Luke;s Testmonial (Previous Volunteer) From England

My time at Volunteer Foundation Nepal (Papas Home) has been one the most warming and encouraging experiences of my life. People will always have preconceptions about orphanages, especially those ones in poverty stricken countries. My thoughts of sympathy and superiority towards these homes were quickly shattered and transformed into feelings of positivity, encouragement and hope.
My first visit to the home was recommended by a fellow traveler who has himself on his way to start volunteering at Papas Home. Because of my previous work with children and my future education choices, I decided to go and visit the home. Experience some of the hardships children face in this country and understand their struggle. Surely I could offer a glimmer of hope and a ray of happiness to such unfortunates. My walk nearing the home was a pleasant one, quiet and peaceful. Turning into the path which lead up to Papas Home I could see colorful painting which covered a gate, above it was a large sign, labeled Volunteer Foundation, Nepal. Papas Home. I was suddenly greeted by what seemed 100 smiling faces, cries of Namaste and a crowd of hands which grasped mine and lead me into what would be my new home. My first visit was a short one, but it was almost instantly that I decided I would move in as soon as possible. I did that three days later and quickly became one of the family.
After just a few days staying at Papa’s Home I felt like one of the family. The children are far from shy and I quickly became acquainted with all of them. The older kids would take great interest in my life, ask me many questions and in return would teach me much about themselves, and Nepal. Their grasp of the English language is very impressive and they can hold decent conversation for hours. The younger children are as well very capable in their English language. They however, much preferred running around the large house, playing various games and occasionally using me as a human climbing frame. During holidays and days off school, we would always go to the local ground which was about a 5 minute walk from the house. The older boys would organize football matches with the other children from the neighborhood and the younger ones would run around kicking one or two random balls.
Papa’s home is quietest during nighttime, and also my favorite part of the day, RICE TIME! Or as I knew before, meal time. Being part of one of the family, means eating like one of the family. Traditional Nepali food is served three times a day and I quickly learnt to love it. And nearly learnt how to eat as much and as fast as the kids! Meal times were always a pleasant experience for me. The younger children would crowd around the dining room tables as they shoveled rice down with their bare hands. The older kids would sit with me either on stools in the kitchen or on the rooftop if the sun was out. An empty plate meant an offer of more rice, shortly followed by dal soup and vegetable curry. No one goes hungry at Papas Home.
My role at the home has been one of comfort and ease. The kids and the rest of the family make it this way. I would help with homework when I was needed, walk the kids to school when they wanted me too, put on socks, tie shoe laces, fix ties. But most importantly, I would just be the best big brother I could be. It is sad to be leaving Papas Home because at the moment it is also Luke’s Home. This house, these children, the rest of the family will surely stay with me forever, and there would be no surprises on my part if I did one day return to Papas Home.

Saturday 2019 February 16
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