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  • Hoste Hainse

Irina's Blog0004: Our Homestay in Kathmandu

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

Irina Gressog May 1, 2017; Monday 18:00 NST (Nepal Standard Time)

You are interested in volunteering at Hoste Hainse but you are unsure about where to stay in Nepal? As Hoste Hainse is a small organization that squeezes out every penny to pass on to its projects, there is no budget for volunteers. But don't worry! Volunteers are usually accommodated with a local family against minimal charges (when they want to).

Martin and I were more than happy to accept Hoste Hainse's offer to coordinate a home stay for us as we wanted get to know local people and experience the culture. Is there any better way to do that than living with a Nepali family? For us there wasn't! Our wonderful family consisted of Milan (father), Goma (mother), Anup (son) and Anusha (daughter). We were warmly welcomed in the family, we had our own room and we shared everything else with the family: kitchen, bathroom and living room (if it can be called it). The costs for accommodation (around $7 per day per person) included one meal per day (in our case: dinner). We prepared our own breakfast and during the day we were out and about anyway.

We were looked after superbly by Milan and Goma. They tried to consider our wishes for dinner (Dal Bhat every night was too much for us ;) ) and Goma even learned how to cook chow mein noodles because she knew we liked them. They also navigated us through the city by either going to the bus stop with us or explaining the way beforehand. I can tell: using local transport (tempos!) is not easy and it sometimes took us a while to get where we really wanted to go. But it really makes fun to travel like a local! Milan also prepared a special Nepali drink for me when I was sick and took care of me very well.

It was heartbreaking to leave the family after 2.5 months and we wished we could have stayed longer – both at Hoste Hainse and the family. But everything comes to an end and we had to say goodbye. Milan, Goma, Anup and Anusha had prepared a blessing for us, with flowers, yoghurt and pomegranate... pictures say more than words, so please see our pictures on this post.

And for all of you wondering how the visa process looks like in Nepal: You can stay a maximum of 5 months in Nepal in one calendar year with a tourist visa. It's very easy to get visas upon arrival and it's actually cheaper. A 90-day visa will cost you $100. You can pay with either cash (Euros are also accepted) or credit card but cash is better, as sometimes international credit cards block transactions from Nepal. But make sure to double-check visa regulations before you as they might change over time and depend on the country you come from.

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