20 servant leaders from Servant Leadership Training Programme (SLTP) joined "SLTP 18/19 Global Village Community Service Project – Nepal" from 2 to 9 January 2019. They visited Lamjung, an old village in Nepal destroyed by Earthquake in 2015 to conduct classes and DIY workshops for the local children and women. They also provided support to the village through painting works and farming.
I could still recall how surprised I was in my parents’ quick approval of my trip. My parents have never allowed me to travel abroad without them, yet here they were, allowing me to participate in a volunteer service in Nepal for 8 days, without giving it a second thought. Their response gave me both excitement and anxiousness. I was excited because I could do what I’ve always wanted to do: travel! But more importantly, I was also anxious, because this trip contains everything that I am not comfortable in doing. I had never been away from my family and home for 8 days. I had never been confident speaking in front of a classroom and had certainly never tried teaching kids that don’t understand English. I also had never been comfortable socializing and working with people that I’ve just met, much less spend 8 whole days with them.You may ask: then why did you sign up for this trip?
Because I want to prove myself, that I can conquer all these difficulties. Simple as that. Fears will remain as fears if you don’t have the courage and determination to conquer them. So I’ve decided to have a little confidence in myself, took a leap of faith, and joined the service trip. And boy, was it the best decision I’ve made in 2018. I’ve gained confidence through teaching kids and became more outspoken in my team. I’ve made friends, and had a chance to be independent, away from home. But most importantly, I’ve truly experienced happiness from doing volunteer service in Nepal. The smiles and laughter I see from the Nepalese kids is the best reward for our hard work. The simple life I’ve experienced living in a village was eye-opening, and just as, if not more, fulfilling as life in the city. Because of my leap of faith, I was able to make the best out of this SLTP program, and the experience I’ve had in Nepal is surely something that I would never forget.
It has been almost 2 weeks since we returned from Nepal. In these days, I kept on recalling the memories of our interactions with the villagers at Lamjung, the teachers and students at Shree Ganga Milan Secondary School, the women who taught us ploughing, the Artist who painted the wall professionally and more...
This is not my first service trip, and I'm sure it won't be the last one.
People are asking, “Why do you have to go, it seems tough.” Yes, it might be challenging, but what it brings is rewarding! I have a better understanding of the simple yet enjoyable life of the villagers. We had “dal baht” (bean soup, rice with potatoes and vegetables) every night, the hospitable villagers kept on offering us more generously. Able to enjoy the local food every day was also part of the valuable experience! “Mito-Cha” (delicious)!
The greatest reward from this trip is that I fully engaged and lived in every moment of it. Everything starts since I decided to apply for it. Then I get myself physically and psychologically prepared for this journey. During the preparation, the team and I were trying our best to brainstorm and design what to teach and paint on their walls, hoping that we can create the warm and harmonious feelings between the two countries. Thankfully, we were able to show our love and warm caring to all of them. I realised how powerful and successful our creation of work can be when we worked as a team and fully engaged in it!
Till now, I’m still missing the morning that we said “Namaste नमस्ते ” (Hello) to each other with cheerful smiles hanging on our faces.
On the last night of our stay in the village, I was granted the opportunity to put on their traditional clothing and dance with the villagers. At that moment, I think there is no excuse for me to not to enjoy it and dance happily together! It was the time that I truly feel like I’m part of this warm family. It was super fun and remarkable! Thanks for the warm-hearted farewell ceremony!
A service trip is a commitment, as well as a precious experience.
All the memories we created together will be forever kept in my mind.
“Dhanyabad धन्यवाद” (Thank you)!!!