Category Archives: Nepal

Lately

21st September 2015

Wow, so a lot has happened since I last posted. The last time I posted I talked about Robbie and I’s time with All Hands Volunteers in Nepal. After we concluded our time with them, we were able to travel to a couple of other places in Nepal before we left. We visited Pokhara, in the western area of Nepal, and Bhaktapur, which is just outside of Kathmandu. We were able to get some well-deserved rest as well as enjoy the outdoors and historical sights of Nepal. We enjoyed the rest of our time in Nepal (for the most part) and headed back to the states ready to see our family and friends.

The view of Pokhara from the World Peace Pagoda

The view of Pokhara from the World Peace Pagoda

The World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara

The World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara

Women standing in line to enter the Bhimshen Mandir temple to pray for the good fortune of their husbands or future husbands. Robbie was wondering why I wasn't standing in line with them.

Women standing in line to enter the Bhimshen Mandir temple to pray for the good fortune of their husbands or future husbands. Robbie was wondering why I wasn’t standing in line with them.

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Since we’ve been back in the U.S., we bought an RV (officially named Ruby Sue), took a road trip down to Oklahoma to visit family and friends, and just recently headed west to see more of the U.S. That’s right, we are on our U.S. road trip and our first stop is Wyoming.

Oklahoma!

Oklahoma!

Llama that lives on Robbie's uncle's property.

Llama that lives on Robbie’s uncle’s property.

Our dog, Lucy, soaking in the muddy waters. She loves the mud but hates the bath afterward.

Our dog, Lucy, soaking in the muddy waters. She loves the mud but hates the bath afterward.

Robbie caught a fish!

Robbie caught a fish!

Then I caught a fish!

Then I caught a fish!

We are slowly making our way up to Yellowstone National Park, located in the northwest corner of Wyoming. But first we stopped in Laramie, Wyoming, home of the University of Wyoming Cowboys and some decent street art. After sightseeing and a steak dinner, we headed to Medicine Bow National Forest. We pulled in after dark so we couldn’t see much. However, the next morning we work up to a beautiful backdrop! We would have liked to stay longer but we needed to make it to Yellowstone before the end of the day so we moved on. If anyone in Denver is looking for some decent camping nearby, Medicine Bow NF would be the place!

Street art in Laramie.

Street art in Laramie.

More street art in Laramie.

More street art in Laramie.

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Views from the Snowy Range Pass in Medicine Bow National Park.

Views from the Snowy Range Pass in Medicine Bow National Forest.

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The newest member of our family, Ruby Sue!  She'll be our home for the next few weeks.

The newest member of our family, Ruby Sue! She’ll be our home for the next few weeks.

We finally made it to Yellowstone where we plan to spend a few days soaking up the sights. I will post again soon about our trip through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

— Aubrey

#ALLHANDSFORNEPAL Part II

27th August 2015

Volunteering with All Hands Volunteers in Kathmandu was one of the most memorable experiences of our trip.  Even though we were only able to stay for a week and a half,  we were able to see the impact that All Hands has on the community.

We stayed in Kathmandu at a hostel, which also served as the All Hands project base.  We shared the hostel rooms and bathrooms with about 60 other people.  We slept, ate and worked with the other volunteers, I guess you could say that we became a family during our stay.

A typical day with All Hands looked something like this:

5:30 a.m. – WAKE UP!

6:00 a.m. – BREAKFAST.  Breakfast usually included toast, oatmeal and one hard boiled egg (just enough protein to get us to lunch time).

7:00 a.m. – Report to the bottom floor to meet up with the team leaders and load up the supplies needed for the day.

7:30 a.m. – Teams are loaded into their respective vans and heading toward their work site for the day.  Each work site varied and you were most likely on a different team everyday.

Noon – Lunch time!

4-4:30 p.m. – End of the work day and back to base.

5:00 p.m. – Dinner time!

5:45 p.m. – Group meeting.  Each team leader spoke about their team’s work that day, any updates regarding the base, All Hands, or whatever else that was deemed important.  Finally, each volunteer had to sign up for their work project the following day.

6:15 p.m. – The group meeting usually ended at this time and we were able to have some free time before curfew.

11:00 p.m. – Curfew!  Everyone had to be back on base.

I know what you’re thinking…that is a pretty tough schedule.  You’re right, it was, but I wouldn’t trade any minute of it.

I mentioned before that volunteers had to sign up for a new project everyday.  There were multiple projects to choose from during our time in Nepal.  The projects included rubble jobs, the 50 homes project, and the Temporary Learning Center (TLC) projects.  One of my favorite projects I worked on was the TLC project.

Our lunch view from one of the worksites.

Our lunch view from one of the worksites.

Even though we were just outside of Kathmandu on some of our worksites, it felt like a whole other world.

Even though we were just outside of Kathmandu on some of our worksites, it felt like a whole other world.

I was on a team of volunteers that built temporary learning centers to replace a school that was destroyed during the earthquake.  We were able to build temporary buildings so the students could continue to attend school.  Once we were finished with the structures, I thought we were done with the project, however, we went back to the same site a week later and painted the outside of the school with the students.

The TLC before we painted.

The TLC before we painted.

The outhouses.

The outhouses.

The team working hard to finish the structures.

The team working hard to finish the structures.

It was pretty incredible to see the students’ faces light up once we got the first coat of paint on the walls.  They immediately wanted to get involved, eager to paint their own images on the walls.  It was an amazing experience to see how the transformation of the school uplifted the spirits of the students.

We painted pictures on two of the panels to give the students ideas of what they would like to paint.

We painted pictures on two of the panels to give the students ideas of what they would like to paint.

The children drew pictures of what they wanted to see on the walls of the TLC.

The children drew pictures of what they wanted to see on the walls of the TLC.

The students started to paint pictures of their own.

The students started to paint pictures of their own.

The teachers were pretty proud of their students' work.

The teachers were pretty proud of their students’ work.

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Some of my favorite experiences from our trip are from volunteering with All Hands.  Even though the life of an All Hands volunteer is not an easy one, the muddy clothes and sore muscles were well worth the grateful hugs and smiles.

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— Aubrey

#AllHandsForNepal

20th July 2015

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When Robbie and I originally set out on our travels, Nepal was one of the top places we wanted to visit. Then we heard the devastating news of the earthquake and didn’t think we would be able to visit Nepal on our journey. However, we discovered that we would not only be able to travel to Nepal, but we would also be able to help those affected by the earthquake. We will be volunteering with All Hands Volunteers, an American non-profit organization that addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters.

That’s where you come in, we are asking for the support of our family and friends back home. We have set up a donation page where you can make a tax deductible donation to the All Hands Volunteers organization to assist in its efforts in Nepal. There is still much to be done in the disaster areas, and we hope you will join us in helping the people of Nepal.

We look forward to sharing our pictures and experiences in Nepal with you.  Please contact us through our blog if you have any questions.

— Aubrey