Now in my second week doing my volunteering/internship my body is struggling quite a bit with the taxing heat. I just cant eat very much or the dreaded travelers belly attacks occur. I think of this experience like a physically demanding marathon. I am powering through managing everything but will be glad to move onto Pokhara on the weekend.
The trip itself so far has been quite organic. It has now been shortened somewhat because of the issues I have had. But I have still gained a lot from it. Yesterday I went upto the monkey temple to film and photograph the volunteers on a sight seeing trip.
The monkey temple is a stunning Buddhist monument perched way above the city of Kathmandu. In the heat climbing the stairs was a bit of fun, note the sarcasm , but when you get up there the views were amazing.
monkey temple views
Photographing the volunteers was also fun and very dramatic in such an amazing location here are some examples.
Yesterday the traffic as usual was manic it just took forever to get to the temple. On the way back we would stop for 10 minutes at a time not moving anywhere. Then this happened.
Yes she was waving at me evidently calling out if I had any chocolate . She was in her school uniform and extremely cheeky to boot.
The last few days here in Kathmandu will be interesting. I am interviewing a Monk and have permission to film at the Monastery . I am also talking to the director of the NGO and just have some bits of pieces to film before I go to Pokhara .
I am being driven to Pokhara which should be interesting then flying back to Kathmandu at the end of next week. Although Pokhara isn’t more than a few hundred km’s away its takes 6-8hrs because of needing to wind around the mountains. That’s why I decided to fly one way and drive the other.. more to come….
YES I made it, well I made it to the end of the first week of the internship.
Why is it that hard might you say? Well, I have a new appreciation for what an immigrant goes through landing in another country, not being able to speak the language know the systems or communicate.
It is tough being an outsider here or anywhere where you can’t speak the language. Sometimes it feels they are making joes about me behind my back. But hey it’s probably my neurosis. Anyway the good stuff.
The experience whilst hard is incredibly exciting challenging and ever-changing. If you ever want to do something like this leave your expectations at home and be ready for anything. not only am I shooting stories for VSN but I am training local staff. One day in a woman’s centre who teaches English to adults who have never had the chance.
woman’s education centre
To being invited for dinner by one of my interviewees who is a homestay host. Eating and enjoying the company of her and VSN’s volunteers.
Every day is so diverse I went out for a walk around Bhaktapur this morning and found myself in a precession of Hindus chanting an unbelievable eye-opening experience.
Next week I meet the director of VSN for whom I found out is the brother of the founder and the uncle of the current coordinator. I shot a piece today with the coordinator who spoke with such passion about the future of the Nepalese people and the role VSN can play. I will also be interviewing a fully robed monk in a monastery here in Kathmandu.
After a tough first few days I really feel like I am hitting my stride getting used to everything from the pace of life to the food and knowing the limitations of my equipment. My camera has overheated a few times. When it overheats I have to stop and cool it down. The heat drains the batteries which isn’t good. On Sunday I am being taken up on a cable car to a mountain top shrine right up the cliff face of the Kathmandu Valley. It should be quite something. Till next time by for now….