Building Nepal into the future


A Volunteer Intern's Visit to the Field

At the end of September, during my first week as an intern with IDS Nepal, I had the opportunity to go to the field for the Multistakeholder Forestry Programme (MSFP). The field office was in Dailekh, a district in the Hills of Nepal’s Mid-Western Region. The field trip started with an hour-long domestic flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, a city along the Indian border in the Terai region. We then loaded our gear into a car and started the ~6 hour drive to get to Dailekh. Driving through the hills was absolutely beautiful as we saw stunning views of valleys and drove through clouds, but it was also a bit of a scary experience for me at first, as I had never driven on such a narrow winding road before.

Very few foreigners visit Dailekh, so many people were shocked to see me there, but children were quick to yell “Hello” to me as we went by and people were very friendly. The staff at the IDS field office was also very welcoming and tried to make me feel included in everything they did. We ate daal bhat together twice a day, and they were very keen to include me in everything. In the office, I was able to help by creating a brochure for Lot VI of MSFP, which should be published soon. As well, I learned a lot about the project I will be connected with during my time here until April.

I also got to attend a 2-day LAPA (Local Adaptation Plan of Action) workshop in a small village called Khadkawada with a group of about40 locals. Although I couldn’t understand what was said, since it was all in Nepali, it was fascinating to watch the interactions of the villagers, and the passionate participation by everyone, and despite the language barrier I learned a lot in the 2 days. At the end of the second day, I was incredibly lucky and the village performed a farewell ceremony, and Rudra and I received flower garlands and red powder on our foreheads. I hadn’t expected such a ceremony, since I was merely a spectator during the event, and it was truly an honour. The entire field trip was an amazing experience and was exactly what my placement is all about!