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An Unforgettable Trip to Nepal
By Nikoline O and Costanza O, Grade 12 Students

"Before going on the PDW we were told that NAG brings out the best in people, and I think it’s safe to say that it really did." Darius, ISZL student

Whether you were a shy dancer or a bold actor, quiet and reserved or loud and outgoing, there was room for everyone on the Nepal Personal Development Week (PDW).

On the 20th of September we (nineteen Grade 11 & 12 students and four teachers) embarked on an unforgettable journey to Kathmandu, Nepal where we stayed for a week and learned to embrace the chaotic, yet relaxed Nepalese mentality. We primarily worked with the charity school Nawa Asha Griha (NAG), which when translated means Home of New Hopes. NAG is a boarding and day school for street kids of Kathmandu, which provides them with shelter, food, love and education, but also a chance to pursue their dreams and break the poverty cycle.

Many of us had donated to NAG throughout our years at ISZL, so it was extremely touching to see how far our donations go and how grateful all the children are. Every kid has a heartbreaking story, but that does not prevent them from having a big smile on their face every single day and seizing their possibilities at NAG, which was very inspirational and thought-provoking.

Spending time with the students in one of NAG's classrooms

On the first day at the school, despite our worries of it being awkward and not knowing what to do, we were all welcomed into the family within seconds of stepping off the bus. We instantly bonded with the kids, who seemed nothing like strangers and who turned out to have surprisingly similar interests despite the culture difference. Throughout the week we grew very close to the kids by spending time with them and teaching them in classes, but also through them teaching us things like how to eat with your hands, useful Nepali phrases and a Nepali dance.

Exploring the sights of Kathmandu

Later in the week one of our days was dedicated to seeing various sights of Kathmandu like the Pashupati temple, the Buddhist temple and Monkey temple, which enriched our understanding of Nepalese culture and gave us a better understanding of their mindset. On top of that, we also had a Nepali cooking class at another charity organisation called ‘Seven Women’ where we combined our efforts to make 5 delicious traditional dishes.

Our cooking lesson with the Seven Women Organisation.

When the week came to an end we all wished we could have stayed for longer and couldn’t keep back the tears when exchanging letters and gifts with the kids we had grown to love. It was a very emotional and touching trip, that put a lot of things into perspective reminding us how fortunate we are. We all came to realise that these amazing kids were able to give us more than we could ever have imagined, which motivated us to continue giving back to NAG through fundraisers and awareness raising. This PDW was fantastic and will forever stay with us in our memories.

Wearing traditional Nepalese clothing at NAG

 

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