Daily Schedule –well sometimes –

Key:

Blue = No School, generally work on Farm

Red = School Day

6:40 Wake Up

7:00 Dudh Ci-cay (Milk Tea)

7:30 Plough fields with shovel, dig holes, weed, plant, transplant (work on farm)

or finish grading papers and creating lessons for school (prepare for school)

9:15 Breakfast! Dahl Baht Tar-karhi (lentils, rice and vegetables) with fresh cucumber and Buffalo milk

9:30 Bike to school

or continue eating

10:00 Class begins.  English then Health then 2 periods of English. In English, teach poems, stories, American/World history or songs.  In Heath, teach about different diseases.

or play chess, read a book, write, practice the guitar, etc (do something in the shade because it’s too hot to work outside)

1:00 Lunch break for 30 minutes to eat, cucumber, noodles, beans, half-baked popcorn, guava, and/or cookies.

1:30 Class begins.  Math for 3 periods teaching geometry and algebra

or do more farm work or go on a walk.

8:00 Dinner (same type of stuff as Breakfast).  After dinner, star gazing, singing, story telling, guitar practice (leisure time)

9:00 or 10:00 Sleep.

The variability of school and farm work is due to strikes, weather, and weeklong holidays (the holidays being pretty frequent).  I arrived just in time for the Taaz festival (celebrating women) in Chitwan, which lasts 4 days.  During the festival, women leave and stay at their friend’s houses for days, leaving the men to cook for themselves (unheard of in Nepal).  Being a woman and a tourist, I go to join in with singing and dancing while also cooking with the men, getting the best of both worlds.  There wasn’t any school or farm work to be done at that time so once during the cooler pars of the day the father, Padam, took the other volunteer and myself to the Jungle where you could spot tiger, bears, rhinos, elephants, etc (of course we saw none of that).  Even on work days, if you ask in advance, Padam is willing to take you to see any of the nearby attractions including Chitwan National Park or 20,000 lakes.

The family is honest with you and has lovely quirks, which they show you overtime.  Ahma, the grandmother, cooks all the meals and will whack you if you attempt to enter her space (hence only cooking when she was away): she also burps quite a bit, a comical and endearing idiosyncrasy.  Pramila, the patient and ever-smiling mother, loves to sing and teach and surprises you with her critical spot-on opinions.  Padam Ghimire, son of Ahma and husband of Pramila, tells the most entertaining stories about his encounters with wild animals and has an affinity for the word “sufficient”.  Their outgoing daughter, Dipika, loves to draw and read everything though she will tell you she only really enjoys stories that are short and get to the point.  While their karate-chopping son, Dipendra, loves fantasy and Green Day, typical punk teen.  Sujan, Pramila’s brother, has fantastic English and is a certified trek guide.  The family is split between Kathmandu and Chitwan (7 hours by bus then taxi) due to the children getting taught in Kathmandu, the family farm being in Chitwan, and the non-agriculture job hub of Nepal being in Kathmandu.

I worked 3 weeks on the farm in Chitwan and 4 weeks teaching in Chitwan and Kathmandu.  If you want to do something similar, check out their website (volunteeringtolearn.com) or on workaway.com (how I found them).

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