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IVHQ Video Tour: Nepal

Nepal is next up on the IVHQ Video Tour itinerary and our camera crew, George and Kate, have plenty to report back from this colorful country...

Leaving China we take a short flight to Nepal, touching down in the bustling city of Kathmandu. The IVHQ projects available are based not only in the capital city, but also in Pokhara and the Chitwan region. This means some volunteers can visit a variety of locations during their stay. Accommodation ranges from homestays with local Nepali families, to guesthouses with other volunteers.

Friday 15 March

Sixteen new IVHQ volunteers have just arrived in Kathmandu to begin volunteering in Nepal, so we are able to join their program orientation.

A look at Kathmandu in Nepal

First up is an overnight trip to Chitlang, a small village located about 26 kilometers from Katmandu city. Reaching Chitlang, however, is no easy feat and involves a rather adventurous bus ride over the scenic hills surrounding Kathmandu. The remote location of Chitlang has seen it remain pretty much untouched by tourism and makes it the perfect spot for the orientation to begin.

On arrival, we are greeted by local host families who have prepared a tasty welcome lunch for us. We then head off for a hike in the beautiful surrounding hills, followed by a boat ride across the lake. The volunteers are then given an orientation class, which includes learning the important aspects of Nepali culture. Their afternoon is then filled with games and activities that help them get to know each other and learn more about Nepal.

Orientation in Nepal with International Volunteer HQ

In the evening, the volunteers eat dinner together, which has again been prepared by locals, before heading off to stay the night with various host families in the village. 

IVHQ volunteers in Nepal at orientation

Saturday 16 March

Today, we take a short flight from Kathmandu to the city of Pokhara, a truly stunning destination located at the foothills of the Himalayas. Pokhara is the starting point for many tourists setting out to trek the Annapurna range.

Here, we visit two different orphanages in the surrounding area, where several volunteers have been working for five months. The children at both these placement are today preparing for their upcoming exams, so the volunteers are helping them with important revisions. 

IVHQ Childcare volunteer in Nepal

We then take a drive up the hill to Sarangkot, which provides us with some of the most spectacular views over both Pokhara and also back towards the mountain range. In the evening, we go for dinner in the popular tourist area of Lakeside and watch a cultural dance and music show at the Fewa Paradise restaurant.

Sunday 17 March

Early in the morning, we take the five-hour bus ride from Pokhara to the Chitwan area. Our destination is the serene village of Padampokhari, where several IVHQ volunteers have been based. We visit one of the local host families who have prepared a traditional dal bhat lunch for us.

We then go to a local school, where another volunteer has been based for several months. Here, he has been teaching English, not only to the children but also to the teaching staff; a very important step to ensure the ongoing development of English at this school.

In the late afternoon, we drive to Chitwan National Park, a magnificent nature reserve covering 932 square kilometers of land and a must for anyone visiting Nepal. We take a slightly nerve-racking canoe ride down the crocodile infested river before doing a guided trek through the jungle. We are lucky enough to see a rhino bathing in one of the watering holes as well as monkeys, deer, peacocks and kingfishers.

Visiting Chitwan National Park in Nepal with IVHQ

Monday 18 March

We get up early to do an elephant trek in a different part of the National Park. Again, we are quite fortunate and get to see more deer, monkeys, peacocks and crocodiles. 

We then fly back to Kathmandu and spend the early afternoon site-seeing around the city. Our first stop is the Pashupatinath Temple, a Hindu temple located on the banks of the Bagmati River.

Visiting Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal with IVHQ

Next, we head to a nearby orphanage, where a volunteer from Canada has been placed for the last 3 weeks. He has been involved in many different projects at this orphanage; the latest is tiling the floor in the bathroom to create a more hygienic space. He has also helped with the installation of a water purification unit to ensure the children have clean drinking water.

In the late afternoon, we visit the beautiful Shree Boudhanath Buddha temple and eat lunch on a nearby roof top cafe. In the evening, we go to Bhojan Griha restaurant to watch a dance and culture show, whilst eating a traditional Nepali meal.

To see more photos from the tour, check out the IVHQ Video Tour: Nepal album on Facebook.

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