Argentina Hung
Parbatipur, Chitwan - 4 weeks (July 2007)

I arrived in Nepal at the beginning of July 2007.  The first week in Nepal consisted of mainly training and sightseeing.  All volunteers had to undergo Nepal language lessons to assist in the language barrier and culture difference.  This also included spending two days in a village called Dhulikhel, which is located just outside Kathmandu (also known as the "training village").  I stayed with a local "host family" in Dhulikhel and was treated with the greatest kindness.  The time I spent in Dhulikhel (although it was only two days) was memorable by the kindness of all the people that lived in the village.  I was welcomed with open arms and made part of the village community as soon as I arrived.  The children in the village were adorable.

The second week in Nepal was spent on two different activities.  The first activity was a visit to Chitwan Jungle Safari for three days.  This meant a long 5-hour bus ride from Kathmandu to Chitwan.  The second activity was four days trekking in Pokhara, again, a long 5-hour bus journey from Chitwan to Pokhara.  Both activities were worthwhile.

In terms of placement, I did not have a preference in location.  As a result, I was placed at a Resource Centre (alternatively known as a Library/Community Centre) in Parbatipur, Chitwan.  This is where I spent the remainder of my time in Nepal.  I stayed with a host family located right next door to the Resource Centre!  The host family were very kind and welcoming.  I spent a considerable amount of time playing cards with the children at the host family and managed to teach them a few new games to remember! 

The Resource Centre is simply a place where the children can go before and after school as they wish.  It is not compulsory and extremely laid back!  I was able to teach them more or less anything I wanted!  This is because the Resource Centre is not a school, hence there was no need to follow a rigid curriculum.

The Resource Centre was open from 7-9am and 4-6pm everyday (except Saturday).  Since my placement was in July, the majority of the children were off on school holidays, hence the Resource Centre was open longer each day.  I also wanted to teach English at a local school, but due to the school holidays, this was not possible.  The children that attended the Resource Centre aged from as little as 3 years old to 13 years old.  Some children even came twice each day!  Activities in the Resource Centre included reading, drawing, colouring, playing number and word games, singing and playing outside.

Overall, the placement in Parbatipur was a great experience.  In addition, the two days spent in Dhulikhel was a memorable experience.  I am very grateful for the warm welcome I received from both host families and will always remember the people I met.