My name is Shauntelle and I have been accepted to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience through an amazing organization called Animal Experience International. I have been approved to travel to help sick, tortured and rescued animals in a beautiful underdeveloped country, Bhaktapur, Nepal.
I have two passions in life, helping animals and travelling the world, and having the opportunity to combine both of my passions is something I could have only ever dreamed of. Taking my current course at Oulton College as a Veterinary Technician, I am given the opportunity to live out my dreams and travel for my mandatory On The Job or OJT training portion of the program that takes place the entire month of May.
I researched my options and found that my best fit would be at a stray dog clinic in Bhaktapur, Nepal through Animal Experience International, I applied and waited. A few weeks later I got my confirmation that I was accepted and was instructed to start getting things together for my trip. Luckily through my school program, I was already vaccinated for rabies and tetanus.
This brings me to now! This is where I need some extra help, the volunteering trips are not free, and neither are the flights unfortunately. As a full-time student and working part time as a Veterinary Technician student at Elmwood Veterinary Clinic in Moncton, New Brunswick, I am doing my best to save everything I can to go towards off-setting the costs of my dream; Although, I know I will need some help, as much as I don’t enjoy asking for it.
Please help in joining me save for an adventure of a lifetime! As a proud workaholic I can personally tell you every cent that is raised will be earned through blood, sweat and tears on my part ten fold. If you are unable to help financially, a “share” is help enough! Even if it’s to just one person, you never know who you could reach! When passions come together a new door opens.
Little bit of a background:
Thousands of dogs living on the streets of Nepal suffer from neglect, starvation, injuries and disease. In an effort to control the street dog population, city governments poison large numbers of street dogs each year. Not only is this is a horrific death for the dogs, it has been proven to be ineffective at lowering the overall numbers; the populations normally return to their original size within the year.
Bhaktapur, located about 20 km east of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley, is home to at least 2,000 stray dogs. Many people were very concerned about the dogs around Bhaktapur but had no way of helping them. Our partner began their work to provide an alternative to the government’s policy of culling (killing) dogs and ignoring the critically sick and injured animals. This is a professional, non-governmental organization involved in welfare, well-being, safety and protection of animals that are a crucial part of our society.
It was established by a group of professional veterinary doctors and animal lovers intent on helping stray dogs suffering in their community. With the help of volunteers like myself, this organization rescues street dogs, treats and vaccinates the dogs, and controls the population through a sterilization program. They also focus on educating the community on the importance of keeping street dogs healthy and promoting rabies awareness.
The dog rescue program is run out of a local veterinary clinic, allowing the project veterinarians and veterinary technicians to offer a high level of medical care. The team works hard to treat as many sick and injured dogs as possible. Without proper nutrition or a good home street dogs are susceptible to illnesses, and a large number of the animals have mange, ticks and other diseases.
Many injured dogs are also brought to this clinic for emergency treatment and care. This is a tremendous improvement, for in the past these injured dogs were ignored and left to die in the streets. All dogs brought to the centre are neutered/spayed and vaccinated and then tagged so they can be easily identified once they are released.
Adoption is becoming more common in Nepal, and efforts are made to find homes for the dogs when possible. Community education programs are improving public perception of street dogs, and making a real difference to the lives of these animals.
What will I be doing?
Exact volunteer duties will depend on the background, interests, and academic and clinical training. This will be discussed with volunteers on arrival, and the schedule and duties will be customized to meet skills and expectations. Volunteers with veterinary training will have the opportunity to assist in the clinic, including helping with case management, diagnostics and surgeries as appropriate.
Volunteers have one day off per week. I have the liberty to choose my day off between Sunday to Friday.
Shifts are from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, with a 2 hour break for lunch.
Everyone works on Saturday, one of the busiest days.
Animal Experience International 4 weeks in Nepal
Adventure cost alone: $3370 Canadian
Airport pick up and drop off (at the closest airport).
Accommodation (Either be staying in a lodge (small hotel) or living with a local family in a home stay. The lodge is located right in the heart of Bhaktapur in a main square. Volunteers have their own room at the lodge, which is modest but clean and tasteful and most rooms have balconies. All of AEI’s home stay families are closely associated with the rescue centre and are an important part of the team. AEI believe home stays are not only safe, but offer an amazing way to connect with the community. The lodge and the home stay are within easy walking distance of the rescue centre and local tourist spots.)
Meals (That will provided by my homestay family or by the lodge itself, either providing 3 square meals a day.)
Donation to Placement Partner.
AEI Travel Manual.
Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage)
Travel Discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program),
24/7 travel and emergency assistance,
Enrolment with the Global Travel Academy to earn a certificate in International Volunteering. Which is a 3-hour online course curated by travel professionals and is designed to help you get the most out of your adventure.
This does not include:
Entry visa costs.
International and domestic airport taxes.
Immunizations and medications.
Note: The rabies vaccine is required for this Experience. (I am already immunized for rabies)
I have been in contact with a travel coordinator that has given me an itinerary for flights, with a quote if I was to book them today (As of December 11th, 2017) on how much I will be spending on flights alone. The current price of flights from Moncton to Nepal, then from Nepal to Moncton is $1664.65 (I can provide proof of quote upon request).
Making the complete estimation for my trip: $5,034.65
As I work and put money aside, I will be deducting this from the total you see above under “Raised Offline”.