Anniversary Reflections by Carrie S.

Carrie Spelts volunteered for six weeks in rural Nepal during the summer of 2010.  She was a part of the 1st volunteer crew of Edge of Seven.

“Transformative Uranus shifts into your house of travel and higher education, so whether it’s a trip to Nepal, or a local climbing class, get something action adventure-ish going on May 13. “ (May horoscope for Leo’s, 2010)

This clipped out message is taped to the first page of my journal that I started nearly one short year ago.  I am not someone who typically puts a lot of stock into horoscope

Carrie leaves her mark!

readings but I’d have to say this one hit the nail on the head.   On May 13, 2010 I began the first leg of my journey to Nepal.  So naturally I have spent the past few weeks reminiscing about the time I spent in Nepal one year ago.

Prior to leaving for Nepal I did my best to prepare.  I spent time researching the country and things that I needed to bring.  Never did I think I would spend hours researching mosquito nets, means of water purification, various vaccinations, and headlamps.  But I did.  The day I left I felt prepared for anything I would face.  I had “practiced” cold showers prior to leaving and had a plan of attack for avoiding leeches while trekking in the jungle during the rain. 

Aileen (left), Quinnen (middle), and Carrie (left) arrive to the project site in Jarang, Nepal.

One thing I hadn’t prepared myself for was how much I would gain personally from this experience.  During my six short weeks in Nepal my eyes were opened to a completely different world.  Being immersed and accepted in a close knit village and getting to experience their culture first hand was a humbling experience.  Not only did I have the opportunity to help build a school, I also built lasting relationships with Nepali and American people.  I spent weeks working side by side with Nepali volunteers whom I may never see again, but cross my mind daily.  I spent many evenings sitting on my host family’s front porch sharing stories with other volunteers and watching local Nepali children show off their dancing skills. 

This trip opened my eyes to a whole world of need.  Surprisingly, although the people have much less physically than many Americans, they seemed happier.  They have rich hearts and spirits and were extremely grateful for the help we were providing their community.  As another group is gearing up to head to Nepal I hope that they too will be able to learn as much as I did from this trip.  Although I am guessing not too many of them stumbled across a horoscope similar to mine before leaving, I am confident they will come back with much more than they had ever imagined such as I did.

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