As part of the Global Curriculum Project and to further develop our links with Annal Jyoti School, five girls from the Sixth Form and two members of staff travelled to Nepal during July.
Below is Nicola Skakel's account of her time in Nepal.
No matter how much I was told about Nepal, or how much research I did on the country prior to our trip, nothing prepared me for the sights I saw, the things I experienced, or even how much the trip has changed me as a person. Nepal turned out to be the most beautiful country – home to the kindest, most accepting, and unbelievably generous people.
If someone told me before I went to Nepal that in one evening I would witness 6 cremations and that I would find it one of the most eye opening and amazing things I’ve ever seen, I would have laughed, because seeing dead bodies being burnt in front of your very eyes is disgusting right? But seeing how the Nepalese react to it and completely embrace it is truly amazing. To an atheist like me, it’s inspiring to see how much faith these people have, even though most of them have nothing themselves - their faith is everything to them.
The Nepali people welcomed us all as if we were family, and that was perhaps the best thing of all. The children in the school made me feel unbelievably loved as they gave us present, after present, after present; always wanting to hug us and telling us to never forget them – something I now realise will be completely impossible.
My week in Nepal has made a greater impression on me than I could ever have hoped for. Never again will I drink tap water, open my mouth in the shower or switch the lights on and have electricity without realising how lucky I am. As well as giving me a greater appreciation of how forward out western world is, the trip has made me stronger as a person. When we arrived at Kathmandu airport, I had 2 men open my door in the car, grab hold of me and beg me for money - I can honestly say I don’t think I have been so terrified as I was in that moment. But the same thing happened to me on the last day, and it didn’t faze me in the slightest because I knew they wouldn’t actually hurt me. Before Nepal, I never would have thought I would be able to stand in front of 40 children and sing to them, but I did it and I loved it! Strange considering I can’t even sing in the shower!