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Relato de Viagem: Águia Experience no Nepal

Ajudar pessoas é uma experiência que muda a vida de todos os envolvidos. Quem faz voluntariado em viagens internacionais sente isso na pele. É o caso de Leticia Farnezes Figueiredo, que fez seu Projeto Cultural e de Voluntariado no Nepal.

Ela ficou encarregada de ser guia de um templo chamado Swayambhunath, popularmente conhecido como Templo do Macaco. Além disso, a jovem atuou como professora de jardim de infância por cinco dias. Como já tinha anos de experiência dando aulas, Leticia estava preparada para ensinar os alunos da região com muita música e diversão. O que ela não esperava era que essa oportunidade seria tão transformadora como foi.

Mais do que aprendizado mútuo entre Leticia e seus pequenos alunos do Nepal, a viagem proporcionou ainda a chance de conhecer a fundo a cultura e a história local, incluindo a gastronomia do país. Outro ponto alto foi a visita a pontos turísticos incríveis. É o caso das seguintes atrações: os Himalaias, uma cordilheira de tirar o fôlego; a região de Thamel, que possui uma feira antiga; os templos de Kirtipur; e o Chitwan National Park, onde foi possível observar de perto aves, cervos, crocodilos e até elefantes bebês. 

Mas ninguém melhor do que a própria Leticia para contar em suas próprias palavras como foi sua viagem ao Nepal.

I’ve been passionate about traveling and getting to know different cultures for more than ten years. Growing up, I realized that helping people is one of the most incredible opportunities in life. Some years ago I set a goal: I want to be a volunteer abroad. After searching about countries and organizations, I chose to be a volunteer in Nepal, in Kathmandu.

I arrived a few days before the beginning of the program not to feel so jet lagged when the program started, and my first impressions of Nepal were great: delicious food, hospitable people and a very different culture from mine. On my first weekend in Kathmandu I did a mountain flight and saw the breathtaking Himalayas.

I arrived in Nepal on a Sunday afternoon and made friends right away – friends who also come from different countries and made it also possible to exchange lifetime experiences. I chose to be in a shared room to interact with these new friends from China, Australia and the Netherlands, which turned out to be wonderful.

I decided to spend my first week on the Cultural Program to visit the sights, live the culture closely and understand it better. Three friends and I were responsible for being the guides at the Monkey Temple, which was named by tourists who couldn’t pronounce its name, – I could at the presentation and was very proud; Nepali is a bit difficult. We also visited Thamel, an old market and had to buy some spices and bargain, and Kirtipur and its temples

All the tours were guided by coordinators from the Organization and this made our experience even better not only because they speak the local language but also because they would talk to us about the culture and historical facts. On the Culture Week we also had a lovely cooking class – we made lunch for almost thirty people who were staying here. We had fun and the food was delicious! We prepared a type of bread that is fried and served with potato curry. YUM!

All volunteers had three meals at the accommodation: breakfast, lunch and dinner. They were well prepared and everyday we ate a different dish in all meals. They were a combination of Nepali food with more traditional dishes. On weekends we only had breakfast and dinner which allowed us to be out exploring the city all day long.

I love animals and on my second weekend here, I visited Chitwan National Park and it was amazing! I saw baby elephants, many deer, birds and crocodiles.

I have been a teacher for eight years now and the Education Program was just perfect for me! I was a teacher at the kindergarten for five unforgettable days. It’s hard to put on words all I felt during this week. I could interact with kids, teach them and play with them. The coordinators helped other volunteers and I with the content of the classes and provided materials we used with the students, for example notebooks, pencils, markers, and toys.

 I brought some materials of my own to use in the classes and the students loved them. I brought two story books about animals and stuffed animals that illustrate both stories. These stuffed animals were given to the Organization as a present from Isa, the Brazilian woman who makes them. I believe children must play and sing at all times, therefore I tried to bring playing to the lessons so learning could be effective. The results were what I really expected: they learned and had fun! 

It is said that the Águia Experience´s Projects change lives and I couldn’t agree more. We can be a volunteer and contribute to the children’s lives, and by teaching them, our lives also change – a lot. I’m very grateful to have lived this experience and can say that all my expectations were achieved. Thank you!

Conheça o Nepal

Ao visitar o país, como Leticia fez, você terá a oportunidade de aproveitar todas as maravilhas que este destino oferece. Ela ficou em Kathmandu, capital do país. A cidade é a maior do Nepal e está a 1.400 metros de altitude, no meio de um vale rodeado por montanhas. 

Se você curte natureza, então o Nepal é perfeito para sua viagem, pois é um paraíso para quem gosta de caminhadas, alpinismo e montanhismo. Com clima típico das monções, o país tem uma estação seca, que vai de outubro a maio. Já de junho a setembro é a época das monções, quando não é muito indicado para visitantes. Nessa época, chova praticamente todos os dias. Isso acaba gerando muitos caminhos cheios de barro e deslizamentos de terras podem acontecer. 

Quer ter uma experiência tão fantástica quanto a da Leticia? Fale conosco para planejar uma viagem para fazer trabalho voluntário no Nepal. A Águia Experience proporciona momentos maravilhosos para interessados em trabalho voluntário em outros países.