By Steve Richards
My first trip to Nepal in January 1998 is memorable to my family, friends, and co-workers as a time I went missing – or worse. I wasn't, just on a trek with a couple Austrian Buddhists I met on the train from Delhi to the Nepal/Indian border. They were on their way to Pokhara to see the sun rise on the Himalayas from Poon Hill - 10,000+ feet up in the foothills of the Annapurna range.
Getting there was a three day hike up mountain trails in use for thousands of years alongside the raging Kali Gandaki River fed by glaciers high up in the world's tallest mountains.
Even though I was much younger, my pack was too large, and my exercise regimen too weak, to make walking in these parts anything but a challenging (read painful) experience. And the most life-changing experience I ever encountered. I suppose it's like that for many from our neck-of-the-woods.
I had told everyone at home not to expect me for a month as I was on vacation and was heading to India for my roommate's wedding; I was to be in the wedding. Unfortunately, I never actually received a written invitation with an address, and absent-mindedly figured someone would be waiting for me at the airport. So, after a couple days of trying to locate my hosts I decided to head to Kathmandu and see what Bob Seeger had been singing about in my youth.
Suffice it to say that when I didn't show at the wedding most were concerned, and my mom got a call that her son had gone missing. Fortunately, she knew me well enough not to worry too much.
All were relieved when I finally found a phone and called home from Ghorepani, the village at the base of Poon Hill, and where we are heading on our latest trek. I'm hopeful my cell phone will do a better job of keeping us plugged-in than the occasional landline we depended on back then.
We are heading back to Poon Hill on our latest Nepal 2020 trek in January and invite those that want to come along to join us. For more click here. You can also meet some of those that will lead us at the premier of A Kathmandu Christmas screening on December 28th.
We are also raising funds for all these efforts so please consider supporting us at our Nepal 2020 fundraising page.
Thank you and we hope all are enjoying a happy holiday season.
Feeling adventurous? Got some time in January when the weather in Kathmandu features highs in the 70’s and not a cloud in the sky? Then consider meeting TheoEco in Kathmandu on our New Year Trek in support of Nepal Project 2020!
Beginning January 14, 2020 TheoEco’s Steve and Bobbie Richards are heading back for the five-year anniversary of the 2015 mega-quakes. Trek with us to Kathmandu, the Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara, the Himalayas, and more.
We will be working closely with the Christians in Nepal and the National Theological College and can provide opportunities for volunteers to offer their much-needed skills and experience. To see some of those we will meet and work with while there see our 4 minute condensed version of The Flourishing Kathmandu Church at: https://vimeo.com/299315179.
TheoEco’s Steve Richards and daughter Bobbie went to Kathmandu in the fall of 2015 to assist with the earthquake relief efforts and document/video those efforts. We are going back on January 14, 2020 (5th expedition) to revisit the places and people we met in 2015 and see how things are developing with the earthquake recovery - five years later.
Homes, monuments, temples and the like are still being rebuilt by homeowners and independent organizations like the Kathmandu Preservation Trust out of New York City. Our director Amit Nepali’s family rebuilt a temporary version of their home with no insurance and virtually no government assistance. Not sure the building code is exactly up to spec but when you have 12 family members close to living in the streets during monsoons, you obviously get moving. This is the story we hear everywhere – people doing for themselves as we illustrate in our films: Piles of Bricks, The Flourishing Kathmandu Church, and our Nepal mini-docs.
For more see the VILLAGES mini-doc from our first visit in 2015 for a firsthand look at the conditions in the villages of Gorkha, Lele and others.
Do they have broadband and/or cell phones in Nepal?
There is broadband and cell phone coverage throughout the country.
We will be in Kathmandu anytime from May 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019. Add two days of travel before and after for a total trip day count. Flight arrangements are on each individual, though we can help and potentially arrange travel partners. Longer and shorter stays can be arranged as well. We would advise traveler against staying longer than June as it is monsoon season. Expect some rain as we move through our trek.
The trek costs $995 per week and includes:
This is our fourth expedition since we started working in Nepal.
The primary purpose of our trek is to make progress on our documentaries of Nepal Project 2019, work with our friends, and further the institutional relationships we have built.
The documentaries include:
During the trek you’ll meet many of the people and see many of the places featured in TheoEco’s documentaries. To see all the Nepal mini-docs go to TheoEco’s Nepal Mini-Docs page.