St. Mary's

From Fundraising to Enlightenment: Our Nepal Expedition

Students and staff in Nepal

Namaste, after a year and a half of fundraising, planning and team building, the group set off on the incredible adventure and journey that is our annual visit to Nepal. A group of 12 students and 2 members of staff travelled over 4,600 miles to the other side of the world to take part in the most unforgettable adventure and experience. When we first arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal we went straight out on a walk through Thamel the main heart of Kathmandu and where our hotel, the Kathmandu Guest House is located, here we walked through the local markets and bazaars to Durbar Square. Here the group got their first taste of haggling and we had a look around the temples and architecture. We were also incredibly lucky to be able to go and stand in the presence of the Kumari who is the living goddess of the area. Our second day took us to Pashupatinath which is a world heritage site and a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here the group sat on the banks of the Bagmati River to witness local Hindu cremations and to mingle with the local Sadhus and holy men. In the afternoon we made our way to Swayambhunath otherwise known as the ‘monkey temple’. Here the group had to climb the 365 steps to enlightenment before reaching the stupa at the top, here the group took part in their first kora around the temple before spending some time buying Nepalese prayer flags, speaking to the local community and looking out at the incredible views of Kathmandu valley. The group also visited Boudhanath, the largest stupa in the world, here the group saw many Tibetan Buddhists meditating and on pilgrimage.

The next three days were the main reason for our visit and journey to Nepal. The group completed their teaching project at a local school called Shubhakamana Academy. Here the group taught conversational English based around a range of different subjects and topics, some of which included; sport, music, science, religion, nutrition and geography. The group had planned and resourced all of their lessons back in Blackpool and were well equipped for the job. Every single member of the group had a huge impact on the students they taught and spoke to at Shubhakamana, they made memories that will last a lifetime and the school took away a lot of valuable skills, lessons and resources.

Whilst completing our teaching project at Shubhakamana the group visited some of the children’s houses, these are the children who are supported by the Impact Foundation. This is a Foundation that helps to support children with their education at Shubhakamana by having sponsors who pay for a child to attend school, this money covers all school fees, uniforms, examination fees, equipment and resources for the children in the Impact Foundation.

After completing our three day teaching project at Shubhakamana Academy the group then travelled down to Chitwan National Park. Here students went on jeep safari and spotted wild rhino, monkeys, deer, boar and many different birds, they also had the chance to wash elephants and went on a morning canoe ride on the East Rapti River to spot lots of wild crocodile.

After returning to Kathmandu for our last evening in Nepal, we finished our final bits of shopping before sitting down for our evening gala meal together feasting on some incredible Nepalese and Indian food.

It was the most wonderful trip with an absolutely incredible group of people who created memories to last a lifetime.

We have already recruited our team for 2024 and have 18 students who are already fundraising and in the initial planning stages for next year.