Global Service Scholar: Lesley Vallecillos
Country: Nepal

On my trip to Nepal, I have learned that happiness comes from family and friends. The founder of Her Farm has said that it’s important to form connections with each other. When we first arrived, she told the group that we are not just visitors but part of her family.

In California, we are so used to living in a fast-paced environment that we don’t slow down to form connections with each other. In Her Farm, all the women work together to sustain the farm by preparing the food, cooking, and informing the people of the farm. There tends to be no competition on who can do the tasks better or who has the strongest education. Rather they all learn from each other and push each other to become leaders within their community.

The women demonstrate that their support system makes them strong. Although some of the women have encountered hardships and traumatic situations in their life, at the end of the day they still smile. An experience I have had with the women in which we all encountered happiness would be when we all gathered to dance. After dinner, we all assembled outside in the courtyard and the women began playing music. Then we were pulled from our seats and joined them dancing. It’s such a beauty that dancing can unite any culture. All the women gather, no matter what mental illness or trauma, and for that moment they are happy. No matter what hardship these women encounter they don’t feel pity for themselves but rather empowered by other women living in Her Farm.

In the future, I hope to be able to help other women who have undergone traumatic events and show them that with a support system we can lead the way. When I return I will be finishing my bachelor’s degree and will be getting ready for grad school. I will work hard to get a joint degree in Sociology and law to be able to help in nonprofit organizations.