After about two days of language classes and sightseeing, you will be moved to the host family. They will be fully trained in hosting volunteers and you won’t be left in the dark about anything: toilets, drinking water, bedding, how to work the shower, where to buy anything you need nearby, and basic etiquette. If you want an early night then that is fine, but you will also be given the opportunity to ring home or send emails from the Volunteer Society Nepal office so any parents or loved ones won’t be worrying about you.
It’s possible we already start this day at your project. If time appears to be short, we will start the next day in the morning. Our Volunteer Society Nepal direct, Dinesh, will discuss and finalize your program upon arrival so you know what to expect during the first days in Nepal.
While you volunteer with Volunteer Society Nepal you will be staying with a Nepali host family. Be part of a Nepali family. Eat together with the family. Play with the children. Experience the rich Nepali culture firsthand. Many volunteers tell us this unique insight into the culture of Nepal is a key part of why they come back again and again.
All our host families have conducted training regarding hosting volunteers adequately. They know how to ensure hygiene and provide security. They will treat you as a member of the family. To secure the knowledge of the western culture and desires we train our host families yearly.
Although we do not experience it frequently and it can be considered very rare, it could be possible you are not satisfied with your host family. In that case, it’s possible to switch host families. We want to guarantee your happiness and secure a positive experience of Nepal. Hence, we remain in contact if ever runs properly at your host family during your stay.
When you arrive on placement you will be introduced to your host family by the Volunteer Society Nepal representative and given a full tour of the premises. Many of our host families have children and it seems many of our volunteers enjoy helping them with their English, learning to cook Nepali food, and mixing in with their life. On the other way around, we experience volunteers learning a lot from the hosts and children regarding life in Nepal.
At the host families, you will stay with or without fellow volunteers. You can clarify your preference and we will take that into account while arranging your host family. It is always possible to stay as a couple or group of friends in one host family. You should consider the host family as your temporary family in Nepal. As they will treat and value you as a family member. They can even help you how to discover the neighborhood, advice on travels, and offer you warmth in times of homesickness.
You should not expect luxury during your stay in Nepal. Nepal is a developing country and may well be different from what you are used to at home. However, you will have your own room unless requested otherwise, and the rooms are always clean and comfortable. The quality of toilet and washing facilities varies significantly between placements. If you are based in Kathmandu you may find you have a hot shower and a Western-style toilet in your homestay. However, if you are in a rural placement then it is more likely that you will have a traditional squat toilet and a cold shower. If you feel like having a hot shower and flushing the toilet is a priority then make this clear when you are applying and we will see if it is possible to find you one of our better-equipped host families.
The electricity supply in all areas is limited. Due to nationwide electricity shortages, the government imposes power cuts of around 12-14 hours a day. In the cities, some houses have backup batteries that will run low-power bulbs in key rooms, but in rural areas, you can expect to use candles. A head torch is a very useful thing to bring.
On placement, you will usually eat with the family and share the same food as them. At least two meals a day are provided for you while volunteering. The usual meal times are between 9 and 10 AM and 6 and 8 PM. You will usually be served the national staple of Dal Bhat Tarkari which is a tasty and filling plate of rice, vegetable curry, lentils and pickles. It may occasionally have meat such as chicken or mutton in it, although if you are vegetarian this can easily be explained. This may be supplemented occasionally by noodles, eggs and other snacks dependent on your host family and placement
Your host family will provide you with clean drinking water on your placement.