Arupokhari School Volunteer Program – 15 Days

Arupokhari School Volunteer Program – 15 Days

This trip combines philanthropy and adventure in a remote village where not many venture into. Arupokhari Volunteer Program (ASVP) is primarily designed to bring forth coordinated efforts of all the experts and interested individuals in
Go on 15 day trip for
$425 PP
  • Trip Code: ATH3867
  • Country: Nepal
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Trip Level:
    Moderate
    Paths can be rough, steep and have many ups and downs with some exposure to altitude. Early in the season expect snow patches at higher altitudes. Good health conditions and level of fitness are essential. Generally we attain the altitude between 900m to 3,000m.
  • Activity: Volunteering/Day Hike
  • Starts at: Kathmandu
  • Ends at: Kathmandu
  • Best Season: 
Janaury to June, September to December.

Trip Highlights

  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu’s most popular and important cultural heritage
  • Scenic road drive
  • Combines philanthropy and adventure in a remote village where not many venture into.
  • A unique opportunity for volunteers to live and work in remote Nepal.
  • Enough opportunities to witness the traditional lifestyle and culture of the common Nepalese people.
  • Fishing in the Budi Gandaki and oter Stull Rivers
  • Hike to the neighboring villages, or to the nearby hills to get a great glimpse of the sunrise and the sunset.

Trip Information

This trip combines philanthropy and adventure in a remote village where not many venture into. Arupokhari Volunteer Program (ASVP) is primarily designed to bring forth coordinated efforts of all the experts and interested individuals in different areas under one platform and thereon work towards achieving its common goal and mission. It provides a unique opportunity for volunteers to live and work in remote Nepal. In this volunteering program trip, an individual gets a chance to make a contribution for the sustainable development of Nepal especially in Gorkha.

A secluded village like Arupokhari is deprived of a sufficient number of qualified and educated individuals who could otherwise contribute significantly for the wellbeing of the community. Brain drain and a lack of opportunity for education has left the region bereft of the crucial human capital. Whether in the education, health or other technical sectors, the problem has become rampant. Ace the Himalaya and Sambhav Nepal have assessed the need of qualified volunteers to fill that gap.

The itinerary is very flexible and can be modified as required. You’ll get enough opportunities to witness the traditional lifestyle and culture of the common Nepalese people. You can indulge in farming methods, using bulls and other beasts of burden, during your free time. Besides the fun and mud in the field, you get a sense of how deprived the Nepalese farmers are of the modern technologies. Further, you could do some fishing in the Budi Gandaki and Stull Rivers, both of which are very popular among fishermen. Bathing in the rivers and rivulets as well as the spring water will be very relaxing. Maybe a hike to the neighboring villages, or to the nearby hills to get a great glimpse of the sunrise and the sunset. Nepal is culturally rich and in the pre-monsoon seasons, there will be multiple festivals held in the village and in the markets. These rituals are very lively, colorful and involve a lot of folk dancing and singing. There will be plenty to do in the village to experience a new way of life in this secluded region.

Itinerary

  • Day 01- Arrive at Tribhuvan International airport (1345meters). Overnight at Hotel.
  • Day 02- Meeting in the Ace official, language tutoring and half day sightseeing in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 03- Half-day guided sightseeing tour. Preparations for village departure. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 4- Early morning departure to Ratmaté (a small village of Arupokhari located in Gorkha district) on private 4WD SUV and trek for one hour to Bhairabi Primary School. Same day we will have initial meeting with local. 7 hours drive and 1.5 hours trek.
  • Day 5 to 12- Welcome Ceremony on day 05 and volunteer teaching activities. Overnight at local houses or volunteer house.
  • Day 13- Farewell Program and a day of reflection and exploration. Overnight at local houses or volunteer house.
  • Day 14- Trek to Arughat Bazar and drive back to Kathmandu, one hour trek and 7 hours drive. Overnight at hotel.
  • Day 15- Transfer to the international airport for your final departure
Day 01- Arrive at Tribhuvan International airport (1345meters).

