2017 Teacher Training Trip Reflections

I could tell you about the elephant in the river we spotted from the bus window on the ride from Nepalgunj to Chisapani, or the thick, humid 107 degree heat and failing air conditioners at the conference center, or the cluster of children shouting “Bonnie, Bonnie,” from across the gulch. But none of those could capture the spirit of the 2017 ServLife teachers’ conference trip to Nepal.

In July, a group of eleven Americans traveled literally half-way across the world to present strategies and ideas to more than 130 Nepali teachers in the rural western Kailali District. The teachers’ conference was both an exciting new endeavor and a continuation of work that was started years ago. Like the solidly built but unfinished construction of the Moon Boon Villa Conference Center where we presented, we were also building on the work of the groups that came before us.

Workshops ranged from sensory motor preschool activities to science techniques to multiple intelligences to creative problem solving for administrators. Regardless of the topic, the teachers’ buzzed with enthusiasm as they received the message that they have value as professionals. This is a message ServLife began communicating at the first training event in 2013.

The twelve schools that attended the conference in 2015 grew to nineteen schools in 2017. Some of these teachers walked several miles each day to attend the conference — a conference that for many is their only professional development opportunity. Many of them were attending for the third time. By the third year, these teachers began to trust the crazy sweat-drenched Americans with a seemingly endless stream of flip charts who believe in Nepali teachers’ ability to make a difference.

In 2018, ten to twelve Americans will again travel to rural west Nepal to present seminars and build relationships. Are you being called to build the next piece of this bridge connecting educators across the globe? If so, you can get more information or apply here.