Voluntourism Nepal 尼泊尔 12/15

Participants: Zwen, Janice, OPRJ Nepal (& KC, Jesmin & Jak)

Nepal Dec 2015

Zwen and Janice arrived Kathmandu with so much excitement! We have been busy raising fund over the past few months and finally we get to see the schools and our little beneficiaries!!! Needless to say, we were looking forward to meet our Nepali family!!!

Mr Narendra BC and Tin fetched us from the airport. Aasharaya was at Melamchi, but his family hosted a welcome dinner for us. 

This marked the start of our fruitful trip

For the first few days we met up with Nepali friends and was later joined by our Chinese friends (Wang Xue and her hubby, Robin). We played host by bringing them to some places of interest.

@ Thamel - Curry Kitchen

Breakfast prepared by Nornor

Visited Nirajan's family ... we have known each other for about 10 years!

 Visiting Pharping... Guru Rinpoche Cave and Varja Yogini cave...

Visited Dudjom Rinpoche.. hoping to attend his teaching, however, we ran out of time...

Had lunch at a nearby resort .. quite impressed by the service.. food was so so..

Swayambhu (or Swayambhunath) 

[Photographs of Places of Interests - please click on the other Nepal trips from Live in Lens]

Food we have eaten over the days... (oh... of course there were more dishes than these)

20 Dec 2015, we set off to Shivalaya.

The day started at 7am... stopped shortly at a tea house... for tea ;)

Somewhere up the mountain at 11am, the GEARBOX of the jeep decided to bail on us! ... We waited for 6 hours ...

For the driver to hitch a ride back to Kathmandu to buy the spare parts before taking the 3 hrs back to wherever we were... 

Janice enjoying her bread and butter along roadside - Nepal style?

Walked about 10-15 mins to this tea house for instant noodles.

Grandma shared with us that her house was destroyed during the earthquake, therefore she could only sleep in the teahouse now.

Janice.. super enjoy ;p

About 4-5hrs of waiting.. sleeping in the vehicle...

Grandma was very kind to get us fresh milk tea ... it was delicious. We promised to bring them some gifts on the way back, but we couldn't because, the truck broke down on the way back AGAIN... the delay resulted that we slept through the journey... Sorry we did not keep our promise... hopefully we will drive pass again and fulfil our promise. 

By the time we moved out from wherever we were, it was 6pm!

We travelled 6 hours on and off roads...  our worst everrrrrrrr roller coaster ride..

Crossing streams and rocky paths. Driver had to pile rocks in an occasion to get the jeep over the ditch.

What an experience! (We found out in the next morning that he punctured his oil tank!)

Arriving in darkness.. And Janice hitting the window a zillion times! Zwen was lucky to be sandwiched between Janice and Tashi... Well cushioned all the way!

We put up at Sherpa Guide Guesthouse, which is clean and pleasant! Rooms and toilets are spacious and people are warm.

Bhale Pokhari Primary School, Shivalaya

Opening ceremony

Big day starting at 10am for the staff and students of Bhale Pokhari Pri Sch. The District Education Officer, Mr khubiram Adikari , graced the opening ceremony. Students put up performances and guests of honor gave speeches.

Appreciation and Official thanks were given to Operation Rejoice for our humanity work at Shivalaya.

Ruins of the School caused by the Earthquake

New school @ piece of land donated by an old villager

Elderly woman offering katha to us to thank us for our contribution.

Celebrating - traditional dance

We spent a very heart warming afternoon at the school playing and taking photos with the children and villagers.

The ceremony was also graced and made lively by circus group, Circlosion de Carcajadas, from Spain and film maker, Miguel.

Lunch was also taken care by villagers.

A big Thank you to all donors and volunteers for your generosity! You have made rebuilding the school possible. We also thank Be Human Nepal (President: Mr Furba Ang Sherpa) for overseeing the project!

Food @ Shivalaya - Tibetan sweet bread

Instant noodles with cheese

Tiny chili with gigantic effect!

Tongpa (Fermented millet alcoholic drink); yes it's better than Rossi...

24 Dec 2015

Marketing and Breakfast at Ram's teahouse

We hosted an early Christmas party to celebrate LIFE with our friends.

It is deep in my heart to know that everything we own now (including our lives) are impermanent. The Earthquake, has once again, reminded us. 

Thank you Nornor and Rinchen for working so hard. We love your cooking!

Oh Ya kids, sorry Aunty Zwen did not set up Christmas tree for christmas party...

Wang Xue and Robin left Nepal that evening...

The next day, we took NorNor and Rinchen to a Korean BBQ restaurant to thank them for the hard work in whipping up the feast!

On 25 Dec 2015, volunteers arrived Kathmandu.

We checked our volunteer friends into their hotel at Thamel and brought them around the vicinity. We shopped for a “little”…

26 Dec 2015

Melamchi, Here we come! 

Visiting our 2nd school at Melamchi. The road was good for 3 hours… Stopping at Melamchi Bazzar for lunch.

We were unable to advance further due to landslides. We hiked for slightly more than an hour to the village. Millets found at the beginning of the track.. reminded Zwen of Tongpa (fermented millets alcoholic drink).

Intimidating start of trek... 

Beautiful scenery along the trek...

The villagers gave us a very warm welcome. They thanked us for our contribution to the village. 

Tea break ...

Setting up tents before it turned dark... and cold

Melamchi walkabout

First thing we noticed were the ruins from the earthquake... devastating sight.

My super favourite - white raddish!

Once again, thank you Ram and Tin for the wonder meals!

After dinner we drank Rossi (traditional home made wine) under the starry starry night... 

It's bedtime ... Good night

Good Morning Melamchi!

Collection of milk + testing of the fats level in the milk ... the primitive way :)

Breakfast is READY! - our 2 chefs!

School starts at 10am but the kids came much earlier, excited. The school assembly started and headmaster gave speech to thank Operation Rejoice for rebuilding the school. Students presented flowers to us. Zwen and Janice took turns to give short speeches to encourage both teachers and students to give their best!

Giving some small gifts to the teachers

Lunch break ...


Zwen led the activity of making Santa Claus cards (to thank donors). The older students were selected to make the cards and write messages to donors.


Students left and we had a great laugh during dinner… Our entertainer: Mr Jak (my new best friend!!!)

Then some villagers came…. To chat with us… about building a Hindu temple for them… well, first… not without some music and dance. Operation Rejoice has rejected as we do not build religious premises... however, we might help based on personal efforts.

Our laughing Buddha...

27 Dec 2015

Waking up to beautiful sun rise and golden snow mountains, we started our day early with yummy breakfast.


We started packing tents and bags ready to leave... As we hiked down to the main road, we met some students, getting ready for school…

Back to Kathmandu, Aashraya’s family hosted dinner for us.

28 Dec 2015

Breakfast at Ram's teahouse... always taking care of us :)

Went to Boudhnath for a walk ... really to ... SHOP. However, we caught a glimpse of Dudjom Rinpoche (last day of Nyingmapa Molam @ Kathmandu)

Managed to arrange to have lunch with Dr Tsering. I miss him and his wife very much. Although we do not have a common language, we have Tashi as translator! Dr Tsering was happy and grateful to what we are doing for the people of Nepal.

Last item to purchase, Natural Himalayan salt.

Farewell at Chabahil ...

At the airport.

Thank you Aashraya and papa for taking us to the Airport. 

Leaving Nepal…. With a saddened heart. I’ll be back...

We were on Republica!!!!