Visiting The Projects in Yangri, Pokhara & Chitwan
My name is Lisa and I am the Communications Manager and Program Liaison for Himalayan Life Canada. Thanks to Himalayan Life, I was able to travel to Nepal at the beginning of April 2023 to meet the HL project leaders, visit the programs and interact with the staff.
I landed in Kathmandu and was greeted by Daniel and Karina at the airport. We weaved through the Kathmandu traffic in a taxi and arrived at our hotel. The following day, a team of students and teachers from Pacific Academy, a school located in Surrey, BC, joined us and we took in the culture. The group of us then made our way to the Yangri Valley where we were greeted by the students and teachers of the Yangri Academic Centre. I had the opportunity to witness the Pacific Academy students teach the YAC students topics such as Vocational English and Renewable Energy. It was apparent the YAC students were enjoying themselves thoroughly in the company of the PA students.
While the students were teaching at YAC, Daniel and Karina took me up the valley in a sand truck to visit Bangdang, the construction site for the new Yangri school. Each person was so hard at work and amazing progress is being made! After a few days, Karina and I left Daniel and the Pacific Academy team in Yangri as they were about to embark on a trek up to Bangdang to do manual labour at the construction site. Karina and I had other plans to visit the projects in Pokhara and Chitwan; so, we made our way back to Kathmandu.
Unfortunately, Karina was not feeling well enough to continue travelling with me (Karina is healthy now!) so I met up with two staff members, David and Indra, and they accompanied me to Pokhara. It was in this city that I was able to visit the S2SG and S2SB homes, witness CAP/TAP in full effect and even join the Pokhara cycling group for a bike ride. I also had the opportunity to visit Himalayan Life Plastics and see a positive impact being made on both the environment and employees. The next stop on my journey was Chitwan and I immediately became aware of the rise in temperature with averages of 35 degrees Celsius. Despite the heat, the community children and teenagers who attended CAP/TAP and played outdoor hockey had permanent smiles on their faces.
There are many highlights from my time in Nepal – eating homemade chicken momo (dumplings), seeing elephants, visiting various temples and swimming in the river that borders YAC. However, there is one moment that stands out to me the most and it was during CAP in Chitwan. I met two sisters who invited me to their home across the street from where CAP was taking place and introduced me to their mother and aunt. The home was small and well kept and the family offered me a warm welcome. The girls were quick to dress me in a sari while the aunt asked me many questions and the mother made delicious black chai tea. The time I spent with this family in their home was short, but their friendliness and joy in having me as their guest made a lasting impact.
Amazing work is being done in Nepal by passionate staff who care about their communities and the children who attend their programs. Every place I visited and each person I met offered me a warm smile, hospitality and delicious chai tea. I was welcomed and treated not as a visitor, but as a friend. I am beyond thankful to have had this opportunity and get to be a part of this life-changing organization.
I can’t wait to go back!