Service in the Roof of the World
Nepal’s skyline includes eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, each towering over 26,000 feet. Nestled in high-altitude valleys and in close harmony with the land, small communities still practice agricultural and pastoral lifestyles. At the “roof of the world,” Nepal’s Langtang amphitheater is the looming backdrop for your village stay and community service project. The rich cultural and spiritual fabric of Nepal, and the warm hospitality of the Nepalese people interweave to create an awe-inspiring appreciation for life’s beauty.
Wander through the bazaars, temples and cobblestoned streets of Bhaktapur and Kathmandu.
Trek for nine days to sacred, jewel-like lakes beneath breathtaking peaks in the Himalaya passing through timeless Tibetan villages along the way.
Construct a school, plant trees and teach English in a rural Nepalese village.
Delve into Nepalese family life and learn the techniques for subsistence on the steep terraced landscape.
Explore the rich cultural history and architecture of the ancient cities of Bhaktapur and Bodhnath.
NOTE: This is a wonderful yet challenging program requiring that its participants possess the desire, sensitivity and strength to meet the cultural and physical demands of trekking in remote areas at high elevations.
After your journey from the U.S., you and your group head to a cozy lodge in the quaint heritage town of Bhaktapur, the ‘City of Devotees,’ where temple-studded medieval squares, narrow streets, red-brick houses, and hidden courtyards peppered with temples, greet you at every turn. You’ll meander through ornate 15th-century temples and marvel at the traditional Newari craftsmanship for which this ancient heart of the Malla Kingdom is acclaimed. You’ll enjoy your first cups of chai tea, get to know one another and begin your informal studies of conversational Nepali with Global Routes’ dedicated Nepalese staff. Rising early one morning to hike to a hidden Hindu temple, you begin to prepare your trekking legs and enjoy the sunrise from this ancient Kali Temple.
Trekking the Annapurna Himalaya
Your group then heads west to the stunning Annapurna region in the heart of the Himalaya. You’ll bask in the glory of Pokhara, an idyllic lakeside village with a breathtaking panorama of the Himalaya from the balcony of your guest house. Here, experienced sherpa guides lead you on your nine-day trek through the villages, mountains and passes of the Himalaya. Days on the trail begin with a steaming cup of chai and apple porridge to fuel your walk and end with a filling meal of vegetable curries, rice and bean soup, known locally as dhal baht. Follow ancient paths in the Annapurna Valley, stay in the humble homes of Tibetan Nepalese families at night, and marvel at the grand 8,000 meter peaks towering above you. Trekking in Nepal is an experience of a lifetime.
Feeling fit and inspired, it’s time to head to your homestay community, located in the heart of the fertile Hill’s Region, two hours outside of Kathmandu. Here you spend two weeks immersed in Nepalese life, working with local community members to construct a school or a much-needed community water tank. Teach English to local children, lead an adult reading seminar, or design a colorful mural to adorn a classroom wall. Step into the rhythm of rural Nepalese daily life; harvest the season’s bounty with your host mother or tend to your family’s chickens and goats at your host father’s side. Participate in the local festivals of the summer season and visit some of the many temples that dot the rolling landscape.
After a final celebration ceremony in your village, you will transition to final travel in the stunning Tibetan Buddhist center of Bodhnath, home to many of Nepal’s Tibetan refugees and the largest and most beautiful Buddhist Stupa on earth (we challenge you to walk around it 108 times during your stay!). Bodhnath is famed for its colorful and exhilarating sights, sounds, and smells, and for the way it casually blends the modern with the spiritual. Observe a local woman making offerings to the gods along a market walkway, and smile at the paradox of a cow wandering along cobblestone streets. You’ll then work with your group and leaders to truly digest the life-changing experience you’ve encountered, and learn how to take the tools and lessons you’ve gained back to your home-life.
Whether Global Routes is the best fit for you or not, we’re here to help.