One of our participants on the April trip had this to say:

"Before I went to Nepal with the Fund for Lamjung, I misunderstood many things about the nature of service. The journey with Natasha and Bibek to the village of Rainaskot was as rigorous as it was beautiful and life-changing. As I reflect on our time together in the village, I realize that sometimes the most challenging act of all is to learn to receive gratefully and graciously from those you thought needed your help. Things are not always what they seem when we begin to open our hearts fully. Thank you to all my teachers in the village of Rainaskot, and especially my traveling companions who pushed me to become just a little bit more than I thought I could ever be." —Carol L. Stimmel, Founder and Chief Advisor, Manifest Mind, LLC, New York

Purpose of the trip:

Learn about Nepal and the post-earthquake situation
Become an ambassador for the rebuilding project
Have an immersive cultural experience
Challenge yourself and stretch your worldview
Get insight about the complexities of an international development project
Meet the team in Nepal
Do volunteer work in the villages

 

April 2016 trip participant Stacey with Rainaskot residents Putali and her mother.

April 2016 trip participant Stacey with Rainaskot residents Putali and her mother.

The trip experience:

We offer a journey that is strong in immersive and educational content. You will have a window into village life and Nepali culture, going beyond what most visitors to Nepal will ever experience.

Many people go on volunteer trips with the vision of laying bricks and hammering nails. While we welcome the contributions of trained construction workers, electricians, and carpenters, (there is a place to mention this on the application form), we employ local workers for the manual labor of building the homes.  We have some hands-on activities planned, such as a litter clean-up or painting, that all of the trip members can participate in.
 

Visitors to rainaskot from the Usa, canada, and Kathmandu share their reasons for making the journey with the villagers.

Visitors to rainaskot from the Usa, canada, and Kathmandu share their reasons for making the journey with the villagers.

Instead, we invite you to use this trip to become ambassadors for Nepal, for the work we are doing, and for the villages we are working in. By witnessing all of this up close, you will be able to assist us long term by sharing your experiences as you meet the villagers and come to understand their lives and what they face on a day-to-day basis.

Spreading the word of our work, and your first hand experience is the most valuable contribution you can make to the long-term sustainability of our work, whether you share on social media, talk to your friends and family, or give presentations about your experience,

Finally, we go to the villages as collaborators: to learn, to connect, to give, and to receive.  Nepali society is deeply communal, in a way that few Westerners can even imagine.  Receiving with grace what we are offered is one of the most important and most transformative parts of the experience.



Benefits to the Villagers

The villagers benefit from your visit in a few ways. The money you raise on their behalf, of course, helps build their houses, which is a fundamental part of creating a thriving and sustainable community. Your volunteering activities will be appreciated by the villagers as they see your support for their community. They will gain valuable experience hosting guests, which will prepare them for future guests to the village.

Finally, these are villages on the top of the mountain, not on the path to anywhere else. When visitors arrive, the villagers know the guest have made a special effort to come and see them, and this lets them know that they have not been forgotten. You will see their joy for yourself when you arrive in Rainaskot and Ligligkot.


The challenges you will experience:

Journeying to Nepal is full of joys and discoveries, but this trip is also certain to challenge you on every level: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Previous participants found their outlook on the world profoundly changed by even one week in a village setting. They found that they could adapt and rise to the challenges, but it was not always easy.

You'll find yourself walking up and down paths in the village, traveling on rough roads, squatting to use the toilet, and managing dust and pollution in Kathmandu. As we are visiting villages that are under construction and may not have room indoors for guests, you may have to sleep in tents. Likewise, you will likely be sharing accommodations with your travel companions. The food that we eat in the villages consists of rice, lentil soup, vegetables, and occasional meat, along with whatever other food the villagers prepare according to availability.

All of these challenges are manageable, but we would like you to consider your ability to deal with these conditions. A consultation with a travel doctor is required, as is travel medical insurance. We leave it to you to make the final decision about which immunizations to get according to your consultations with your regular physician and/or a travel doctor.


A Sample Itinerary
 

Day 1: Arrival and welcome dinner and stay in a guest house in Kathmandu or Patan

Day 2: Orientation, a basic lesson in Nepali language, and a lecture in the history and culture of Nepal

Day 3: Depart for Rainaskot and arrive in the evening

Day 4: Tour of the Rainaskot rebuilding project and demonstrations of local farming techniques

Day 5: Travel to an established homestay village, to see the future plan for Rainaskot

Day 6: Travel to Ligligkot, the site of our next planned rebuilding project

Day 7: Assist with volunteer tasks in Ligligkot, possibly clearing space for buildings or making earth bricks

Day 8: Travel back to Kathmandu

Day 9: Sightseeing and shopping in the Kathmandu Valley

Day 10: Final meeting and debriefing with the team in Nepal, depart for the airport

Homes under construction in 2016 in rainaskot/ photo courtesy of carol stimmel

Homes under construction in 2016 in rainaskot/ photo courtesy of carol stimmel


Costs

The cost for the trip, excluding airfare, is $1,050
This includes:
All ground transportation while you are in Nepal: airport pickup and dropoff, transportation around Kathmandu, jeeps to Rainaskot and Ligligkot from Kathmandu
All hotel lodging in Kathmandu
Food in Kathmandu (alcoholic drinks not included)
Payments to the villages for accommodation and meals
Introductory classes in Nepali language, culture, and history by local experts
A registered guide who will be responsible for looking after your requests and needs while in the village

Fundraising

As part of your participation in the trip and our project, we ask you to make a donation to Fund for Lamjung of at least $2,500, on your own or by fundraising on our behalf. Funds go directly to the expenses of rebuilding.

Your excitement about our work and about your travel to Nepal is a valuable contribution. By joining us, you are becoming part of our family and team. We ask you to reach out to your circle of family, friends, co-workers, and community on our behalf to help us reach our goals of rebuilding Rainaskot and beyond.

We will provide you with ideas, materials, and guidance for your fundraising efforts. Once in Nepal, you will be able to meet the beneficiaries of your fundraising and report back to everyone who contributed to your project.

If the thought of raising $2,500 seems daunting, think about it this way: do you know 25 people who can contribute $100? Or 100 people who can contribute $25? That is all it takes, and with that amount you will fund nearly half of a house for a family in Nepal.

How to Join Us:

  • Fill out the application form. You will hear back from Natasha within two days to set up a time to have a talk by phone. Click here to fill out the form.

  • Pay the $250 deposit towards the expenses of the trip.

  • Set up your fundraiser and begin raising funds.

  • Book travel to Nepal through our travel agent.

  • See a travel medical specialist.

  • Send the remaining payment for travel expenses and your $2,500 contribution by October 1st.

  • Meet us in Kathmandu!

 

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