You arrive at Tribhuvan Int’l Airport in Kathmandu. Our representative will receive you and transfer you to a hotel in Kathmandu. Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
(No meals included)

Day 02 – Meeting in the Ace official, language tutoring and half day guided sightseeing in Kathmandu

After breakfast at your hotel, we all meet at the ACE office in Thamel near by your hotel and we’ll have a crash course in Nepali to learn the most important words and phrases that you might find handy in daily conversation and while teaching in the village. The length of this tutoring can be shortened or lengthened depending on how the group feels. After this we will have guided sightseeing of some of the important historical, religious and cultural sites of Kathmandu, which will include Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Swoyambhu. Private tourist vehicle provided during the sightseeing.

Boudhanath: Later visit Boudhanath, a Buddhist stupa in the Valley built in 5th century with four pairs of eyes of Lord Buddha in four cardinal directions keeping an eternal watch over the people and their doings. You will find Buddhist pilgrims from Tibet going round the stupa spinning the prayer wheels.

Pashupatinath: Pashupatinath is the holiest shrine for Hindus from all around the world. In Pashupatinath area, you can see famous Lord Shiva temple and Hindu cremation ground. Though you are not allowed to go inside the temple as it is strictly for Hindus only, you can clearly see the temple and the activities from the eastern bank of the Bagmati River. The two-tier golden roof and silver doors of the temple are famous all over the world.

Swoyambhunath: Also known as ‘Monkey Temple’, it is the oldest Buddhist stupa overlooking the entire Katmandu valley.Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
(Breakfast Included)

Day 03 - Half-day guided sightseeing tour. Preparations for village departure.

After breakfast we will be visiting two Bhaktapur Durbar square and Ason market where you can shop as a part of your preparation. A tour guide and a tourist vehicle will be provided.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square: Visit the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Royal Residential Quarter of Bhupatindra Malla, famous five-storied temple of Nyatapola in Pagoda style, Batsala temple, Bhairavnath temple, Duttatraya temple, Pujari Muth and Palace of 55 windows.

Ason: Ason is a very popular and crowded local market in Kathmandu. It is inhabited by mainly Newar people (indigenous people of Kathmandu). Meanwhile, people from all over the nation and even foreigners are regular customers and visitors there.

Upon returning to the hotel, you can make the necessary preparations and organize the materials you need for teaching in the village. You can go through the curriculum you’ve made and make sure you have everything you need (especially the things that won’t be available in the village, like bulk photocopying, posters, and so forth). You’ll have guides with you who can answer your queries.Overnight at Hotel in Kathmandu.
(Breakfast Included)

Day 4- Early morning departure to Ratmaté (a small village of Arupokhari located in Gorkha district) on private 4WD SUV and trek for one hour to Bhairabi Primary School. Same day we will have initial meeting with locals- 7 hours drive and 1.5 hours trek.

For transportation to and from the village will be in 4WD/SUV vehicles. The remote Arupokhari village is NOT connected by tarred multi-laned roads. There are single lane dirt tracks which run along the side of large hills, are very bumpy and prone to landslides, especially during the monsoon season (June – September). We assure you that all our drivers are very experienced in driving on these roads. We will make all necessary arrangements to ensure that you reach your destination safely.

On the way, you will be enchanted by the scenic beauty of Arughat and neighboring hills. Our team as well as the local people will warmly accompany you to reach the village. After reaching our destination, a cup of tea with the school staff will give the opportunity for a small introduction and interaction with the local teachers. Accommodation will be either in local houses or volunteer house. Overnight at local houses or volunteer house.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

DAY 5 to 12- Welcome Ceremony on day 05 and the volunteer teaching activities.

Day 5th would be your first day in school officially; the teacher will have the small welcome ceremony program during the student assembly at 10 AM. They will offer you garlands (mala) with TIKA (red powder) which is the traditional way of showing hospitality and welcoming the new people. After this you will have a round of introductions to teachers and staffs at the schools.

There are seven schools in the village, which are part of this volunteer program. Durbar Higher Secondary School students range from grades K-12 and age four to seventeen. Bhairabi, Balodaya and Sitala Primary Schools range from grades K-5, and age three to twelve. In Dharapani Secondary School students range from grades K-10 and age four to fifteen. Bear in mind that the facilities are poor and you must maintain a professional teacher-student relationship to create a child-friendly environment. It is recommended that you adopt result-oriented use creative and engaging teaching methods.

