Hello Everyone, just a quick post to introduce myself. My name is Jim and my family is from Kansas City (and that's where I go when I'm in the US) but in the last 12 years, I've spent 10 years overseas. Currently I am living in a small mountain village about 4 hours outside of Kathmandu, Nepal.
This "world travel" started in 1987 when I answered an ad in the back of Outside Magazine to join a NOLS Semester in Kenya course which changed my life. About 10 years later, I thruhiked the Appalachian Trail. After that my trips became ever more frequent - biking 10,000 miles across the US, walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, biking the Lewis & Clark Trail, biking across Canada, and doing the Camino a 2nd time.
But while doing all this travel, I started doing more volunteer work overseas too. In 2007, I volunteered for 3 months in a Buddhist monastery in France. And they connected me with a Buddhist Center in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, where I ended up teaching for 4 years. While there, I became good friends with a US Peace Corps volunteer, Travis, who convinced me to apply for the Peace Corps.
In 2014, I began my Peace Corps service in Thailand (staying on for a 3rd year) in the northeast as a grade school English teacher. Then reapplied for Mongolia where I served in Galut and Dalanzadgad as a teacher trainer. And finally, applying for a 3rd time and being sent to Nepal where I taught grades 4-7 English as a foreign language. Unfortunately, in March 2020, along with every volunteer worldwide, I was evacuted due to the pandemic. Currently I am awaiting re-instatement into the Peace Corps so I can finish out my service in Nepal where I was a grade school English teacher.
Once Nepal started issuing visas again, I hopped on a plane and arrived back in Nepal in January, staying with my Peace Corps host family. My main outdoor activity here is trail running. I'll stay here for 5-6 months before returning to the US. Hopefully by then, Peace Corps will being doing more to get us back into the field. Fingers crossed. 🙂
Hi @jimbagsh - Welcome to the community!
Thanks so much for taking the time to share some of your trip highlights. You've certainly done some incredible things! There are a lot of other people here in the community that will be excited to hear your stories and learn from your expertise. The Appalachian Trail and Camino de Santiago definitely garner a lot of attention here and you are in great company as far as avid cyclists and trail runners go too. We hope you are able to take a look around our different boards and see if there are any conversations you'd like to chime in on.
@jlh1958 recently introduced themselves too and mentioned being a former Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. I'm not sure if y'all's timelines were similar, but we've seen fun instances of community members in the same place at the same time before. I lived in Panamá for many years and worked with countless Peace Corps volunteers, so know that the world gets small for people in the same service in the same country!
Thanks again for taking the time to introduce yourself. We hope you find this as a great resource to ask your questions, share your knowledge, and enjoy conversing with other people passionate about the outdoors!
Jeff here. I was a PCV in Nepal from 1982-84. I lived in the far western part of Nepal. I worked in about 30 villages in the area about 5-6 days hike north and south and about 5-7 days hike east and west around Birendranagar. I was a health education and disease control specialist.
Namaste and Raamro janne ho!
I was part of group 206, arriving in January 2019 and later evacuated in March 2020 due to the pandemic. I was an English teacher in a rural mountain school teaching grades 4-7 in Dhading, about 4 hours by bus and jeep from KTM. Our group was the first group of Peace Corps teachers (about 25 volunteers) to be back in Nepal in over 15 years. We were really hoping the program would expand as it built the program, until the pandemic interviened. Now just waiting for the programs (Education & Food Security) to be restarted and the volunteers reinstated. I think they are still hoping to bring in new volunteers next January, but I'm not sure how many of those evacuated last year will return. All we can do now is wait for some announcement as to when this will all start.
Thanks for the welcome Carter.
And I'm always up for questions about the AT, the Camino and any of the other crazy things I've done. I couldn't have done those things without people answering a million questions from me, so I'm only more happy to pass that on and help others too.