When I finished my A levels, I wanted to do something more. I wasn’t satisfied with just going to university and following the same path as my friends. The world is too big and there’s too much to do to just stay in my own little bubble. Especially in London, I’m surrounded by privileged people, so I wanted to do something I was proud of, something that would make a difference to someone else rather than just myself. On a personal level, I wanted to be independent and develop my own personality, away from my old friends, away from parental influences. This is the first time I’ve left home for such a long time, and with such little contact with my parents, it’s been hard but it’s been so worth it. This was to be the beginning of my gap year experience, away from the big city of London that I know.
So, after coming as an ICS volunteer in Nepal, the big question is, what have I learnt? I’ve learnt personally that I am stronger and more adaptable than I thought I was, that I can be independent, that I can work in a group but also take the lead. I’ve learnt that people are kind, that they will help you learn and want you to do well. The community have shown me everything good about people, from the very first days where they told me how to hand wash my clothes properly, to caring for me when I got sick, and coming to all our sessions even in working season when they could be ploughing the fields and sorting their crops.
One of the biggest things I’ve learnt is that one person can make a huge difference when it comes to encouraging others to change. I’ve learnt that people have incredible ways of dealing with life – climate change has really affected Nepal, and considering that our entire community relies on agriculture in one way or another, it has been a big shock to learn how the landscape has changed and how it’s affected them from not having enough drinking water to having to change crops. In the future, I want to focus on helping more communities, doing more awareness on climate change, becoming a more active citizen and actively talking about how ICS has changed me. As the community says, this ICS experience has been dherai dherai ramro (very very good).
Written by UK volunteer, Freya (November Charlie 2)