VOLUNTEER ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
On arrival in Nepal, volunteers are accommodated in a guesthouse in Kathmandu for the 3-day duration of orientation. Volunteers are then accommodated together in homestays run by local host families, who have been approved by our program staff. We give your host family a fee for your support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a host family, providing you with a unique opportunity to learn about the Nepalese way of life, meet local people, try local food and speak the local language. Please note, host families in Nepal speak limited English. Living is basic but comfortable and most homestays have electricity and running water, however some rural homestays do not have electricity or running water during the dry season. Squat toilets are the norm in Nepal and you will not come across many western toilets. Volunteers can also expect low-pressure showers that are generally not heated. Volunteers can expect to share a room with one to three other volunteers and bedrooms are comprised of single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. It is recommended volunteers bring their own sleeping bag and mosquito nets for any trips away.
The staple meal for most Nepali families is dal bhat, which consists of lentil soup (dal), rice (bhat) and vegetables in curry (tarkari) and/or meat (masu) with side of pickle/sauce (achar). Indian and Tibetan influenced dishes also very common in Nepal, including plenty of curries, breads and potato-based dishes. Volunteers are served two meals per day at their homestay and can purchase additional food to supplement this if they wish. Bottled water is readily available in Nepal and volunteers should budget approximately US$5 per week for this (2 liters per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Orientation is taken by our Nepal team in Kathmandu and runs over the course of 3 days. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Nepal – Introduction to Nepal, Nepalese Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Nepal, Introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: While a volunteer daily schedule will vary depending on the specific placement, a typical day is as follows:
7.30 AM Breakfast at the homestay.
8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is usually a tea break and a lunch break.
2.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house, go sight seeing, or do some shopping.
7.00 PM - 9.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of their local town and Nepal. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield and engage in tourist activities, such as trekking, jungle safaris and visits to temples.