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What Nepal means to me

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We asked Niamh Reavill, a student from Godolphin School, to tell us about her experiences in Nepal, and this is what she wrote…

What was your most memorable experience in Nepal?

The trip was full of many memories but my most memorable experience was being able to play basketball with the children at Tibetan School, Srongtsen. Although, as an all-girls team that had never played basketball before, we were rather poor, it was so much fun and ended up with our whole group on the court, whilst still managing to lose!

What was the most challenging experience and how did you deal with it?

The most challenging experience was definitely digging the 7ft hole for the drinking water system at the school. By putting a rotation of girls it meant that we all had to do the strenuous part of carrying the heavy mud-filled baskets on our heads to the designated tipping point. By having breaks little and often, encouraging each other and working as a team, it meant that our motivation and spirits were high. The school children would come and watch us work during their breaks, which was always really rewarding to meet who we were digging a water supply for.

Which charity did you find the most inspiring? Why?

I found the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in Nepal most interesting to listen to. All of the team were extremely passionate about what they do and gave us an insight into life in Nepal with global affairs. Nepal is the second poorest country in Asia, and had major natural disasters such as the earthquake in 2015. DFID talked to us about their schemes, such as infrastructure care and plans, helping to provide safer and more durable buildings for future potential disasters.

Who do you wish you could meet again? Why?

I wish I could meet Gautam, our leader for the week. He was an amazing man, with so much knowledge to offer. At each stop he would inform us of any and all information there was to know about the sites such as the Stupa and Durbar Square. If it was crossing the roads or helping us to barter prices down, Gautam was always the first to help.

What’s the most important thing you think you got out of the trip?

No matter what, we should always be grateful for what we have. On comparing Nepal to UK, there was a huge difference. The streets were narrow and dusty, with seas of people day and night, the people all work very hard and, in most cases, for very little money. The children in the school lived miles away from their parents with no internet or new clothes, just the bare basics and simple things in life. Their food was very similar each day, as well as their routine in the classroom and only going home after they had all finished their exams at the end of their year. We arrived by bus and had to walk only 10 minutes to the school whereas some of the children are walking for hours every day. Digging the hole for the clean water system – this is also something we take for granted every day.

Would you go again?

I would go back to Nepal without a doubt. The days that we spent there were absolutely eye opening and taught me so much. Learning about different beliefs and ways of living was super interesting and something I will never forget. Hopefully in the future, I will be able to go back. It was by far my most memorable trip so far and I am so grateful to everyone involved in planning and taking us all out there!

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