It is 1 week until I leave San Francisco for Nepal and it’s hard to believe that in 8 days I will be in Kathmandu. The past few months have been so filled with work and school that I have barely had time to reflect on the fact that I will soon be journeying to the complete opposite side of the world. Now that the trip is coming closer, though, the excitement and fear are really starting to hit me. I’m really terrified. I have never travelled completely on my own before, especially to the other side of the globe. I have never even been to Asia and now I am going for the first time by myself. I can’t help but to feel that I’m in a little over my head. I’ve been preparing for this experience for months, but I still just have no idea what to expect from Kathmandu and the organization I will be working with once I arrive. I will be working on a women’s empowerment program through the International Volunteer Headquarters. I will be teaching English to women aged 16+ who never received a proper education. Despite my fears, I am really excited for this placement. I have taught once before and it was difficult but also rewarding and I hope that working at this school will be a similar experience. I am nervous about how I will be able to teach effectively if there is a large language barrier between me and my students. I really want this to be a positive experience for both me and for the women in the school. I know how privileged my life has been in many ways, education included, and it would be wonderful if I could share some of my knowledge to help make their lives easier. I would also love to learn from them about the local Nepali culture and customs, hear their stories and find out more about their lives. I have so many hopes and fears about what the next five weeks of my life will be like but I am also trying to keep an open mind about what to expect. Hopefully through this solo journey I will be able to learn a bit more about myself too, about what I want and what motivates me. Maybe I’ll come out of this experience with a bit of new passion or direction. Sitting here in my dorm at Santa Clara University in California, Nepal seems worlds away. It is quite literally a world away. I’m overwhelmed by the thought that I still have to get through finals, move out of my dorm, and finish my preparation for the fellowship but I know the next few days will go by so quickly and the next thing I know I will be in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Until next time!