The Main Teaching Activities

  • You will be holding English conversation workshops in small groups of students and teachers for two – three hours at the end of the school day.
  • Volunteers can regroup pair up, and design their own curriculum.
  • You don’t need previous experience but you will need to be creative in making learning fun and engaging for the students.
  • Don’t forget that learning is not confined only in the classroom – outdoors games (during the break times) are hugely popular with the students.
  • Our past volunteers used some very innovative ways to make learning more interactive, fun and comprehensible for children. Some examples are word association games, drawing pictures of animals/people to help explain while conversing, singing (ex. “head shoulders, knees & toes!”) and acting out stories.
  • If certain teaching materials are not available in the library, you can ask our guide to get those for you from the Arughat.
  • The volunteers will teach according to the time they have divided among themselves in the school each day. You can also create a group and teach the children and teachers to converse in English during the late afternoon.
  • There will be one day of break during your volunteer session which you can reflect on your progress and share your thoughts and techniques with fellow volunteers as to how you can make your classes run more effectively.
  • You can also call for regular meetings (formal or informal) with the teachers, if you feel it’s necessary.

During evening you can also utilize the time visiting temples in the area, the village shaman, the blacksmith, do some traditional farming, and go hiking to nearby hillocks. We can occasionally also visit the Arupokhari market to run shopping errands. During this period, we can arrange a rest day to venture deeper into neighboring villages up north along the banks of the Budi Gandaki River, i.e. the trekking route of Mount Manaslu. Overnight at a local house, or volunteer house.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 13 – Explore to village, meet local people, visit their homes and in the evening farewell Program (dancing with local women community and students).

In the evening we have a non-formal farewell program organized by our team, local women group and the locals. We will spend the remainder of the day reflecting on the volunteering experience and having a casual and relaxing time with the children, the teachers, the locals. Overnight at a local house or volunteer house.
(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)

Day 14 – One hour trek to Arughat Bazar and drive back to Kathmandu, 7 hours.

Today you will trek to Arughat Bazar and same day drive to Kathmandu on 4WD SUV. This will take an hour walk and 7 hours drive.

In the evening, we will host farewell dinner for at typical Nepalese restaurant with cultural dance and music. Overnight at a hotel.
(Breakfast, lunch and farewell Dinner Included)

Day 15 - Transfer to the airport for your final departure

The trip concludes – our airport representative will drop you at Kathmandu’s Tribhuwan International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
(Breakfast Included)

  • We do not have fixed departure date for Volunteering Trip. This trip can only be organized for minimum of 1 people upon your request. We have price discounts according to the group size and number of pax. The bigger your group, the bigger your group discounts. A group booking of min. 15 or more people is subjected to a maximum discount with the availability of free trip to one person. If your group is much larger (more than 20) please contact us to discuss about the price. There is also the option of private and tailor made journey best suited for your own group. The trip price according to the number of pax is well illustrated below:
    Group Size Price Per Person Remark
    1 pax $1030
    2 pax to 5 pax $525
    6 pax to 11 pax $500
    12 pax to 15 pax $480
    15 pax to 20 pax $425
  • We understand that some clients want their adventure trek/trip to be a private affair, so that it would enable them to spend some of their memorable moments with their near and dear ones at there own Schedule. Considering this, Ace the Himalaya organizes private journeys as well. Please choose your own departure date.
    • 13 + 1 =
  • You can also use this tour as a base for a tailor-made itinerary. For example, we could add on more time exploring the Kathmandu Valley or relaxing in Pokhara, or add some wildlife safaris in Chitwan or Bardia National Parks. We can also adjust the trekking route and add some exciting white water rafting on the Seti, Trisuli or Bhote Koshi rivers. To discuss your ideas or to get some suggestions from one of our travel consultants, please fill in our tailor-made request form.
    • twelve plus 3 =

Price Includes

  • Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by private tourist vehicle.

  • Standard twin sharing accommodation in Tourist standard hotel in Kathmandu including Breakfast (with attached hot and cold shower, toilet and TV in room).

  • Guided city tour in Kathmandu by private tourist vehicle.

  • Local Ace the Himalaya licensed English speaking guide for the tour in Kathmandu and in village.

