I’m not sure what I’m packing for

August 1st, 2017

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My next several weeks are filled with lots of “I don’t knows.” I try and avoid questions about my trip to Nepal, my answer to whatever someone is asking is usually “I don’t know.” I don’t know what my accommodations are going to look like. I don’t know how good my Wifi will be there. I don’t know my daily schedule while I’m there. I don’t know what kind of food they will have there. However, I do know that they have women that work at the dorms where I will be staying that will take good care of the volunteers. I do know that I enjoy not having access to Wifi. I do know that I will eat anything vegetarian, and vegetarian Nepali food is not hard to find. I’m not sure how the rest of my trip is going to pan out and I’m not sure that I want to know.

During my stay in Nepal, I will be working with an organization called Mountain Volunteer/Her Farm (partner organizations that work for the same cause).  For the first two weeks, I get to shadow doctors in a busy city hospital in Kathmandu across all different fields. Then for the next three weeks, I’ll travel up the mountain into a village where Her Farm is located. The mission of this organization is to support women and children who have to provide for themselves. They have a health clinic at the farm to help the women of Her Farm and the community in the village get access to health care and education. Life isn’t particularly easy for mothers and children in Nepal. These two organizations are creating a means for women to be self-sufficient. In addition to providing opportunities for women and their families, Her Farm is dedicated to using organic farming. Nepal is mostly an agrarian society and the use of chemicals by farmers has increased over recent years. By committing to organic farming, they’re not only consuming healthier food but creating a more humane atmosphere for the entire village.

I’ve been researching this organization for months now. Every time I go on their website I get inspired and excited all over again. It hasn’t hit me yet that I will be there in less than a week. The place looks so green so fresh, but also cramped and busy. I don’t know what role this experience will have in my life, but other than my packed suitcase, everything else feels routine. Maybe it’ll hit me once I’m there, maybe it will take leaving Nepal to realize that I was in Nepal. Regardless, I’m excited to see who I’ll meet and the stories I’ll hear. I’m excited to be a part of this community; to learn their language and their games; to walk the streets and feel at home.

Harshi Mogallapalli

Class of 2018

Biology Major & PHSC/History Minors

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