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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Danielle Smeding, Bal Prabhat School, Nepal, Mobility for internship, KPZ


Contact Bal Prabhat Boarding School

New Road, Pokhara-9

Contact person: Prem Kunwar

Our stay
We've rent an appartment in Lakeside, the tourist side of Pokhara. First we had a small appartment. Jut one room and we lived on our beds. After a month we've moved to a bigger one. Now we had two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a good kitchen with livingroom. We also had a balcony. The houseowner was a really kind man. He was willing to help with everything. 

Review of your stay abroad in academic terms
We arrived the 26th of february in Pokhara. We started our internship the 27th. We arrived at the Bal Prabhat Boarding School at 10:00 am. The children were standing in line waiting for the teacher to give comments. In the mean time, we were introduced to the prinicipal. A really nice man and he was very proud of his school. There was a whole ceremonie planned for us. We got a scarf and a red point on our face with paint. It was a sign of respect. They were very greatfull. We also got the oppertunity to choose our own class. I choose grade 4.

 After the weekend we came back to the school. We were observing the first few days. The children were very curious. They asked questions about me and the Netherlands. So I decided to teach them some Dutch words. I also saw the teachers hitting the childeren. They got beaten when they didn't know an answer or just disobate the teacher. It was really hard to see, but I didn't know what to do.  

I had much time to teach, because sometimes teachers just didn't show up. I experienced it positive but also negative. The positive thing is that I was free to do anything I wanted. I could teach them things they never heard of like the second world war. The children were very supportive and enthousiastic. The negative thing was that I never got feedback and most of the time I didn't get a chance to prepare my lessons. 

 Another nice experience during my internship was parentsday. The children were learning a dance. Every grade another traditional dance. They were practicing for weeks for that one special day. Parentsday was at the end of the school year and the children got the chance to show their dance to their parents. It was also a day were prices were rewarded. It was a long day for us, but it's nice to see so many happy faces on the stage. 

 Review of the stay abroad in cultural terms
Before I even went to Nepal, people were warning me for a culture shock. I knew Nepal is way different from the Netherlands, but I thing you can't prevent a culture shock. The only thing that's important is to be open-minded. Don't judge other cultures. There will be negative things, but try to see the positive things. For example the Nepali people never have stress. They are so relaxed. The negative thing is that they're always late, but the positve thing is that they're always wanting to help you. 

 I didn't have a real culture shock. There were things that i was fascinated about, but not real shocked or anything. The fact that children got beaten was really hard to see, but you get used to it. I tried to enjoy everything a saw like cows on the street and the fact that the traffic was horrible. It's also nice that we meet Nepali people. At that moment you learn the real Nepali culture. They took us to restaurants we would never go to. 

 I also wanted to go to Nepal because of the religion. I'm fascinated about the life style of the Budhism and Hindoeism. We visited a few temples and stupa's. It is hard to understand those religions, but the way they see things is something we western people can learn a lot from. I thing my culture shock came when I arrived back in the Netherlands. 

Housing and food & drinks:
We've rented an appartment in Pokhara, Lakeside. We did this with the help of our teacher and Prem.
We payed around 450 dollars with the three of us for one month.
There are also a lot of guesthouses were you can stay. But we wanted a place for ourself.
Our appartment was very nice, we had 2 bedrooms, a livingroom with a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a balcony.
If you want to rent an appartment its a good idea to have a person in Nepal who can help you with it. Renting an appartment from your home country can be difficult. 
We did our groceries at the local store. There was a big supermarket, where you can buy almost everything.
You can make a supper for less then 5 dollar. Also its a possibility to go out for supper, we've paid around 20 dollars with the three of us.

Social terms:
The people in Nepal are very kind and hospitable. The first time we meet our Nepalese mentor he was directly very kind to us. He even called us his family, and inivited us to his home for supper. 
Also the people on the street are very kind. They are always willing to help.

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