David and Geraint Back In Nepal...
On the flight back to Kathmandu I promised myself this time, things would be a bit more cultural. So I ignored 'Dr Strange' and 'Fantastic Beasts', listened to an opera by Puccini, learnt about Robert Fortune, (international tea-leaf) and drifted off to a chanting of the Qua'ran on the way over, (less showing off more better start with something interesting...not that the rest won't be).
It's been easy before to get lost in meetings, program planning and paperwork, forgetting the essential point of breathing in your surroundings, of absorbing the way of life. That was something I forced to do in Dang, way back in 2015 pre-earthquake and under my own steam with NERF I've felt sometimes was lacking. When you've got deadlines, community expectations and the pressure of ensuring donations are well spent you can 'miss the wood for trees'. Things are done differently in Nepal, you can't apply the same rules from a UK work environment here. While maintaining integrity and consistency you have to make sure you don't alienate the very people you work with, (or tear your hair out).
A perfect example is the never-ending sage of fun that is the VISA payment office, which I genuinely don't think I can go into full detail about here....ask me sometime! The queue and general lack of concise intent did however provide me with a chance to arrange all our meetings before leaving the airport
So now back in Nepal again after prepping the site for last years trek, (which was an experience I promise you'll hear about in a back-dated blog) this time with Geraint, the Chairman and for an unknown reason, long time friend.
Our itinerary includes visiting the Flood Defence project in West Nepal, (8 hours of bus that I'm sure will be a great read...if a bumpy write) checking in with on our friends in Gaathi, Maandra and Golche and surveying this year's Trek route and working site and if all goes to plan another Mooncup workshop on the last weekend.
In addition there'll be a lot of meetings and useful conversations, some planned, some add-hoc, some totally irrelevant but amusing enough to gain entry here. So, until then...