Tibet there are many important
Buddhist temples and monasteries, like Swayambhu


Inside a temple building


Kathmandu lies in a beautiful green valley, but crowds it with a sea of rather simple
houses, no particular skyline and -last, but not least- awfully smoggy traffic that
I found even worse than in Delhi or Bangkok! If you want to enjoy the beauty of the
country, you need to travel at least a little outside of the city. Then soon you will
have rich, green impressions of what Nepal is 'really' like...


The end of the language course means departure: For most of the participants to a three-day village
stay outside of Kathmandu, for me the transition to my placement at an orphanage... On that day the
fading monsoon provided us with one of its last rainshowers.


2. The Culture Experience

3. The Volunteering Experience

4. The Mountain Experience

München - Impressionen  
Nepal 2003
Baltikum 2006 Namibia 2009 South Africa 2009 I South Africa 2009 II Peru 2010 I
Peru 2010 II
Mexico 2013
Guatemala 2013