There are many ways to contribute to another country as well as to your own personal growth. Volunteering is one unique opportunity to do so but it is not the only way. Before you make a commitment to volunteering in another country, such as Nepal, be sure that it is the right choice for you. You will be away from your family and friends. You will be living in a foreign culture without the comforts and familiarity of home. You will have to content with different foods, different sources of illness, different smells and sounds. You may have to live with others in close quarters. You will need a passport and have to be vaccinated against various diseases.
Although these prospects only serve to further excite some, others seceded they would prefer to contribute in Nepal in some way while never leaving your home country and their families and friends. This course of action is just as realistic a possibility and is potentially as rewarding as traveling to Nepal to work as a volunteer. But to take this course you will want to pursue different opportunities and look elsewhere.
To have a satisfying and rewarding experience as a volunteer in Nepal, you must possess certain attributes:
You must be willing to set aside many expectations you may have going into the experience, you must be resourceful, and you must be able to create opportunities where at first they don’t seem to exist.
People have walked away from volunteer positions because they were not as organized as the volunteers expected, because members of the organization preferred to chat and have tea the first hour they came to work rather than work, because the supplies they were waiting for never arrived, because they weren’t able to introduce a training package they had designed, or because they were pressured to teach English to the director’s son for an hour three times a week as part of their volunteer position. Ask yourself, can you deal with these unexpected circumstances? If so, how? Sometimes your desire to help may not be welcome, or at lease not welcome in the way you see fit.