After graduating college in 2009, Emily decided to take a trip and went to Nepal for two weeks in September of 2010. Emily’s trip has inspired her to continue to the Peace Corps. After talking to Emily recently, we were able to learn a little about her time in Nepal as well as her future plans.
Emily graduated from Manhattan College in 2009 and in college, where her passion for community service started. She participated in many service trips through her school to various locations throughout the US. Her first big trip outside the United States was her trip to Nepal.
She had always thought of traveling and getting more involved and United Planet gave her the perfect opportunity! She traveled to Nepal for two weeks with a friend where she worked in an orphanage. Emily went to the orphanage every morning and work with the younger kids. She would help them with various arts and crafts activities, and she would also partake in some classroom activities, like singing. They had a lot of flexibility with the kids and activities and were able to input some of their own ideas for activities. During nap time, they would leave and come back in the afternoon. By this time, the older kids would be out of school so they had the opportunity to work with some of the older kids as well.
When asked about what she enjoyed most, she couldn’t pinpoint just one thing. “The whole experience was amazing… to see kids so full of life.” Emily stayed with a host family while she was in Nepal and this was a unique experience for her. She was able to really immerse herself into the Nepali culture and see things through her eyes.
One of the challenges she faced in Nepal was the language barrier. She had no Nepali background so it was hard to communicate at times. When in the orphanage, since she had no background in teaching and didn’t speak the language she had to use her creative side to get through to the kids. By the end of the trip some of the kids were able to tell what she was thinking with only a look.
Since Nepal, Emily has decided to take her volunteering to the next level and join the Peace Corps. “My trip to Nepal helped open my eyes and realize that I wanted to get more involved.” Nepal prepared her and gave her the confidence to apply. The application process is almost complete and she was nominated to teach in Africa.
Emily’s trip to Nepal was life changing and when asked about advice for future volunteers or potential volunteers, she said “go for it while you can and don’t let outside factors stop you”. Her trip required a lot of planning but the planning helped make her trip worth it. She used her trip as a vacation, and for her it was. With the different excursions offered and the time spent with the children in the orphanage made it a worthwhile vacation. “Time is of the essence – go somewhere you’ve never been, do something you’ve never done”