Volunteering in Pokhara, Nepal

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July 12th 2011
Published: July 12th 2011
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I just finished volunteering for two weeks at a foster home for children. DB and Rekha have adopted 8 children in addition to their 3 biological children from remote mountain areas of Nepal. Some of the children have fathers who have left or died and others were street children that did drugs. The rural areas in Nepal are very poor and without Foster Foundation Nepal these children would not have food security, healthcare, or go to school. DB and Rekha dream of adopting more children and expanding their program to include a handicraft business for single women with children. In Nepal, divorce is basically forbidden and women whose husbands leave them are branded witches by their family and village (this happens in rural areas), making it impossible to support their children.

The organization is brand new and is still struggling to get on its feet. I helped Rekha start a cooking class business teaching tourists how to make Nepali dal baht, momos, and pakauda. I was her first customer - delicious! We advertised to the hotels and travel agencies in Pokhara and hopefully this will bring the family some extra money.

Nepalis eat lentils with rice (dal baht) for 2 large meals per day. It took some getting used to, but after a few days I had sort of adjusted. It was hard to get used to spicy veg, rice, and potatoes in the morning and really hard to get used to eating much more per sitting than I usually do because there are only 2 main meals per day with a snack in between. Then I got sick for about a week....some sort of bacterial infection. Now, I can't even smell dal baht without feeling ill. It is going to be a while before I can have lentils again.

I have had a blast volunteering, but my two weeks are up. I am going to go do a yoga retreat, some whitewater rafting, an Everest flight, and then head back home!

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