During your orientation in Kathmandu, you will be staying at a guest house in Thamel District.
After orientation you will be transferred to a host company where you will stay for the rest of your time on this program.
A large part of the volunteering experience comes from the richness gleaned from a home stay, where you will live with a host family and immerse yourself to the Nepali way of life. Living as part of the family will enable you to experience their customs first-hand, understand their religious beliefs and daily challenges, interact with other locals through the eyes of a fellow Nepali and have quality language immersion time with native speakers!
That said, the experience can also be a challenging one if you are used to an independent way of life, because Nepalese are extremely close-knit as a community. Also, getting used to a possible lack of telecommunications infrastructure, a carbohydrate-rich diet and basic bathroom facilities requires flexibility and open-mindedness.
Homestay Family Example
Host: Saila Dai
Location: Tinpiple, Jitpurphedi VDC (11 km from Kathmandu centre)
Saila Dai is a farmer living in a joint family with his cousin, Shivahari, and his family. He is quite a popular personality in his community and everyone in the village knows him as Saila Dai, or “3rd son” in Nepali. There are four children in his family, two children of Saila Dai’s and two children of his cousin’s. All of the children are in school. His son name is Deepak, who is studying in 12 and his wife Chandra is also studying in 12 Daughter name is Sangita , she studies in school. Actually, the host family members are well educated and they know how to greet others.
The family’s means of livelihood is agriculture, including raising livestock. They have a mother buffalo and a baby buffalo. He sells milk in the community hotels. Saila Dai is also a very good cook!
The family’s house is a short 5 minute walk from the Tinpiple junction. There are 3 rooms available for volunteers at this house, usually hosting several volunteers at a time. Singing and dancing are quite common (and quite compulsory), night or day!
Bottled water can be purchased for 20 rupees at the stores. Otherwise, you can ask for boiled water from the hotel for free and purify the boiled water using water purification tablets. (outside the host family)
Inside the host family
For drinking purpose you will get a jar of water. It contains 20 liters so it might be enough for 5 days. You will be provided with a jar on your first
Water is running all the time at the host family. But make sure you have a bucket in your toilet. If there is no water in your toilet, you can ask any of the family member to help find the water
For cleaning you can use the tap water. Like for laundry, washing things, or washing face, you can use the tap water.
No Wi-fi at the host family
Availability: you wont have Wi-Fi facilities in the host family. However you can use internet from your local number if reception is good. You can use internet at VIN office and around Thamel.
Jitpur is connected to the Katmandu power grid which is on a system of constant rolling blackouts. The electricity seems to come on for around six to eight hours at a time at any time of the day.
However, power sockets / outlets are not available during the power cut. Expect about 6-12 hours of power cut everyday. Please bring a flash light/ torch.
Clinic and hospitals
Jitpurphedi has a health post at tinpiple. There are not many pharmacy shops in this area. If you have any health problem during your stay, we will recommend you some international clinics
You will be served three vegetarian meals a day: Breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and Dinner at 7:30 p.m. the host family are responsible to prepare lunch and send it on a lunch box. Meals will be given, get your lunch and share the dinning table with the family members. the meals healthy and delicious but it doesn’t vary everyday. Most of the time you will have Daal Bhat.
You will be given a bedroom and you will be sharing the toilet and bathroom with other members. The basic bedroom contains a single bed with linen and pillow. You may have a table and chair. In Exceptional cases, you might need to share room with other volunteers.
Bathroom and Toilet
Bathroom in your host is western as shown in the picture. Your toilet will be near your room. There is separation for bath and toilet. As explained on the topic of water facilities, there may not be availability of hot water for shower everyday.