  • Local homes stay or volunteer haouse stay in the Arupokhari village (The Volunteer House sleeps five volunteers in one room, and includes a connecting kitchen above two school classrooms)

  • Food provided by our local chef in the small kitchen at volunteer house in Bhairabi school (The variety of food available are rice, pasta, fried rice, pancakes, muesli, eggs, hot tea and coffee etc.)

  • The required number of local staff and porters to carry your luggage from Arughat - village - Arughat (We assign one porter for every two guests).

  • Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment and medicine for all staff.

  • Transfer from Kathmandu - Arughat - Kathmandu on private 4WD SUV

  • Sightseeing/Monument entrance fees at the Kathmandu tour (day 2 and day 3rd)

  • All our government taxes, vat, tourist service charges

  • Farewell dinner in typical Nepali Restaurant with cultural dance show on second last day

  • Official expenses

Price Does not Include

  • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu. (Requires approximately USD 10 to 15 per person per day)

  • Travel insurance which covers emergency Rescue and Evacuation. (See the travel insurance page)

  • International airfare and airport departure tax (See the international flights page)

  • Nepal entry visa; you can obtain a visa easily upon your arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu. (Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entries for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos).

  • Personal Equipment (Click the equipment tab).

  • Tips for guide, staff and driver (Tipping is expected).

  • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on 'Price Includes' section.

The following gives you a general idea of the personal items you need for the Arupokhari Schools Volunteer Trip. The personal items, though, are optional and of choice. The most important factor to be considered is the time of the year, trekking days, region and altitude.

In a supported tour, heavy items are carried by a vehicle and/or porters. Personal belongings of the clients that they may need for the day like money, water bottle, rain gear, camera, sun cream and toilet paper etc. should be carried by self. It is therefore advisable that you pack items in two separate bags.

We will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag which you can use on the trip in village. The duffel bag is yours to keep after the trip. You can leave your bag with your non-trek items at the hotel in Kathmandu and collect them after the trek.

List of Recommended Equipment for the Arupokhari Schools Volunteer Trip:

  • 4 seasons Sleeping bag (Optional/we can provide one if you need it but is to be returned after the trek)
  • Duffel or Rucksack bag or suitcase (We will provide one complimentary ACE duffel bag for you to keep.)
  • Daypack
  • Down Jacket (Optional/we can provide if you need one but is to be returned after the trek)
  • Hiking pants
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Full-sleeve shirt
  • Jumper or pile jacket
  • T-shirt
  • Sandals
  • Woolen socks
  • Sun hat
  • Sun block for lips
  • Sun lotion
  • Goggles or sunglasses
  • Long thermal underwear
  • Water bottle
  • Sewing kit
  • Medical and first aid kit
  • Flash light
  • Batteries and bulbs
  • Swiss army knife
  • Personal towel
  • Personal toiletries and medication which should be labelled

You are more than welcome to bring books, stationery, clothes and so on which can be distributed to the schools and the Dharapani Community Library in the Arupokhari village.

This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipments can be easily found in stores around Kathmandu in much cheaper price.

Please note that Nepalese are usually conservative in their dress and do get offended by the sight of tourists wearing tight fitting, skimpy clothes. Shorts, singlets and hats are not advisable at any time and must not be worn while visiting monasteries, Dzongs and other religious institutions. These are offensive to the locals, especially to women.

Here's a few answers to most common Questions asked by the customers.

This trip is suitable for average people who are moderately fit. Some physical fitness programs such as running, swimming, hiking is recommended before you embark on your journey as you have to walk for couple of hours at times in the village to reach from one school to another.

Yes, our airport representative will be there to greet you at the airport. S/he will be displaying an Ace the Himalaya sign-board. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.

You will be holding English conversation workshops with small groups of children after school finishes from 3pm -5pm approximately (depending on school).

English is the second language in Nepal. While children are taught grammar and technical details of English, they have a limited opportunity to practice speaking and responding, in the village. This will make a large difference to the children need they travel outside the village for education or work later on in life. It is also a great way for you to engage and get to know the community.

The Arupokhari Volunteer Program (AVP) aims to mobilize teams of experts and interested individuals as an effective and economic measure in providing the human capital for education, health and community development within the region number 3 in Gorkha district, northern Nepal.

