I cannot begin express how much my time in Nepal has become a part of me, but I will try.
The service component of our trip was to help build a school in a village in Dhangadhe in collaboration with buildOn, http://www.buildon.org/. We were not only given an amazing a beautiful welcome into the community, but a handful of villagers were kind enough to allow us to live in their homes. Let me just say how amazing it was to have that experience with my host family. Some were a bit more shy and reserved, but Jacob Lowenherz, my housemate, and I always could feel how much they wanted to learn and share with us despite the language barrier. As time in the village progressed, I learned some words to allow myself to entertain them. I remember all of my host family, and my experience with them really made the school so much more worthwhile.
Building the school was a whole new level of service experience for me, because so many villagers were actively helping out and working right next to us. Being able to always peek into the former school buildings and say hello to the students while taking a break was always nice. As the time progressed and we were working more in lines, a couple Nepali women started to teach some of us how to say “give to me” and “I give to you” in Tharu, their language. They always were so gracious about mispronunciation and showed such appreciation towards us trying to use the words.
I often think back to my time in that village and smile thinking that there will be a school there that will contribute to a positive future for all of the villagers.
In addition, after the recent earthquake that has hit Nepal, I would like to urge anyone to pass this experience to anyone they know to perhaps inspire them to help with relief. The village was not damaged, but Kathmandu was severely destroyed, and help would be welcome.