I quickly realised that despite age, gender, culture and looks, our morals were ultimately similar. Will to provide care and knowledge to others was shared throughout all of us. Additionally, my fellow volunteers were also able to teach me things I’d never dreamt of learning. This was when we hit the norming stage. It’s impossible to pinpoint a moment when I realised this: it could have been when six of us jumped in a double bed in our sleeping bags to watch a movie on a tiny laptop and four of us fell asleep within five minutes, or when one guy gave a piggyback to three others in a concrete bedroom.
The most noticeable stage was storming when one volunteer gathered everyone together at 9 pm (basically 1am in British time) to shut down a petty rumour. This led to the dreaded kimono session the next morning where the group was encouraged to voice their concerns in order to figure out a way to overcome them. Being team leader for the week I was expecting a storm. I was sweetly surprised by the ease in sorting the issues which included cultural differences, language barriers and personal issues, and we escalated instantly to our performing stage where each person explained what they found inspirational about another person in the team.
The most difficult person for me to compliment was my roommate who snorts when she laughs, leaves the toilet roll beside the outside tap to get damp and soggy and eats all the communal biscuits. But when I was made to think about it, she sees the beauty in everything, her talents are endless and she constantly looks ten out of ten. When I continued to think, I could recognise aspects about each person’s personality which I could only wish to replicate: the ability to speak one’s mind without a second thought, to instantly translate one language to another in the brain when three more languages are already rammed in there and to strive to always improve yourself mentally and physically no matter what.
On that first day, I never would have thought that a group of twelve strangers could affect my life this much. These ten weeks have opened my heart to a whole new family and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Although I did not come to Nepal to personally develop, I have definitely changed somewhat. Who knows if this is for the better or the worse but I have learnt things about myself that I never would have found out without coming on this journey.
Nepal, ICS and November Charlie 5 will forever be a part of my heart and personality.
Written By Hannah
November Charlie 5