Written By: Laura Shaw and Regina Rudder
Most Trek to Teach teachers spend at least 10 weeks in a rural village in the Annapurna region, where they have the opportunity to explore all that Nepal’s Kaski district has to offer. Packing for a big trek is often daunting enough; however, packing for multiple treks and living in a mountain village is a whole other feat within itself. The packing list will undoubtedly be lengthy, but sorting out what to buy at home and pack in your luggage versus the gear you could buy in Nepal to avoid baggage fees is something a lot of people wish they had known prior to arriving. Rest assured that teachers will have time in Kathmandu and Pokhara to acquire any last minute gear or supplies they may need or want in the village before leaving on the Poon Hill Trek. Teachers will have to decide what gear to carry with them for the 4-5 day trek, what belongings to send to their village by jeep, and, ultimately, what to leave behind. Based on the experiences of former TTT teachers’ packing struggles and regrets, here are our suggestions!
BY DARIAN FINLEY-GARCIA
Darian experienced the Trek to Teach program from September-December of 2014. He currently works with youth and families in Portland, Oregon, helping to provide community and mental health services.
“The world is round and continues to spin. Because it is a circle with no ending, we are bound to see each other again.” This little adage was shared with me by my host brother on my last day teaching in Nepal and it has been engraved in my brain ever since. But then again, Nepal had a way of doing that: taking seemingly simple concepts and turning them into robust beautiful life lessons.
By Allie Cavallaro
Allie is a 2016 Trek to Teach alumna who has a passion for the program and for helping others find their paths to impactful adventures. She currently is a jack-of-all-trades, and master of none, on Trek to Teach’s North American team and is living in San Francisco
After a directionless beginning, in 2015 I realized that despite everything my parents, peers, counselors, and teachers had told me, I wasn’t ready for college. I’d worked hard to get there. Then, standing on the threshold of another academic journey after high school, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
A long series of events and some soul searching led me to leave college at the end of my first year. I knew I needed a change, a hard reset, and you know what? I was right. One thing led to another, and by springtime I was teaching in the mountains of Nepal with Trek to Teach.
By Brooke AMEN
Brooke was a Trek to Teacher in 2018 in the small village of Tolka, Nepal. She continues to share the beauty of the Himalayas and the Nepali people while managing the Trek to Teach Instagram page.
“What are you running from?” Out of context, it sounds like a line out of a cheesy rom-com or a horror movie. Add the image of an American girl going for a jog through a small village in the Himalayas and it begins to make sense. I never thought that working out could qualify as a cultural exchange, but I quickly learned that burning calories intentionally was not a part of the norm in Tolka, Nepal.
When I traveled to Nepal, I knew I was going to be living a very different lifestyle than the one that I had come to love at home in the USA. I usually spent most of my free time in Wyoming fly fishing and skiing obsessively. Turns out, there isn’t a ski lift or fly shop to be found in the Annapurna region, so I had to make some adjustments. I had to figure out what I loved so much about the hobbies I was obsessed with and discover how to reap the same benefits in a very different environment. I found that I primarily loved fly fishing for the peace of mind that it gave me and skiing for the muscle-building and cardiovascular health that it provided. These hobbies quickly translated into journaling and running/hiking.
By Laura Shaw
Laura is a former high school teacher and coach from Canada who went to Nepal with Trek to Teach in 2019 and now volunteers with the organization to train future teachers.
In Nepal, volleyball is much more than just a game; it's a community and a way of life. As you trek through the rural villages of the Annapurna Region in Nepal, you would be hard pressed not to come across a makeshift volleyball court or two somewhere along the way. Most of these courts have lines hand carved with a stick and the nets are often tangled messes of string, supported by wood posts hammered into the uneven ground. Some courts barely fit on the terraced fields, but are clearly spaces dedicated to the game. They might not look like much, yet with the backdrop of the Himalayas, these courts suggest there’s a lot more than just a game played here.