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Michael Davis

Volunteer in an Orphanage in Nepal

After my second year of university, I travelled with two friends to Pokhara, Nepal to volunteer in an orphanage for six weeks. Nepal is located in Asia, north of India.

During this time, I taught English, math, and science to grade two boys every day. I also acted as an older brother to them, helping the older children with homework, giving them medicine in the morning and evening, taking them out for special meals and games, and playing with them around the house and yard.

The experience has thoroughly enlightened me in many aspects of my life. Personally, I discovered a very different culture. I had the opportunity to learn pieces of both the Nepali and Tibetan language and experience the Hindu religion. I met the founder of the orphanage, a Tibetan monk, who took me to his monastery where I was able to see firsthand their training and livelihood. This was a unique experience, one I won’t soon forget.

In addition, I experienced, for the first time, poverty. The lack of structure, rules, and organization was startling and was one of the lasting experiences of my journey. Seeing the underdevelopment of Nepal has influenced both my extracurricular life and my goals for my career.

I’ve always volunteered in some capacity, but after returning from abroad, I decided I wanted to do something with a greater impact. I joined the Memorial University chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an organization that strives to eradicate poverty in rural Africa both through outreach, and by sending members overseas. Likewise, I’ve always desired to work in the medical field. Now, however, that goal has been expanded. Once graduated, I would love to return to Nepal long-term and contribute my time helping as a physician.

I would certainly recommend travelling abroad to all students. It was, without a doubt, one of the most motivating experiences of my life. While helping others, I have gained a better perspective on my life and am using the tools within my grasp to help others.

The only way to actually realize how truly magnificent another place on this planet can be is to go there. I discovered what forty degrees really feels like, how intelligent seven-year-old boys are, and the beauty of the Himalayan Mountains in the setting sun.

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