Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lessons Learned From an Internship in Nepal

Buddhist prayer flags

Buddhist prayer flags strung from rooftops and mountain peaks are common in Nepal.

There are many cultural differences between Nepalis and Americans. Those differences can challenge and shape us

One of the first questions people back home will ask after an experience abroad is, “What were the people like?”

It is a natural question to ask, and there are many cultural differences between Nepalis and Americans. Those differences can challenge and shape us, rather than divide. We can learn from Nepali culture and values, and Nepalis can learn from American culture and values. Whether at home or abroad, we should serve with an attitude that is ready to teach and to be taught, to help and be helped, to strengthen and be strengthened.

I learned many things from my Nepali friends, and I trust God will use these to shape me both now and in the years to come. One thing that comes to mind is the idea of community. The Nepalis I met are quick to accept you as a part of their family. It was nice to laugh and joke without feeling like anyone had a façade. We were just working, living, and laughing together.

I quickly found that Nepali people know how to enjoy themselves. It makes the workload a little lighter when you can sing, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. I think we often rob ourselves of this kind of enjoyment because we focus too much on the tasks we need to get done, or we are overly concerned with what others might think about us.

Not only is there the sense of family and good humor, but there is also a sense of respect that the Nepali people have for one another. Respect is especially shown to the aged and those in authority.

I hope that the people in Nepal learned from me as I have from them, and that I have been a good teacher and student in the way I have lived. I am very thankful for the opportunity for this experience. I look forward to the ways God will use it in my life.

The Samaritan’s Purse internship program is an opportunity for college students and recent graduates to use their skills to impact the world in a tangible way. Find out more here.

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Basanta Neupane

Thanks for your words towards nepal and nepali people. I also enjoyed a lot talking and sharing different things with you.