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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Testimonial from Jes Johnson

Every new experience I had made me fall a little bit more in love with the people, the place and also the work.

Having just returned from a construction volunteer trip in Pokhara, Nepal. Do you know what the hardest thing about it was? Not the candle lit cold showers because the electricity randomly goes off, nor the carrying of bucket loads of cement back and forth. No, these were all challenges, definitely challenges. But the hardest thing…was coming home. Saying goodbye and leaving behind what now felt like a part of me. I didn’t know what to expect when I made a spur of the moment decision to pack my bags for three weeks but arriving at the airport for our midnight flight I didn’t get the anxious feeling I normally do when saying goodbye to family to embark on my own adventures. Instead I felt completely calm and ready. No butterflies, no shaky hand or tears, just 100% ready to go, almost impatient for the journey to start. I took this as a good sign. A sign I was definitely doing the right thing and that it would prove to be an incredible experience. I was right. My three weeks there consisted of doing renovations at the Little Daffodils English Boarding School in a town called Pame. We began with a classroom which is to be used for women’s development classes as well as one-on-one help for struggling students. We cleaned, repainted inside and out, re-did the blackboard and painted murals on the wall. Once this room was complete we moved onto ripping out and replacing the ground floor squat toilets. The main aim of this was to increase hygiene as the original toilets were in a disgusting state of disrepair and basically unusable. Working closely with a local tradesman we began the tasks of pulling out the old toilets and chipping away the top layer of concrete off the walls and floor. After the three weeks we had a new classroom and brand new hygienic toilets for the kids. Not to be cliché, but, this trip was life altering, awe-inspiring, clarifying and a once in a life time journey to explore not only a foreign land and its people but also myself. Every new experience I had made me fall a little bit more in love with the people, the place and also the work.

- Jes Johnson