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On April 25, 2015, 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan nation of Nepal causing large scale destruction. As of now, the number of deaths is about 9,000, the number of the injured is more than 13,000 and about 8 million Nepali people have been affected. It is the deadliest natural disaster in Nepal in more than 81 years.
The scale of destruction is so grand that Nepal alone can’t deal with it and therefore we need the help of foreigners like you. We have designed this Volunteer Travel itinerary in such a way that you at first spend your time in rebuilding activities in the remote villages of Gorkha which lie at the epicentre of the deadly earthquake. And then you trek in Annapurna region, where the effect of the earthquake is less and trekking is possible and safe.
For our Volunteer Travel trek, we have chosen Gorkha for deploying the foreign volunteers like you because, first, the epicentre of the devastating earthquake was in this region. Second, it is the remote part of Nepal and close to Tibet, away from city like Kathmandu, so earthquake disaster relief hasn’t reached here as much as it should. The people of Gorkha are helpless, suffering and need your help. And third, most of our trekking guides and porters from local company Ace the Himalaya is from Gorkha region. They have lost their houses but luckily none of them have lost their family members.
So, when you book this trip and come to Volunteer Travel Trek to Nepal, you will be doing a great service to the earthquake-affected people of Gorkha. These people haven’t got enough assistance from the government. They are helpless. It’s people like you who they need in rebuilding their houses and carrying on with their lives.
Transportation in the region may not always be reliable because even in 4WD vehicles, stranded trucks and buses, car accidents, heavy rain and landslides may ground all vehicles for hours on end. You must always be prepared to trek to the destination (accompanied by our staff guides) during such unforeseen circumstances. In an event that the 4WD SUV cannot take you to the final destination, there will be no refund of the transportation cost incurred because the above will already be accounted for in advance. If trekking is necessary, you can be assured that the route trails through the most pristine and traditional villages, exposing you to the traditional Nepalese culture and lifestyle up-close. Manaslu and the Ganesh mountain ranges as well as parts of the Annapurna range are visible from the path, and will make the trek well worth it.
The lifestyle and way of the people in these small villages are authentic displays of traditional culture in Nepal, with very little influence of westernisation unlike the cities. Because of this, Volunteers should be aware that they may experience a little culture shock on their arrival.
Villagers speak louder and more aggressively than volunteers may be used to, although this is simply normal conversation.
Physical disciplining (such as hitting and using the strap) are common and old practice in Government schools, and although the Government is working on phasing this out, it will take some time.
Some traditional cultural practices involved animal cruelty. Animals are sacrificed in traditional Hindu festivals and in other cultural activities such as visits to the witch doctor.
Many people in the village smoke cigarettes.
Hygiene levels are often much lower in the villages, as local people have a much higher capacity for infection. It is helpful for volunteers to be aware of this when interacting with children and accepting food from villagers, so that they may reduce chances of getting sick.