“Twice is Not Enough”

okechukwuVolunteer Job at Lha: Web Developer and English Tutor 

When I had first volunteered at Lha in 2011 my experiences changed my views on the nature of giving and compassion. Amongst other things, I learned that consistent compassion could be a reliable vein of happiness, benefiting both the giver and receiver. When I departed, my goal was to return and continue to help a community that had given me so much. Once was not enough. I was certain my experiences were circumstantial and albeit positive, a lofty romanticisation of a young brain. Upon my return in 2015 I was so delighted to find that romanticism had very little do with my experience with Lha. I have just been lucky to find one of the most compassionate and warmhearted communities I had since encountered.
This time tasked with redesigning Lha’s blog, I was happy to be able to contribute in an area relevant to my background. Working with Sangay and the staff at Lha has once again been such a pleasurable experience.They had no hesitation to make sure I had what I needed while I worked, not to mention amazing tea. Tutoring two students in English each day was quite the creative challenge for me. Assessing what they needed to learn and personalising teaching methods was something very new to me. This showed me once again that helping others would always first require a deep understanding of another’s situation.
Just being in Mcleod Ganj can be such a rich cultural experience. Taking time to enjoy and understand the surrounding area through trekking and visiting sites like the Tibetan Museum, Men-Tsee-Khang and Norbulingka were all astonishing and a privilege. I can never forget celebrating H.H. The Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in Mcleod Ganj. Seeing the whole town come alive and give such a wonderful display of gratitude for His Holiness’ accomplishments. Being a part of the weekend celebrations was absolutely inspiring.
Volunteering with Lha in India also led to my volunteering for earthquake relief efforts in Nepal. Working with Lha’s co-founder Neil Guidry through his sister organisation LHA, in Kathmandu we assembled a small team to address some of the needs of a camp from the Langtang Region in Nepal. The people in this community had lost many family members and nearly all their belongings; we collected and distributed over 250 pairs of shoes in preparation for their return home. We also worked with community members to help address some of the medical needs. This project, and many others could not have been possible without LHA and its volunteers. For that I have nothing but gratitude and whenever possible, I plan to continue my involvement in India and in Nepal. Twice is not enough.