Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal. It is the gateway to tourism in Nepal and the starting point of major hiking/climbing expeditions that go on to the Himalayas. In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top 10 travel destinations on the rise in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia. We will be going in November, which is the best time of year to visit – dry, with a comfortable temperature.
The city has a rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Most of Kathmandu’s people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language in the city, but English is widely spoken and understood. The decade-long civil war in Nepal from 1996–2006 claimed more than 12,000 lives; the devastating economic consequences have affected hundreds of thousands more in one of the poorest countries in the world. Some historic areas of Kathmandu were partly devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015 and much of the rebuilding is still in progress.
The service projects we will participate in will be split between two to three venues and you will be teaching and organizing activities/games at two of them. Firstly, at a primary school on the outskirts of Kathmandu in a district called Sukumbasi Basil, which literally translated means ‘homeless people’s residence’. The children live in a slum area but their level of spoken and written English is very high, considering their background. Last year RCHK helped the school to install internet and since then, they have got several Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education. One of our projects will be to help students and teachers to make use of these new resources.
Secondly, we will visit Khawalung Tashi Choeling Monastery, where we will teach English and organize activities for young monks, between the ages of 8 to 16. We will also be able to sit in on their prayer times and gain an insight into what it is like to live in such an environment.
The third project is with the Seven Women centre, which was set up to support women who were marginalised by society. Women and girls come to the centre to receive free education and support for the means to earn their own wage. We will learn Nepali cooking and basic language from them and in return provide English lessons, some computer and new technology training and look at long term project possibilities.
Kathmandu has a number of designated World Heritage districts and sites, and we will spend some time visiting some of them, like Bhaktapur, Bodhnath Stupa, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), as well as Durbar Square, which is within walking distance of our guest house.
We will also travel to Chitwan National Park in the south of the country for two nights. The park was established in 1973 and was granted World Heritage Status in 1989. We will get a chance to encounter some of the wild animals living there, like elephants, rhinos and maybe tigers!
While in Kathmandu, we will be staying in the popular Thamel district at The Kathmandu Guest House, which is considered to be an institution in Kathmandu! The Guest House and the Thamel district is convenient for all our activities and for the free time in the morning and evening.
This trip is NOT a guided holiday but a challenge and a chance for change. Students who sign up for the trip will be expected to actively participate in the planning of the trip and it’s activities, which means our itinerary is subject to change.
Cheuk Lun Ko
What makes Kathmandu so great is that it steps you back from the fast-paced world we live in, from IB, from everything and you find yourself reconnected with things that truly matter. Nothing is more gratifying and relaxing than that.
This trip is unforgettable. I was amazed by the strong religious spirit of the country. I was able to discover the traditional arts such as the mandalas and ancient architecture.
This activity inspired me because it provided a unique opportunity to meet children from a totally different society in very different living conditions. this CAS trip is perfect for students who love meeting new people and trying new things (risk-taking)!!
Depart: Fri, 9 Nov 2018
Arrive HK: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 at 0530 AM
Approximate cost: HKD 14,000
Availability: Limited to 12 students