· To greet in a traditional manner, place your palms together in a prayer style and say “namaste” or “namaskar”.
· When talking to someone elder to you, you must address the person as “dai” (elder brother) for men, or “didi” (elder sister) for women. Raising your voice or shouting is also not acceptable, especially in public.
· Dress conservatively, well shirted, to keep shoulders and knees covered in a temple. It is not acceptable to wear revealing and tight clothes like lycra, low-necks, tank tops and so on. This applies particularly to women. Public nudity, even while bathing, is punishable by law. When swimming in the river, it is suggested that women wear a one-piece swim suit. Men must wear trunks; Speedos are acceptable.
·Always remove your shoes before entering a Nepali home or a temple.
· The cow is a sacred animal in Nepal and injuring or killing them is an offence. You will find cows roaming freely all over the place.
· Always use your right hand to accept what is being given to you. Likewise, use your right hand to offer food and other items. Left hand is considered polluted.
· Avoid “disrespecting” the food by inadvertently touching it or bringing it into
contact with a used plate or utensil. Using your own fork or spoon to serve more food is not acceptable; always wait to be served by the host. If you feel you have been given too much food, ask them to take some away before you commence eating; this is perfectly okay and is more appreciated than wasting food. Of eating, a tourist once noted: If you don’t hold your hand over your plate, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell people you’re full – they will just keep heaping food on your plate. If holding your hand over your plate doesn’t work, try bending your whole torso over the plate to block the incoming food with a little more bulk.
· You are expected to wash your hands and mouth before dining.
· It is normal to drink from a glass or a container without the lips touching the vessel. If you are not comfortable doing this, you may pour the water into a cup.
· Kissing, hugging, snuggling and other forms of public displays of affection are frowned upon in public. Swearing, discussing or insinuating about sex in public is also strictly prohibited. It is also strongly suggested that any sensitive topic on religion and politics not be debated at lengths.
· It is normal for boys and men to walk arm in arm. More often than not, these are signs of friendship and should not be subjected to sexual profiling.
·It is impolite to step over someone’s outstretched legs or to touch (or point at) someone with your foot.
Don’t expect to find toilet paper in private houses, esp. in remote areas. Always be prepared with your own stock.
· As with any country, Nepal operates on a different concept of time – things happen when they happen! The Nepalese people are said to have a casual and laid back approach to life.
· Be prepared for lots of questions. Just walking in the streets you may be asked: “What’s your name? Where are you from?, How old are you? Where are you going?” – perhaps questions you
may consider personal. Don’t be affronted or consider it rude or an invasion of privacy. It’s usually
genuine curiosity, friendliness or a desire to practice their English. Respond with patience and in a
cheerful manner. Concepts of privacy in some countries can be very different to your home country.
· Giving alms is not advisable because it will encourage begging, particularly among
children.

The main language is Nepali. English is the official second language of Nepal, but despite this, young students in the village speak only broken English, and the older generations will not speak at all. It is for this reason that we recommend you learn some basic Nepali phrases before arriving in the village. It will help you communicate and get to know the villagers, as well as explain basic rules in your workshops.

Perched on a chain of hills, Arupokhari is a cluster of 9 villages (Village Development Committees) and lies about 6 hours from the Gorkha Bazaar. The nearest market from Arupokhari is Arughat, along the banks of the Budi Gandaki River.

Find out more information about the village from the Sambhav Nepal website: http://www.sambhavnepal.org/about-us/village-information.html

There are two different types of accommodation available for this program.

Traditional Home-stay/ Volunteer House
You can stay in either a local family’s home in a bedroom shared with other volunteers or the Volunteer house at Bhairabi Primary School. Rooms in local houses are clean, warm and dry, with simple beds. Linen and quilts will be provided. In the family compound there will be a local squat toilet, and you may shower in the local, outdoor showers. The Volunteer House sleeps five volunteers in one room, and includes a connecting kitchen above two school classrooms. The Volunteer House is warm and dry with comfortable beds. We recommend you take a sleeping bag in both options for extra comfort and warmth.

If the number of volunteers exceeds the capacity of the Volunteer House, we will use a combination of Home-Stays and the Volunteer House in order to accommodate all volunteers. We will ensure that the home-stays selected will be close by to the Volunteer house.

