I lived and worked in Kathmandu for an organization for five months in 2016, but it wasn’t teaching, which is my passion. I met Michael (another volunteer at Superb Catalyst Academy) in Kathmandu, and he told me about this school and the opportunity of teaching and living in Khanikhola, which is quite different from living in Kathmandu. The idea excited me, but after almost 1 year away from home, I had to go back home to give it a chance.
However, I missed Nepal a lot. The cultural shock I had in Brussels, where I used to live, convinced me after only 10 days to buy my flight ticket back to Nepal. The decision was taken; I was going to be back in January 2017 for a new life experience!
Even if I used to love living in Kathmandu; Khanikhola and globalhome are something else.
Mountains and crops surround Ajoy’s house, they are what you see first when you wake up. Birds singing are what you hear first, or maybe the bell of the temple, or maybe the neighbor’s goats. If you open your door, birds even come inside to wish you a good morning. The land must be gifted, as the crops grow fast and massive. All this nature gives you priceless serenity and peace during your stay here.
In Kathmandu I used to live with western colleagues and friends. But again, it is not comparable to experience living with a local family. I have volunteered in Thailand, Ecuador and Nepal, and there is no better way to know and enjoy a new culture than becoming part of it. Ajoy, Bina and Emi are adorable, an open-minded family with a big heart and inspirational motivation to change things. The first day I arrived at globalhome, around 10 pm, Emi (10 years old), delighted me with a great dancing performance. I love dancing, so I knew we were going to get along very well. Emi brings a lot of joy to globalhome.
The kids at school love every volunteer. They want to spend time with you from the first minute you meet them. The school gives you a lot of freedom to do what you can think you can do best, or what you feel more comfortable with, from kindergarten to high school.
But freedom comes with responsibility! The purpose is to improve their English level. Some of the kids have a good level, some of them not at all. But with patience, a big smile, easy instructions and maybe a little helper, you can get them involved. We discovered that they like activities as Yoga or Tai-chi. We discovered great artists through “Talent Shows”, and good scientists from the “Science contest”.
After a couple of months, I can say that I have learnt a lot, professionally and personally, from this experience, and it has been a really positive one. You may have to adapt yourself to some situations you are not used to, but you will feel so grateful for what you have experienced here!