From June 13 to June 15 we spent 54 hours traveling to
our destination. This was broken up with 4 flights and one awesome excursion in Singapore. In Singapore we went to Gardens By the Bay which are these massive super trees and flower dome that has been built to help control pollution. These massive super trees are actually solar panels that use their energy to light up at night and power the flower dome. These trees also catch acidic rain and filter it down to plants that have the ability to pull carbon dioxide out of the water. The trees are also able to pull water out of the humid air and use it to create a humid, tropical environment inside the flower dome without wasting water. It was an amazing experience to be able to have. Even totally worth the rain that gave us all a nice soaking before having to go back to the airport.
Once we got to Nepal we were all exhausted and gross. They feed us a wonderful dinner before quickly sending us up to shower and pass out. The following day we were able to sleep in and take plenty of time to rest and restore before our excursion. We went to Durbar square, a traditional healing/signing bowl store, and the monkey temple. While we all loved every place we went we all were a littler scared of the traffic. The driving here is just mayhem and honestly a thrill for those who aren’t used to being mere inches away from other massive buses or buildings.
On Sunday we had our opening ceremonies and were able to meet the children at the orphanage that we will be serving at. The owner of the orphanage was born with 24 fingers and his parents banished him to live with the animals. At age 7 he left to commit suicide but ended up as a beggar instead. For the next 20 years he begged on the streets until he had raised $5,000 and was able to open the orphanage. He now takes care and houses 45 children. They all have access to shelter, water, food, and education. He has provided amazing care for these kids. They just recently had their first child graduate school and he has already started working. After opening ceremonies we hiked over 2 miles to get to the school, all up hill. It was a humbling experience considering these kids have to walk every day and it’s not an easy walk. At the school we got to play and dance around with the kids. Now the bus ride home was a new experience. The rain had soften the ground and the pot holes were massive. Our bus would feel like it was completely sideways and just moments away from tipping over. Luckily it didn’t but once we were downhill we all felt relieved.
On Monday we started our work. At the school we had dance classes, hacky sack lessons, and fun art projects. The vocational team started teaching the women to crotchet. The women picked it up very quickly and were already advancing more than any of us thought they would. Paul taught men’s health while Bella and Jonessa taught our women’s health. It was a big hit! Our construction group had a very big day as well. We lucked out and had no rain so we were able to dig a trench and start the foundation for the wall. Construction took a long time and our whole team had to help out at the end getting all the cement work done. But we pulled together and were able to push through!
It’s the middle of the trip and some of us might be over jet lag? Not likely! We are all exhausted over here in Kathmandu! But don’t worry the majority of us our very well caffeinated and running on adrenaline to get the job done!Never have I personally felt so close with a group of people so fast! We truly have the kindest, most hardworking group of kids. Everyone has reached out to get to know each other, and I have personally loved getting to know everyone on the trip! So far we have the trouble makers which are Adrian and Paul, Saint Susan who has saved all of our lives at least twice, Aaliyah who has been kicking butt on the construction and is being called a “true Nepali women” by some of the locals, and of course Wendy who has made sure everyone was well taken care of and being the best version of themselves. I’ve learned some funny things like Luke popping Pepto Bismol likes it’s candy, Cayden and Dalton are relentless barterers and Sydnee can do yoga just about anywhere. We have all grown so close as a team and such a short amount of time it’s truly amazing.
Our team is also amazingly adaptable. Anyone is ready to teach a class at any point in time whether they are scheduled or not. They will walk into a classroom with nothing but their own imagination and rock the kids socks off. Susan has gone from healing our team to healing anyone who stumbles her way which has included children from the orphanage and even people from the village in desperate need for some medical attention or maybe just a nice big Susan hug. Anyone is willing to hike up their teaching skirts and pants and get dirty if extra work is needed on construction, no matter if they are in rain boots or sandals. Our team is determined and brave.
Last but not least are the connections made. Every time we walk into a classroom the children’s faces light up. They see us and they don’t just see teachers but they see friends, sisters and brothers, and role models. We have the power to motivate and provide hope. Sure some of our English lessons might be forgotten but what will be engraved is the hope and kindness we share in hopes to inspire these children’s young and impressionable minds. The message is clear, you can achieve great things. No matter where you come from you can. I hope to see these children work hard and achieve what they are possible to. I’m excited for the future for them and for us and I can’t wait to finish up the hard work with my new best friends!-Maisy Hayes
The closing ceremonies were so special. You could really feel the special energy that the kids were putting off. It was a feeling of never wanting to leave and we were so happy with all that we had done. The relationships we made with the kids were something that will never compare to anything else. They were so special, I never wanted to leave them! I don’t think anyone did. We cried we laughed we smiled. Those were moments that I never will forget.
Coming home was a trek! 36 hours of traveling seemed so short compared to the 58 hours on the way there. We went all over from Singapore to Korea to LA to Utah!! We had a little bit of turbulence during the way… the team didn’t really like that. Other than that the traveling was great. The morning of, we ended up having to haul our luggage out of the stupa and across the busy road to the truck for all of our luggage! It was definitely a walk with all the bags but it was kind of an adventure.
This trip was easily the best decision of my life. I think many on my team would agree with me. It was something so special, you can try to explain what you saw and what you did to other people but you really just can’t explain it. I think everyone should try to do volunteer work whether that is in or out of our country. It makes you so happy!! The Nepal June team was amazing and I don’t think it would’ve been as cool with out them. Everyone was so nice and loving, we really worked hard to get things done! I love Nepal!