We are planning on building another Volunteer House in Arupokhari, near the current standing house, although this may take some time.

Camping
We provide the best possible camping service complete with comfortable two-person tents with mattresses. A kitchen, dining, shower, toilet tents, chairs with tables are also provided. Refer to the equipment list for items you will need to bring. We provide toilet paper and other essential toiletries. You will also get a small bucket of hot water each morning in your tent for a quick scrub up. Camping is the more expensive option of the two as the equipment must be transported to the village.

All transportation inside Kathmandu will be a private vehicle (a car or a minibus), including for sightseeing and airport/hotel pick up and drop off.

For transportation to and from the village will be in 4WD/SUV vehicles. The remote Arupokhari village is NOT connected by tarred multi-laned roads. There are single lane dirt tracks which run along the side of large hills, are very bumpy and prone to landslides, especially during the monsoon season (June – September). We assure you that all our drivers are very experienced in driving on these roads. We will make all necessary arrangements to ensure that you reach your destination safely.

Important: Transportation in the region may not always be reliable because even in 4WD vehicles, stranded trucks and buses, car accidents, heavy rain and landslides may ground all vehicles for hours on end. You must always be prepared to trek to the destination (accompanied by our staff guides) during such unforeseen circumstances. In an event that the 4WD SUV cannot take you to the final destination, there will be no refund of the transportation cost incurred because the above will already be accounted for in advance. If trekking is necessary, you can be assured that the route trails through the most pristine and traditional villages, exposing you to the traditional Nepalese culture and lifestyle up-close. Manaslu and the Ganesh mountain ranges as well as parts of the Annapurna range are visible from the path, and will make the trek well worth it.

Within the village, there is no public transportation. Depending on the location of accommodation and projection you are assigned to, you will have to walk anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour each day to and from accommodation and your project, however these walks will have stunning views of surrounding villages, the opposite hills, distant Himalayan peaks, and the valley below.

We use our own Fleet service for Transportation… Click to know more about our fleet service!

Meals will depend on the accommodation option selected.

If you choose the Home-Stay or Volunteer House:

· For stays less than one month, a local chef will be provided and included in the price. Our chef can provide a wider variety of food available, including Western-style food such as pasta, fried rice, pancakes, muesli and other types of food. He can prepare special meals of your request. You may request to eat at any point of the day. The price includes an all-you-can-eat food Service.
· For stays longer than one month, you can use our cooking fascilities to prepare your own food. Our guide, a local family member or teacher will assist you in buying food from the market in Arughat (1.5 hours walk from Arupokhari),and prepare meals. The staple Nepali food is Dal Bhat (dal (lentils), bhat (rice), and tarkari (curried vegetables)), which is nutritious and easy to prepare. Beef is not eaten in Nepal for religious reasons since the cow is a revered religious animal in Hinduism however you may buy local chicken from the market. Tea is served in the morning and in the afternoon, either black or with cow or buffalo milk; popcorn, wheat, millet or corn breads are popular local snacks.

If you choose the camping option, the camping cook will be provided and included into the price.

Important: It is common in Nepalese culture to offer food when receiving guests into the home, however volunteers are advised not to accept any food from local villagers at any time. Often times the food is not prepared properly, or is contains contaminated water and volunteers risk getting sick. If visiting a villager’s house, or a local festival, it is recommended to take a guide form the Ace team to communicate this issue.

If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know and we’ll do the best in our ability to have this arranged.

No problem at all because we can serve the vegetarian meals. We always recommend our volunteers to eat vegetarian meals to avoid the food poisoning.

The best season for this Tour is anytime between January to June and  September to December.

It depends on the season you’re travelling. During winter (December to February), it is colder at night and relatively warmer during the day, with the temperature ranging from 4°C at night to 22°C. Between March and May, the weather stays prefect as the temperature averages 25°C during the day. From September to December, following the monsoon, the temperature gets cooler and allows for a great time to travel. The average temperature during this season is 20°C. The vehicles and the hotels during the trip will be air-conditioned making your travel very comfortable.

Yes, they have all received a 45-day training from the Hotel Management and Tourism Center in Nepal. The guides have also received high altitude first aid training from KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project). Please check our Guides Proflies and Training Certificates.

