VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES

To give prospective volunteers an idea of what to expect from their time with Heaven Hill Academy, we asked some previous volunteers to provide an insight in to their experience with the project.


Name, age and country?

Tara Benton, 5, New Zealand



What brought you to Heaven Hill?

I think it's because we came on a jeep because its a nice place. We thought we would stay for 1 night and see what it's like, but we thought it was nice so we stayed here. Here the food is nice!


How long did you stay?

I do not know....


What have you been doing here?

I have been getting Boisey (Buffalo) Milk, feeding Kali the cow, giving the cats cheese, carrying big baddles (bundles) of rice plants and drying them out, making friends at the school, drawing things and running round with a basket on my head.


What was the highlight of your stay?

I think my favorite bit, is the small chicks and I figured out that if I share things with other people, they will share things with me.


Would you come again?

Yeah! Maybe I'll come back when I'm 10 and I'll bring 3 cucumbers.

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Name, age and country?
Richard Watts, 27, UK

What brought you to Heaven Hill?
On our extended travels through India & Nepal, my partner Helen & I wanted to spend some time volunteering with education orientated grass roots projects.  We came across Heaven Hill on HelpX and thought it would be a brilliant opportunity to make ourselves useful and experience Nepali life in the mountains.  So we contacted Shamser and here we are!

How long did you stay?
2 weeks, although we wanted to stay on longer but couldn't due to visa restrictions and booked flights.

What sort roles did you take on?
I was primarily involved with the quarrying/construction phase of the project, digging, shifting rocks, building layout etc.   Alongside this, I lent a hand with cooking for fellow volunteers and developing  the projects web presence.  Helen, my partner, spent most of her time here teaching in a local school as that is her profession.

What was the highlight of your stay?
The people!  It was real pleasure to meet Shamser and his family and get to know such a wide variety of wonderful volunteers.   Sitting round the campfire on a Friday night was always a lot of fun...

What activities did you do in your free time?
I spent quite alot of time exploring the area, walking through the hills and forests. It really is beautiful round here.  All the volunteers were also invited to a local wedding which was certainly an enlightening experience!

Would you come again?

Absolutely, next time I am in Nepal (which will hopefully be soon) I will certainly be paying Heaven Hill a visit.

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Name, age and country?

 David Scott, 30, UK.



What brought you to Heaven Hill?

After spending some time travelling in India and Nepal, I decided I wanted to volunteer my time with a worthwhile project. Having found Heaven Hill on HelpX and seeing the great reviews, I decided to come to Gaunshahar.


How long did you stay?

I came with 2 weeks remaining on my visa and so thought I'd spend 10 days or so. Having been impressed with Shamser's enthusiasm and free flowing ideas to improve the lives for the villagers, I decided to extend my visa and ended up staying for nearly 3 months.


What sort roles did you take on?

When I first came I was running computer classes for the children in the village and teaching English at a local school. Once the land was acquired for Heaven Hill Academy, I, along with other volunteers, helped carry the stones from the quarry to the school site. I was also involved in brainstorming the ideas for the school motto and developing the website.


What was the highlight of your stay?

Becoming immersed in the culture of a rural village in Nepal during Dashain festival!


What activities did you do in your free time?

With Saturday's free, I loved hiking round the Lamjung district...especially the remote waterfall (which was great for clearing the head after a night on the local roxy!).


Would you come again?

Definitely! I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing what they've done with the stones I carried!!

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Name, age and country?

Malte Visnek, 24, Denmark.


What brought you to Heaven  Hill?

I heard about the place on HelpX and thought it to be a great opportunity to experience some Nepalese village life while at the same time doing something constructive and helpful.


How long did you stay?

Two weeks.


What sort roles did you take on?

Stone carrying and digging for building the new school, teaching in the already existing school, helping in the kitchen.


What was the highlight of your stay?

Experiencing the morning sun setting the Himalayas on fire while drinking tea with the other nice people living here, feeling the calmness of the place taking over my body and mind.  


What activities did you do in your free time?

Drawing, day hikes and diarrhea...!


Would you come again?

Definitely!, if the world wasn't too big for going the same place twice.

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