Jays Nepal Reflection

Over spring break I traveled to Nepal along with other Friends students to begin construction on a school in a rural village.  We partnered with an organization called build on (www.buildon.org) that helps to build schools in rural communities all over the world.  As we approached Damaliyah we were able to see the towns people in the distance, they were all gathered in one big mob waving to us in anticipation of our arrival.  Almost immediately after dismounting the van we were whisked away to an opening ceremony that the villagers had prepared for us.  The ceremony was filled with endless dances, songs, and speeches and by the end one thing was clear.  They were certainly pleased to have us there.

My favorite part of the trip was interacting with our home stay family.  The first night was awkward.  Our host family only knew a few words of English and our only knowledge of Tharu came from a 5 page handbook that was mostly outdated.  After some practice and with the help of our translators we were able to manage fairly well.  It was easier to communicate with the children than it was the parents because the children were more out going and less embarrassed than the parents.  One of the most satisfying moments of the trip was getting to play soccer with a bunch of the local kids.  As a gift for my host family I got a soccer ball but at first the kids began to it to play volleyball.  We played volleyball for a bit until I put the ball on the ground and made a motion for soccer.  The other kids nodded and we began to play.  Within no time everyone was screaming and yelling at each other and even though we didn’t speak the same languages, I still felt as if we were still able to connect really well

Our host brother Alvin and our host mother Sabitri

Our host brother Alvin and our host mother Sabitri

Our host brother Alvin

Our host brother Alvin

Our host brother "gunda"

Our host brother “gunda”

Dancing at the welcome ceremony

Dancing at the welcome ceremony

Welcome ceremony

Welcome ceremony

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Jay’s Service Reflcetion

The part of the project I found most challenging was constructing the presentation. Our group spent a lot of time working on our presentation and at times it became very tedious.  We worked very well as a group and were able to easily to work through all of our issues without any argument.  I found this challenging because it was very hard to make a compelling presentation in under 10 minutes.  As a group, we tried to have as little text on our presentation as possible so the audience didn’t get bored reading a bunch of information on our slides. We also wanted to include videos in order to keep our audience engaged and to make sure they understood what we were talking about.

The most rewarding part of our YPI project was when we gave our presentation. We had worked a lot on our presentation and it was nice for it to all come together in the final presentation.  The presentation not only hard in the sense of constructing it, it was not easy to go up and present in front of the whole 9th grade.  We had practiced a lot on things like making sure we made eye contact with the audience and speaking clearly. In our initial presentation we had not done as good of a job and it felt really good to improve.  The joint most rewarding part of this project was  making our social issue more known.  Sex trafficking is an overlooked social issue and not many people are educated about it.  People have different ideas of sex trafficking then what is actually happening and it was nice to clarify and educate people on our project, knowing we were making a difference.