Namaste!

We woke up at 5:30 am to begin our first day of day of work. Soon, we were lacing up our boots and splitting into teams to conquer tree-planting and wall-building, our first community service projects of the trip. After a long day of work, the children from the home next door came over for tea and music. Some of the students played their instruments for us, and the NePALs performed Jason Mraz’s song “I’m Yours” for them. We sang along to a traditional song with the kids and danced hand in hand.

The group gathers in the valley of Talamarang before planting trees.

The group gathers in the valley of Talamarang before planting trees.

The students shovel away mud and rocks to make a pathway to a local children's home.

The students shovel away mud and rocks to make a pathway to a local children’s home.

We began our second full day in the village with high spirits. A small group gathered on the roof for yoga at 6am and the entire group met for breakfast outside at 7am. After a delicious meal prepared by Dawa, one of our friends in the village, we gathered our daypacks and split into two work groups. One group started digging an irrigation ditch along the main road, and they were only hindered by a broken water pipe. The other group resumed work hauling rocks and sand in preparation for laying concrete. We utilized the raw materials to mix our own concrete and pave a terrace near the village goats.

The students carry the water pipes to the irrigation ditch.

The students carry the water pipes to the irrigation ditch.

The students lift the water pipe as a team.

The students lift the water pipe as a team.

 

After several hours of intense work, we all met back at the Team Nepal house and ate lunch. We walked back down the mountain and visited the local school after lunch. Once again, we divided into groups and shadowed classes. We also had the treat of watching a school theater performance, which included an anti-child marriage message, and we performed Vance Joy’s song “Riptide” for the children. During the trek back to our house, local children and their infectious smiles greeted us.

The students take a break after working hard.

The students take a break after working hard.

Everyone in the group continues to form new friendships and strengthen existing ones. Every night we all gather in our common area and reflect on the day’s tasks—what we loved, struggled with, and who we appreciate. Every moment is more than it seems. We are learning so much about how to truly feel a place and people more deeply than we ever imagined!

 

To work alongside people our age for something we care about is an incredible bonding experience, and singing with the children is indescribably joyful. We are without a doubt excited to spend the rest of the week in this beautiful place.

The students enjoy some water and tea!

The group gathers after breakfast in preparation for their trip into Talamarang for the day!

The students drink tea and converse with the locals of Talamarang.

The students hold the tree they are planting!