AUKause is a community service club at the American University of Kuwait. During their winter break, they joined the OX Team to Nepal to do a volunteering experience and hiking in the Himalayas.

Find below some of their journal prompts about Nepal experience.

“This trip made me challenge myself so much to the point that I found many things that I was good at that I didn’t know I was. I made a new wonderful family, and they gave me the support that I needed and made me stronger. My Ox family made my trip full of joy and laughter. On the second day of the trip, I saw a cockroach, I was about to leave my two roommates and go sleep in any other room, but I felt bad leaving them. I screamed and told my roommates that a cockroach was flying in the room, and their reaction from how huge the cockroach was that they simply said “it’s a bird!” The minute it came on the couch was the moment the opera of screaming started. We managed to kill it after an hour, which was amazing for us. After this happened I stopped getting scared from any insects and I got over all my fears.”

Nour Mezher

“This trip was really eye-opening. I got to meet amazing people and do things I have never done before. One of the best moments on the trip was the first night at the camp. When it got really dark and cold,  I looked up and saw something I never imagined to see. Stars. They were so bright and so many that I could not believe my eyes. It felt like I was looking at a painting.”

Munira Al Farsi

“This trip was absolutely eye-opening for me, it taught me how to get out of my comfort zone and live with the bare necessities. It was exhilarating not to look in a mirror for four days, to not care about the way I look and focus on how I felt instead. Physically pushing my boundaries and proving that our bodies are capable of amazing things: mind over matter. I loved interacting with the locals and i found that the people of Nepal were extremely humble and giving. They shared whatever they had and always had a smile on their face. I made sure to find a corner or spot for myself whenever we made camp. In our second camp I found a beautiful corner rock with a gorgeous view of the valley below and decided that this would be my reading corner. I sat down to read, totally engrossed in my book, when a crow flew right in front of me (I should have mentioned that I have a serious fear of birds). Startled, I jumped to take a step back and almost fell off my rock. I never went to my corner alone again.” 

Dana Taqi

“As cheesy and cliche as this will sound, and I know it will! But this experience was truly life-changing, eye-opening, and it made me really, LIKE REALLY, happy! This trip changed how I think about things in terms of anything is possible, yes, cliche again, I know, but we put so much emphasis on what is conventional and what we are supposed to do but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we want something, we can do it, we just have to put in a lot of hard work, but it is possible! In Nepal, I realized how strong women really are, not just emotionally and mentally, but physically as well! Nepali women are inspiring, because they don’t make excuses, they do what they have to and they carry themselves with grace and kindness, and that truly makes me feel like the world is and can be a better place with more people like them.”

Saja Al Rukhais

“This trip was definitely a trip to remember, changed me in ways I didn’t even imagine. It tested our limits and created an imperishable bond between the people that I will forever be thankful for. It was mesmerizing in the sense that it wasn’t something I was completely used to. In Nepal a smile can mean the world to someone, people are much friendlier and happier. Everything during our stay was beautiful, the views, the people, nature, the steps, rocks, weather, the food, the kids, everything!”

Bader Al Essa

“It was beautiful how happy and down to earth the locals were where they helped us in many ways, and the beautiful and breathtaking scenery of the mountains and the greenery that helped me feel motivated to complete the hike. The trip changed me in many ways where I see things differently now, especially in Kuwait. For example, materialistic items and wants are unnecessary and you should appreciate the smallest things in your life because some people won’t even have the opportunity to get it. Prioritize your education and be thankful for the blessings you have. Lastly, don’t spend your money on irrelevant items that won’t help you in life but only drown you in debt.”

Dalal Al Dajani

“My feelings throughout the trip were of happiness, I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true. Thanks to the people with me, all that positive energy made me happy and comfortable to be myself. The thing I remembered most about the trip were the camp fires, we would just sit and stare at the fire or sing and dance with our Nepali guides. My camera roll is filled with beautiful moments throughout the trip whether its the view from our campsites, our group, or the children at the school. However, those beautiful moments were seen better with my eyes, I’d wander off a lot on this trip just to look at the country. Nepal is beautiful, in almost every way!”

Abdullah Al Khorafi

“Calling the trip life changing would be an understatement. I met new people and got even closer to people I knew before and created bonds that I know will last. I had so many fears before going on this trip, and throughout this experience I realized that the small things I worried about weren’t as important as I thought they were and that is one of the many things I learned on this incredible journey. There was never a dull moment, I just felt like I was always optimistic and looking forward to what we were going to do next. The first thing I thought of when we got to see how simple their lives are was how we are always so caught up in the things around us that we don’t really appreciate what we have. Not only do the locals in Nepal work extremely hard and get very little in return, they are grateful for what they have. They live with much less than we are used to in Kuwait and never have I heard one person complain about that, which was really eye opening to the materialistic society we have to live with. Because we didn’t have internet or electricity, we had to be creative to entertain ourselves. The games we played made me feel like a kid again. We caught fireflies, listened to music at the bonfire, and just made the most of the time we had without having to use our phones as a distraction. You also don’t really realize how many stars there are until you go to a place where there’s no city lights to dim them down. When you’re on top of a mountain, isolated from the rest of the world, you get to see the stars shine so bright in complete darkness and it is the most beautiful thing in the world to just lay down and look up.”

Reem Al Tuwaijri

“On the last day of the hike, as we were going down, a few of us wanted to stay at the back of the pack and admire what was in front of us, the endless mountains, the greenery, the fresh clean air, and just savor what time we had left before it was over. So as we’re going down we stumbled on a waterfall! Now here’s the thing, the group hasn’t had a shower for 4-5 days and finding a waterfall in the mountains was like finding an oasis in the desert! We dropped our bags to the floor, took out a towel and shampoo, and took the greatest bath imaginable. Imagine a shower with a view. This was truly a life changing experience that I will never forget. It was an eye opener seeing how little people had, and how that was enough to put a smile on their faces really makes you grateful and feel fortunate for what you have. Seeing how simple life was to them, how they live life without fear or worry about the future, just living in the now, speaking with locals and getting a crash course about their culture and how beautiful it truly is, seeing the joy on their faces for simply carrying a bag of sand or saying “namaste”, puts things in a whole new perspective. It was the greatest, most rewarding journey that I will cherish for the rest of my life until I’m old and gray. It was amazing!”

Fahad Al Shaya

“It was an unforgettable experience going through villages and interacting with locals. You see what they have and realize that you are blessed with so much. It makes you realize that all these things we thought we needed to live are merely things we can definitely live without. The trip made me appreciate everything around me more than ever. Wherever we went, there were people smiling and kindness was everywhere. It was definitely beautiful. I realized that during this trip I became more comfortable with myself. The group I was with, the people we met, and the adventures we experienced together made me come out of my shell and want to explore more of life.”

Shoug Al Ahmed