“I heard a loud cry and screams. She was laid out on the doorstep and in so much pain bleeding. I couldn’t help her and no one else around could either. It was awful to see .”
This was a mother struggling from giving birth earlier in the day, as described by my fellow volunteer Daljit.
“…They were both brother and sister playing by the roadside. I thought to myself, they should be in school and not on the streets. But they didn’t know any better so I had to take action and do something about it. I took them to a tailor, got them uniforms and enrolled them into a school.” An inspiring moment told to me by my friend Nikki.
I had the opportunity to reunite with her and Daljit this week. Both of which I met on my first few days in Kathmandu last year. Fast forward five months and instead of sharing ‘dhaalbhat’ in the freezing cold, it’s raining hard and it is still cold, but we’re having dinner in a Soho restaurant recounting Nepal.
Daljit volunteered in the villages of Chitwan and Nikki was in the lakeside area of Pokhara. Both of them helped out at local schools like me. I found it quite uplifting to hear about how the trip has impacted their lives since returning and their exciting plans for the future. We shared similar emotions and feelings about the strange feeling of returning back to our desks after Nepal. Daljit is soon to start a new job and Nikki will begin a new life fostering. Catching up with them, it was like meeting old friends.
We spoke at great length about the stark contrast of first vs third world problems. But more importantly how volunteering has changed our lives for the better. I discussed my ideas and plans for the future which stemmed from being in Nepal. They both gave me great encouragement and I know now more than ever that I will have to ‘roll the dice’ soon. My sense for adventure has been reinvigorated and there’s no sign of it stopping just yet.
I’ve been working hard over the past months to understand what is and isn’t important to me. Volunteering opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’m focused more than ever to be the best version of myself and continue to embrace the unknown.
It’s also been a poignant week for various reasons. I saw a familiar face in the Daily Mirror. It was an interview with Amir, the boy from my class in Kathmandu who had missing limbs. You can read it here in full. It was also quite fitting that a year on from the Nepal earthquake that not only did I meet Daljit and Nikki, Twitter reminded me that I posted a tweet last year saying “I wish there was more I could do for the people of Nepal.” Little did I know that some months later, I would indeed fly out there. They still need great support as many people are still struggling and unhoused.
Finally, a fortune cookie confirmed to me that I’m on the right track for my next steps. It read: “You are admired for your adventurous ways.” A few people have said something similar to me. I don’t usually look for signs, but it is was a reminder that I have more footprints to leave yet on this world. Watch this space.