Field Note #205: Forever Changed

Brandon Bott copy.jpg

Back in August, realtor Brandon Bott took to the field with Wine To Water, traveling from Charleston, South Carolina, to the village of Kalyanpur, Nepal. Inspired to go far and step outside of his comfort zone, Brandon’s volunteer experience would leave him forever changed. This is his story.


I am currently reflecting on my trip to Nepal before I leave tomorrow and I don’t know how to answer the question: how was your trip? All I can tell you is my life is changed for the better thanks to the amazing, caring, generous and selfless people of Kalyanpur in the Madi Village. In order to experience or even remotely understand what my trip was like you have to experience it for yourself. To get so far out of your comfort zone and show complete humility - your life will forever be changed!

I was in complete culture shock my first few days. I had never seen poverty like this; I had never seen these types of living conditions in all my life. But as the week went on, I started to interact and build relationships with the community while digging what felt like a mile long trench that went 3 feet deep for the water system. It suddenly became clear to me that these people weren’t impoverished. They had abundance; they had abundance in a way that you could only understand if you see it. They choose joy and love over everything else. They are happy with what they have and they make the absolute best of it. They choose happiness instead of sadness in the face of anything. Our circumstances shouldn’t decide how we feel about ourselves or our lives, and that’s one of the greatest lessons we can learn. We have the choice to look at what we have in front of us and decide if it’s not enough or if it’s abundance!

To the village of Kalyanpur deep in the Nepali jungle, I thank you for helping me become a better man. When I thought I could come be a superhero for your community, I found that you were the true superheroes and I was the one that needed help.

I also want to thank Wine To Water for being the most badass nonprofit in the world who gets sh!t done and for being a kick ass staff!

Until next time,

Brandon Bott
2018 Nepal Volunteer

Carsyn Bernhardt