10th November 2015
This trip to Nepal has been one of the most challenging but rewarding. Our main purpose was to get into Nepal and see firsthand the result of the devastating Nepal Earthquake which occurred in April 2015. To be honest this was the first time I was actually nervous travelling into Nepal, even more so than the first time I had arrived in Kathmandu.
We saw where the funds raised, which was close to 10 thousand Australia Dollars (thanks again to all the supporters J) had gone into to helping the smaller rural villages of Nuwakot, which is situated on the outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley region (see pic below).
Also we got the chance to visit one of the two orphanages – HUC Nepal who we also contributed money to ensuring a safe home for the kids (see pic below).
We were also touched by our visit to highly affected areas in Kathmandu from the Earthquake including UNESCO’s Durbar Square. The majority of these amazing buildings are still standing with repairs being undertaken to restore them to their historic glory (see pic below).
During our visit, we have come to realise once again that the Nepalese are strong, resilient, compassionate and understanding people. They really have recovered well from the devastations just 6 months after. More concerning is the blockading of the Indian border, the political unrest within Nepal due to this and how it has affected the Nepalese way of life. We witnessed the inability of people being able to continue with their normal daily lives due to no gas to cook with and no fuel for transporting goods and people. Combined with the usual unstable supply of electricity, this has led to wood being substituted and on many occasions being illegally chopped down from the community forests of Nepal at great risk to the natural environment. We also travelled down to Lumbini near the Indian border seeing along the way many cars, trucks and motorbikes having to go to the border to buy ‘black market’ petrol and diesel at inflated prices, with make shift plastic fuel tanks. So disappointing and frustrating to see people who are so sincere and generous not being allowed to enjoy everyday happiness with the essentials required to live their lives. (See pic below).
Finally we were very, very…very excited to visit our Microlot Coffee Estate at Kuringhat and were lucky enough to help with the coffee seedling program we have running and help re-build our nursery and do some gardening ourselves. The views of the Kathmandu Valley Himalayas have been simply breath-taking. The two bedroom bungalow accommodation we have constructed is in its final stages of completion, with a newly westernised bathroom fitout, an observation deck with spa and other amenities being finalised. We are very excited to offer this unique coffee eco-tourism accommodation experience for our first lot of very welcomed guests. More news on our progress at Microlot Coffee Estate at Kuringhat will be featured in our next blog…..