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Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: International Citizen Service

My name's Matt Gluyas and I'm embarking on what could be a life-changing trip to Nepal with Restless Development, as part of the International Citizen Service  (ICS) programme.

Forests cover nearly half of Nepal. Picture: Bikas Rauniar/DFID

I chose to apply for an ICS placement because of the skills and opportunities it could present to me, both in country and when I get home.

I also think a lot in today's 'westernised' society is taken for granted and that taking part in an ICS placement is an amazing way to change this – both for the individual and for their communities as part of the social action each volunteer commits to undertake upon their return. Becoming a part of these social action projects at home is intended to help us help other people in the UK understand why reducing global poverty is important and how they can help.

I have had a strong interest in global development for the last few years and thought ICS could be the best opportunity to experience this first-hand. From the placement, I expect to gain a better understanding of global development and especially how to empower and educate people to make a difference in their communities. I hope the skills gained through the ICS will be life-changing and potentially lead me into a future career.

I am also looking forward to soaking up a lot of the culture from Nepal and possibly sharing some aspects of our culture with them as well. I will be meeting a lot of people and hopefully making a lot of friends (British and Nepali) during the placement, which is also going to be a great help if things get tough at any point.

For the first few weeks in Nepal my group will be completing some core training regarding our placements, so no prior knowledge is necessary. I was quite nervous when applying for the ICS, but I find a good way of getting over nerves is to 'drop yourself in the deep-end' and then tell yourself there's no going back so you have to deal with whatever's facing you.

My placement will be specifically challenging I think, as it places us in Nepal over the Christmas and New Year period. For some this wouldn't necessarily be an issue, but I've always enjoyed the break with my whole family. There's normally around 20-30 of my close relatives around for these events and this is my first time to miss it.

The upside to being away when others are with their families at home, is that all us volunteers will be in the same boat, and the group of us going from the UK will all be together in Kathmandu, having had two weeks beforehand to get to know each other.

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  1. Comment by denise matthews posted on

    hi Matthew, Hope all is going well for you. Just spoke to your mum who was telling me all about it, sounds very basic living but sometimes its good to get back to basics. Hope you are being fed well, I hear the main diet is rice, so very healthy!!

    You are doing really well by the sound of it and we are all very proud of you, keep going Matthew your experience will be with you forever.

    Lots of love, Denise (your mum's cousin!!)

  2. Comment by Heather Bosustow posted on

    Hi Matthew, Hope all is going well with you. What was your Christmas like in Nepal? Hear you was hand sowing manure, bet you wish you had your tractor!
    What is your work like in the school setting and with the youth groups?

    When you come home in March we are expecting a "family evening" with you as main speaker to tell us all about it.

    Take care,
    Lots of love Heather (your mum's cousin)

  3. Comment by Jack posted on

    Yo Matt. Nice page. Sounds like your doing well. Just keep going it may be tough but i believe in you bud! 😀

  4. Comment by Shahin posted on

    Hope your well mate,

    I was in Nepal a few months ago with Restless Development as part of ICS, it truly changed my life and way of thinking,

    Hope your enjoying the trip. By the way is our placement in Rupendehi, the roads in nepal are crazy,

    I really miss my days in nepal. Do make the most out of your time

    All the best mate

  5. Comment by Deb Goldsworthy posted on

    Hi matt, hope u are having a good time? It sounds like a great experience. We are thinking of you and looking forward to hearing all about it. Peter and joe(?) r keeping your drum kit warm for you. I really admire you for doIng this and how it all you hoped it would be and more. Love deb

  6. Comment by matt gluyas posted on

    thank you for the comments everybody. also thanks for keeping an eye on my blog and i hope you enjoy reading about my trip. xxx

  7. Comment by Danny Reed posted on

    Hi Matt, Glad to hear all is going well. Remind me not to shake your hand. Like the look of the beard too. Saves washing. SOunds like you are enjoying yourself. Good on you - time is going by quickly you've been away for 6 weeks. Any snow yet? Cold here today snow on dartmoor none in Lanner though. Planning your meal with Mum yesterday. Well done for taking the challenge
    Praying for you!
    See you soon
    Danny Sarah B & T