Anja's Cultural Exchange: A Rural Village in Southern Nepal

I spent only a few days in Bastipur and I helped with daily activities such as: cooking, cleaning, removing weeds (a lot!), paving the floor with cow poo and so on. Benita [the host mom] won't ask you to help her, so you constantly need to offer your help. It's sometimes difficult to understand what Benita wants you to do, as the conversation mostly goes like "This?", "No, this", "Okay"... But gestures help a lot. And sometimes I did something wrong until I understood why we are actually doing it...When I was there, there were only Benita and her youngest daughter "Kanzi" - and many children from the other farms. I also had the chance to visit her in Katari, a small town where they own a clothes shop. The other two children loved me right from the moment when they saw me first! They're absolutely lovely! I'm not going to repeat everything the other volunteers wrote about this placement, so just a few points: There weren't any rats nor mice in my room, I found the food absolutely amazing, and yes, people do stare. They used to just stand next to me and watch me working... The bed is hard but huge, and there's a mosquito net. And: If you're scared of spiders (as I am): Just force yourself not to look for them, and you will get the impression that there aren't that many... Benita is soo nice. She keeps asking if you're hungry and won't let you do things you don't feel comfortable with, so you're in good hands. As their English is so poor, it's your chance to learn Nepali! It was probably the greatest experience of my four months in Nepal: I was absolutely fascinated by this culture and their simple way of living, and I was so happy to have the chance of being part of it.