Our visit to the village of Necha had two goals. The first was to work for Micro-Care Nepal Foundation establishing our projects in education, health, agriculture and giving clothing to poor families.
The second goal was to research a small trek that we are developing. The idea of the trek is to bring clients to visit and support the places where Micro-Care Nepal Foundation is establishing projects. Our walk to Necha took us through villages and areas we want to include in this trek. We checked out places where we could stay and searched for special highlights to make it an unforgettable cultural experience with an emphasis on organic produce.
We had to take a porter to carry our consignment of clothing because we already had heavy bags to carry. I always carry a bag of about 17 to 20 kilos with my MacBook pro, external backup disk drive, 2 cameras, 24 mm wide-angle lens, 50mm all-round lens, 85 mm portrait lens, batteries and charger and flash with trigger. This time I was also carrying a little pocket printer to print wallet size photos to give directly to people.
Our original plan had been to put our luggage with Rohit’s uncle's luggage on a tractor and bring it by road to Necha. Unfortunately, often in the rainy season the roads in this area are destroyed by landslides caused by all the water moving down from the mountains. At this time the road was destroyed so we asked around for a porter. Prices were very high but we were lucky to find a man who had come to Okhaldhunga with a load the previous day and was now on his way back to Necha anyway. In the morning he was waiting for us. He didn’t speak any English and seemed quite old. During the day however I was to discover that he was very strong, carrying our 3 big 10 by 15 metre plastic sheets plus 15 kilos of clothing - probably 35 kilos in total. At some point you could see it was very heavy and he would rest with his load on the stone seats that have been created on the sides of all Nepali trails especially for weary travellers.
We arrived in Deorali. I have been there 6 times before. This time it was a shock to arrive. Almost all of the houses were collapsed or too damaged to restore. We visited some families and Rohit translated as they explained what they were experiencing following the earthquake and how they and their children were trying to survive.
Seeing the collapsed school building where I had watched children playing and studying one year ago was hard. I sat down to think about all this and came up with the idea that when I organise a trek to bring clients to visit Micro-Care Foundation projects our group members could give a financial donation if they wished to help local people and institutions like this school.
We asked what this school could use besides a new building. They let us know materials for sport education would be welcomed. The Nepali government will support the rebuilding but this will take a long time. Even prior to the earthquake, government schools in Nepal were poorly resourced and often offered a limited number of courses and sports facilities.
The landscapes were stunningly beautiful. My focus usually goes out to the people and the way they are living. The portraits demonstrate why Nepal, with its simple lifestyle is so interesting for western people to visit. It opens your eyes to the truly important things in life.
More about this in following posts when I will explain the work we are doing in Necha.