Yes, you need to book your own International flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.

Toilet facilities will depend on your accommodation choice.

Most village families in Nepal don’t have a flushing toilet and a sewage system is non-existent. All toilets within the home-stay are squat toilets made of either a ceramic basin on the ground or few planks precariously positioned over a hole in the ground. There usually is a tap and bucket next to the toilet, which is used for flushing. You will need to take your own stock of sufficient toilet paper with you as it is not available for purchase in the village market.

Should you choose the volunteer house or camping option, there are western style toilets next to the Volunteer House in Bhairabi Primary School and next to the camping ground in Dharapani Secondary School.

If the camping option is selection and no nearby toilet facilities are available, we will provide a tented toilet. The location of the toilet tent will be changed everyday to ensure hygiene.

Only very recently has the village started receiving electricity, which means you are now be able to charge your electronic devices.

Please, Remember to bring your adapters!

Only recently has the village started receiving electricity, which means you are now be able to charge your electronic devices and contact your dear ones through the telecom media. Previously, you’d have to go to the market every time to charge your devices. There is no internet in the village or surrounding towns, and the only wireless method possible (CDMA technology – wireless internet via phone carrier) does not yield a high speed connection. Please inform us if you would like to book a wireless CDMA SIM card and a USB modem in advance.

There is reception however, for local phone carriers. Buying a local SIM card for use in a local handset is another good option for international communication.

It depends on your spending habits. You don’t need much money. We estimate USD 1 USD 5 a day will be enough to buy if you drinks alcohol.

The imported brands of alcohol can be purchased only in the Arughat market (1 hour downhill from the village), while locally brewed drinks can be easily found in the village.

It is compulsory to take at least one Guide with your group in this program, and is included in the price. Guides are very necessary to ensure effective communication and translation between volunteers and local villagers. They are necessary to help you organize your recreational activities and escort you as all our guides have very good knowledge of the area. In cases of emergency, Guides are essential for providing first aid and implementing emergency procedures to ensure your safety.

Tips are always expected. It is a small gesture of thanks to the field staff towards the end of the tour.

In the village area there are no private facilities for bathing. There are spring water creeks, rivers and communal water source available for bathing and other tasks used by all locals. It is ok to use soap in the water streams when bathing. Bathing can be done at any time, but it is strongly recommended that you wear attire that is not very revealing, even if it is in a secluded area. Nudity is taken very seriously and is totally unacceptable. You are free to use the shower facility at the newly constructed toilet at Bhairabi and Dharapani Schools.

Washing facilities are the same as for bathing, but more ideally, you can do your laundry in the nearby rivers and brooks. There usually is a clothesline on the host family’s lawn to hang your clothes on.

Many of these activities are seasonal. Rafting, swimming, fishing, and mountain biking cannot be undertaken during Monsoon Season (July to August). They are freely available during

· There are many day hikes in the area lasting from four to six hours, returning to accommodation for dinner.
· Mountain Biking is possible on the trails in the area, however this must be booked
in advance.
· If you are lucky enough to stay during festival time, you may walk up to the Arupokhari temple with the other villagers at the top of the hill and witness the festivities, including traditional dancing, music, rituals and animal sacrifices. This is a fabulous insight into real life Nepalese culture, one of the highlights of the Arupokhari Volunteer Program.
· You can visit the local witch doctor which can be organized by our field staff
during your stay. This is also a fabulous display of traditional culture and a unique part of the program.
· Whitewater Rafting can be organized on the Budi Gandki River near Arughat, for a
minimum two days with an overnight stays in a tented camp. Food, water, and camping equipment will be provided.
· Swimming and local fishing in the river are possible from March – October. Outside
of this season the weather is too cold.

Consumption of alcohol should be in very moderate amounts. As guests in the village, you will be expected by the community (and especially the host family, if accommodation is at a local house stay) to maintain decorum at all times. The imported brands of alcohol can be purchased only in the Arughat market (~ 1 hour from the village), while locally brewed drinks can be easily found in the village. Alcohol is an integral part of the Nepalese culture, primarily in the myriad Hindu festivals. While cultural immersion is an important aspect of the volunteer experience, we strongly suggest you keep alcohol consumption at a minimal level. Our guides will help determine the right place, time and limit for these occasions.

