Namaste! It seems surreal to be home in New Zealand. There is no way to describe the last two and a half months but that my adventures in Nepal were a total mixed bag. It was my first time experiencing life in a third world country and one that I shall never forget. In general the Nepalese were amazing people who, as a whole, were a kind and caring bunch. We started exploring the local areas in Kathmandu before heading off to the Langtang Trek. It's true that in New Zealand we have some of the most amazing landscape in the world but the share scale of the Himalayas was completely mind blowing.

We signed up to help build a school with All Hands in Hearts Volunteers in the Sindhupalchok district which was hit badly in the 2015 earthquake. The work was back breaking; we nick named in prison camp because it felt like that on some days but I meet some great people and we were working towards an important cause. A good thing to remember to bring is a re-usable water bottle. I found boiled/filtered water quite easily and was happy to avoid adding to their plastic waste problem which is awful.

I loved seeing a variety of animals, the cow, yaks, goats, buffalo, monkeys, chickens, donkeys, cats and of course the street dogs. While many Nepalese are kind to animals I was traumatised by the scale of animal cruelty. I asked a Nepalese women in Kathmandu why dogs were treated so badly in certain areas. I explained that I had witnessed a 6 year old girl throw quite a big rock at a puppy earlier that day and watched her laughing at the pain she had caused. The woman replied that it is the uneducated, poor people that behaved that way. Being an animal lover I found all of it hard to deal with to say the least.            

Pokhara was a refreshing change as many Nepalese people had pets because of western influence. The cuisine was fantastic; our diet back at camp had consisted mainly of Dal Bhat so a variety was welcome. I also was really impressed with some of the murals; I’ve included just a couple in amongst this blog post.

Here’s a small selection of photographs from the experience. I will say how grateful I am to be back in New Zealand and will never take for granted how lucky we are to have a beautifully clean country, hot showers, water we can have straight out of the tap, a comfortable bed, a toilet that is clean and the luxury of quality soil to grow nutritious vegetables and fruit. The trots was certainly a reoccuring theme throughout the trip!   

Happy New Year, whoop whoop 2018!!

Monique, Daniel and Ross, Katmandu 

Tea House, Langtang Trek

Buddhist Prayer Wheels

Street art by one of my favourites; Herakut

A tea house owner, drying cheese for the winter

Yaks O'clock

Rice paddies Sindhupalchok, Nepal

Foundations of one of the schools Kalikasan, Sindhupalchok

Drinking water refill only 10 rupee

Rubbish pollution, a common site everywhere we went :( 

Another common sight along the lake front in Pokhara, street dogs lazying about in the sun.

Work by Prasad, Pokhara street art

"Hello there" free roaming goats 

Snap from the top of Sarangkot, watching the paragliders loving it.