Hello, my name is Shamser. I am the principal of the primary school as well as a chair person for a local NGO in Lamjung, Nepal. My family has a homestay located in a beautiful part of northwestern Nepal on the top of a hill with stunning views of Annapurna, Fishtail, Manaslu, Peak 29 and Lamjung. My village is called Gaunshahar. It is the original abode of the royal family of Nepal that later relocated to Kathmandu. The small palace and courtyard still hosts traditional festivals that attract many people from all around many times a year. Gaunshahar is 4km uphill from Besisahar, one of the starting points of the famous Annapurna Circuit trek.
Our school currently welcomes 100 students, aged 3-10, divided into 7 grades; Pre-school, Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2 , Grade 3 and Grade 4. We currently have 3 children with special needs. All students from the village are welcomed irrespective of caste, and we focus on helping students whose parents are unable to pay for school fees, uniforms, books, stationery and meals.
-We are constructing another school in the next village. Currently we need a lot of volunteers to help moving rocks, bricks,sand, cement and digging hole for building.
-Computer Lab: We are starting a computer lab and will need volunteers to help teach computer literacy and computer skills to the children
-Gardening: We are starting a gardening project to teach the children about agriculture, horticulture and science. The items produced from the garden will also be used in the cooking classes.
-Cooking classes: A kitchen is being added to the school to teach the children about hygiene, nutrition and cooking. We are interested in having volunteers sponsor this project and consider offering to teach the preparation of a dish from their country. We are excited about this activity as it will not only provide good meals for the children, it will expose them to a broad view of food and also provide an opportunity to teach English in an active setting. We expect to have six children at a time participate in the cooking classes which will take place on Saturday afternoons for 2 hours. (Saturday is usually a school day off so the children will attend school for only this event on those days.) If Volunteers are interested in learning how to cook Nepali cuisine, arrangements can be made on request.
FALL 2018 VOLUNTEERS PLEASE NOTE:
The Academy will have holidays starting October 6 through October 24 and there will be no volunteer opportunities available at the school. Anyone interested in volunteering in this time frame will be asked to participate in a new project. We will be starting construction of a new school, the Academy, in a neighboring village. The village, Chandisthan (Saring) is about an hour from Ganushahar. Volunteers for this project must be prepared to camp during their visit and should bring tents and sleeping bags as well as water purification tablets. A temporary toilet will be built at the construction site and three meals will be provided. The largest Hindu festival in Nepal, the Dashain Festival will occur on October 17, 18, and 19. On these dates construction will cease and we will return to Gaunshahar to celebrate the festival. If you are interested in volunteering for the construction project in this timeframe, please send an email for information about logistics.
In 2017 we initiated our first camping project. The project involved taking the children of grade 3 on a two day camping trip to teach expose them to activities to build their self-confidence and self-reliance. Because of the positive outcome of the project we are going to do it again this year, again with the grade 3 children, likely between 15-17 students. In 2018 we will be camping with the children from November 12-14. If you are interested in participating in this project, please send information about the details related to equipment needed and logistics.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Whilst staying with my family, we welcome any help you can give. Previous volunteers have participated in many different ways. Most commonly, people who visit help out at the school by assisting teachers, teaching classes, and running creative activities in the library. However, volunteer involvement is not limited to that. In the past, volunteers have designed, planned and acquired materials for projects to improve the infrastructure of the school, including painting projects, rebuilding old paths and gates and improving the electrical wiring. Other volunteer occupations have included teacher training initiatives, helping with grant writing and building our equine therapy program for our three students with Down Syndrome.
We have many projects for the future and we always welcome any new ideas that volunteers can bring. Don’t worry if you think you might not have any relevant skills, there are many ways to help in the school and the children will appreciate your efforts and support.
We ask volunteers to give about four hours help a day in any way you can. The rest of the day is yours!
We are particularly looking for people who are interested in staying for longer periods of time to become more integrated with the school, however we are still very happy to have people visit for any amount of time.
During your time here you will get a strong sense of Nepali village life, and there are many activities you can engage in, including hiking, short walks in the nearby villages, or taking tea with the locals. The surrounding mountains and the tranquility of our village create a perfect setting for yoga and meditation. If you are interested in longer treks, we can help you organize trips around Lamjung. IN addition, Besisahar is one of the starting places of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, and the necessary permits can be purchased in town. If you like, we can also give you some Nepali lessons, so that that you can be acquainted with Nepali culture, history and language. Sometimes we have campfires, and I can give you a tour of the village where you can try our local wine. We can also teach volunteers to cook Nepali food, such as Dal Baht and organic local curry for breakfast or dinner.
If you like, I can also give each volunteer a certificate at the end of your stay, to use for future volunteering or when searching for a job.
Nepali, Hindi, English
Our homestay includes four shared guest rooms inside my family home, a traditional Nepali eco-roundhouse made from stone and a metal roof, and space to set up tents.
We ask volunteers to pay a small sum of 5 US dollars a day to stay here. This cost includes two meals, filtered water, tea, cold shower and WiFi. Our food is sourced almost entirely from local ingredients and we can easily accommodate vegetarian diets. Please note that the served food is basic, however you are able to stock up on extra items from Besisahar. Next to our house, Bimala has a local shop where you can buy snacks, drinks and other items (such as toilet paper and water).
Getting to the Homestay
From Kathmandu to Besisashar
The quickest and easiest way is by microbus from the small Gongabu bus station (next to the New Bus Station). There are both local micro and tourist buses running from Kathmandu to Besisashar daily. Please try to take the earlier microbus, around 7.30 AM, in order to reach Besisashar at 4 PM to take jeep up the mountain to Gaunshahar. The journey will take about 6 hours and will stop once for local food and a toilet break on the way. This bus should cost around 500 NPR (5 dollars).
From Pokhara to Besisashar
You can take either a tourist bus or a direct micro bus to Besisahar. There are several buses to choose from and the bus ride takes between 4 to 5 hours. Please try to 9 AM bus in order to reach Besisashar at 4 to take jeep up the mountain to Gaunshahar This bus should cost around 400 NPR (4 dollars).
Besisashar to Gaunshahar
You can either take a jeep or walk up the mountain to our village. Walking up to Gaunshahar is quite steepy so recommmend to take jeep.
. A jeep leaves at 4 PM from in front of the Hotel Tukuche, every day of the week . But if you want to come on Saturday There is no jeep so you need to reserve the jeep and it costs is 2500 NPRS. The jeep will costs 300 NPR.But if you sit or stand back side of the jeep ,it costs only 200 NPR.
If you miss the jeep or prefer to walk, there is a trail up the mountain to Gaunshahar (When you arrive in Gaunshahar , just ask SHAMSER HOUSE ) anyone will show the house.There will be many people along your route and all will be happy to point you in the right direction. The hike is steep and will take about 2 hours to cover the 4 km uphill to the village. You can also take the road which is a more gentle ascent but is 7 km long. If you plan in advance, we can arrange a porter to assist you with your bags for 1000 NPR.
Or if you want a jeep after 4 Pm or other time , you can reserve a jeep it costs 2500 NPR. before reserve please call me, I can arrange you.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask, or if you have any problems in Besisahar please just give me a call from your mobile or from Hotel Tukuche.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
4-5 hours a day 5 days a week
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteers stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.
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