Consumption of all kinds of controlled-substances, drugs and contrabands, including marijuana and hashish, is strictly prohibited. Violation of any policies governing the purchase or consumption of controlled substances will be neither tolerated nor ignored; and will result in the individual’s immediate termination from the volunteering program.

YES, US$ 25 or equivalent foreign currency is required to obtain Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 15 days. Likewise, tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 30 days can be obtained by paying US $ 40 or equivalent foreign currency. Similarly, Tourist Visa with Multiple Entry for 90 days can be obtained by paying US $ 100. Please bring 2 copies of passport size photos.

Our company insures all our staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpas and porters. Please browse though Company Information pages to view insurance details.

Here are some documents that you will need to carry with you:

    · Valid Passport – must be valid for up to 6 months after you return from your tour, keep a separate photocopy.
    · Travel insurance, keep a separate photocopy
    · Cash and Traveller’s Cheques, keep numbers and proof of purchase separately
    · Flight tickets
    · Emergency contact numbers for T/C’s, banks, insurance, family contacts.

No vaccinations are compulsory fro travelling in Nepal, but we do recommend you are covered for diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus.

We also recommend:

· A dental check-up prior to travelling.
· That you know your blood group in case of emergency.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your tour leader and Ace the Himalaya at the time of your booking.

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    The above information is a guide and standard template of what we provide. Our trip can be customized at your request to accommodate your specific requirements.

    NOTE: During the trip; weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors, that are beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.


    Important Note
    Transportation in the region may not always be reliable because even in 4WD vehicles, stranded trucks and buses, car accidents, heavy rain and landslides may ground all vehicles for hours on end. You must always be prepared to trek to the destination (accompanied by our staff guides) during such unforeseen circumstances. In an event that the 4WD SUV cannot take you to the final destination, there will be no refund of the transportation cost incurred because the above will already be accounted for in advance. If trekking is necessary, you can be assured that the route trails through the most pristine and traditional villages, exposing you to the traditional Nepalese culture and lifestyle up-close. Manaslu and the Ganesh mountain ranges as well as parts of the Annapurna range are visible from the path, and will make the trek well worth it.


    Culture Shock
    The lifestyle and way of the people in these small villages are authentic displays of traditional culture in Nepal, with very little influence of westernization unlike the cities. Because of this, Volunteers should be aware that they may experience a little culture shock on their arrival.

    • Villagers speak louder and more aggressively than volunteers may be used to, although this is simply normal conversation.
    • Physical disciplining (such as hitting and using the strap) are common and old practice in Government schools, and although the Government is working on phasing this out, it will take some time.
    • Some traditional cultural practices involved animal cruelty. Animals are sacrificed in traditional Hindu festivals and in other cultural activities such as visits to the witch doctor.
    • Many people in the village smoke cigarettes.
    • Hygiene levels are often much lower in the villages, as local people have a much higher capacity for infection. It is helpful for volunteers to be aware of this when interacting with children and accepting food from villagers, so that they may reduce chances of getting sick.

    What makes this trip different ?

    Ace the Himalaya works closely with and is one of the main supporters of local NGO Sambhav Nepal. We support them in a number of ways.

    Donation
    Ace the Himalaya donates up to 10% of its annual revenue to Sambhav Nepal’s projects which cover regular maintenance of school buildings, constructing toilets, rebuilding earthquake-affected houses and schools, and so on.

    Sponsorship
    One of the major activities of Sambhav Nepal is the children sponsorship program, which is conducted with full collaboration with Ace the Himalaya and its sister organizations, Ace Holidays and Ace Xpeditions.

    Partnership (Volunteering Program)
    The Volunteering Program, devised by Ace the Himalaya and Sambhav Nepal, aims to mobilize teams of experts and interested individuals as an effective and economic measure in providing the human capital for education, health and community development in the villages of northern Gorkha district, western Nepal.

    After the Earthquake of April 25, 2015, the Volunteering Program’s focus has been mobilizing the volunteers in various school and house rebuilding projects in the hard-hit Gorkha district.

    For more details, visit Sambhav Nepal’s website www.sambhavnepal.org