5 am: wakey wakey. I wake up early and like to get up and take advantage of the quiet time in the morning. We are surrounded by people all day so having a few minutes alone in the morning is a peaceful way to start my day. I often help clean up our common area and set up breakfast in the morning.
6- 7 am: breakfast. Breakfast is supplied by AHV and is self serve. They provide eggs, toast, oatmeal and tea/coffee.
7 am: boots on and ready to go downstairs. We grab the tools that our team needs for the day and load up the trucks/vans. Then we head over to the tea shop to pick up our day volunteers.
8:00 am- 12 pm: drive to site and start work. It takes awhile to reach some of the site, but we get right work clearing rubble, making improvements to IDP camps, building TLC’s, or building homes when we arrive.
10 am: tea break. The beneficiaries often will serve us tea right when we arrive or a little later. They serve tea in the afternoon as well, just depends on where you are.
12-1 pm: lunchtime. The family will cook us lunch and is reimbursed by AHV (a way to add a little additional money to the local economy). We have dal bhat (rice and lentil) EVERY day. It addition to the rice and lentil we often have aloo dum (potato curry) and fresh vegetables. The families encourage seconds and this is the biggest meal of the day.
1-4 pm: back to work. We now resist the urge to slip into a rice induced coma and try to finish whatever we’re working on for the day.
4 pm: head back to base. I generally shower right when I get back to base because dinner is much more enjoyable when I am not covered in stinky mud.
5:30 pm: dinner. We have cooks on staff who prepares dinner. They are incredible cooks and set the standard high for when we go out to eat on our days off. Dinner is often rice or pasta, chicken, curried veggies, and dessert.
5:45 pm: work meeting. Each night after work we have a meeting to share the high and lows of work day, talk about work for the next day, meet new arrivals, and share gripes about communal living. We choose our work site for the next day through a name lottery.
9:00 pm: sleepy time. I usually got to bed before the lights go out because I wake up really early on my own. Quiet time starts at 10 pm.
11 pm: curfew. Yes, we have curfew. It is for safety sake and I love it.
We repeat this schedule Sunday-Friday. Saturday is our day off because it is when Nepali’s take the day off. You are responsible for your own food and activities on the day off.
Want to volunteer with All Hands, check out their current projects here.