Over the past month, I was privileged to volunteer with a wonderful non-profit organization called For A Purpose. Nestled between the mountains in a rural district,we set out to build a community center for the villagers of Juhlneta and the surrounding areas.Once completed the space will provide educational materials, a music room and place for the children to play. While there, we created a community of our own. We constructed a kitchen out of all natural materials and learned to build with bamboo. Prayer flags flapped in the breeze and yurt completed our “circus” ensemble.
We lived amongst the locals, getting back to the basics,remembering the ease of a simplistic lifestyle. I was pleasantly surprised how effortless it was to live harmoniously in a group of twenty. The group was as diverse as day and night, yet we seemed to complement one another and blend together seamlessly. D’jo Surmont is the driving force behind the project and I can’t say enough kind things about the man. He is an incredible leader,holding everyone in the same light with equal respect and balanced work and play with precision. With a wake up time of seven am, we’d abandon the warmth of our tents, crawl out into the sunshine and set off to work.
We dug trenches and moved stones, preparing the foundation of the building. Although the work was strenuous, the good company kept it interesting and there were few moments when laughter wasn’t heard bellowing through the camp. On Fridays, we welcomed all the nearby children to enjoy games and interact with us. I was astounded at the number of kids who showed up and each continuing week the number increased. The time spent interacting and playing with them was by far my favorite part. I’ll never forget the beaming faces, the joy radiating from their smiles and the giggles that filled the valley. Looking back, I see how much I learned about myself, about building friendships and
I never expected to gain so much wisdom, to grow as much as I have. I found myself reflecting on questions like; How can I make an impact? How can my individual gifts and strengths encourage others? What inspires me? I’d let these thoughts wash over me while gazing up at the freckled sky, the most spectacular array of stars i’d ever seen. This place is magical I thought. So, if you are thinking of traveling, I encourage you to consider volunteering.Find your passions and allow them to guide your journey. Let yourself become fully submerged into making dreams a reality and be open to the changes you too will undertake. I promise you,your heart will overflow with love. To all the volunteers who brightened my day, the Nepalese who welcomed me and taught me their culture, and to the mountains whom I found sanctuary in. Thank you,
I’ll never forget you.
If you’d like to learn more about this organization check their Facebook page out @4APNepal