As a team, we feel extremely excited not only for the achievement of finally making it here without any inconvenience, but most likely the very opposite, we’ve been welcomed as could have never asked for. Thus Nepal and its hectic capital was not only one important piece of the required analysis before piloting some ideas in Dhungentar village, but also priceless inspiration.
Getting the first grasp of the capital of Nepal, a country that has welcomed us in such a wonderful way, it’s been extremely inspiring, instructive and flavory too. Right upon arrival, the city of the temples did some immediate effects on the team coming from Finland and the project has taken some interesting directions for the purposes of exploring resilience in communities after disasters.
Fully committed to explore Nepal from within, Kathmandu has been a deposit of ideas, questions and also some answers. By being here, indeed, we can finally move forward as much as we could. The team of twelve team members, with 7 from Aalto University and the Asian Institute of Technology and Management are finally together. Resilience is one of the strongest concepts that we have been working on. Surprisingly, everything converged at the same word, but taking different paths.
The Nepali Project 2019 has started when at Monday morning we all met at the AITM in Kathmandu, where everyone has shared their personal and common ideas, objectives, inputs, outputs, outcomes and possible impacts.
While one group has taken over the concept of social cohesion as a macro, simple but yet complex idea, the team from our local students has been developing a project around entrepreneurship as a form of economical stabilizer. Both of them have a common ground, community resilience.
We have been working on Monday and a Tuesday, altogether and mixing the time with some interviews going on around Kathmandu. We have been trying to merge our objectives by ideating and critically thinking and trying some potential common scenarios.
Most definitely we have succeeded so far, presenting our process to the commission from the Asian Institute of Technology and Management and other partner universities from Nepal. The presentation went over some sustainable development goals, the situation in Dhungentar, a few ideas on entrepreneurship as a bridge for connecting people and some others on social cohesion as a frame that could involve, maybe, entrepreneurship as a practice.
The presentation went pretty well and very motivated to take a bus to Dhungentar on the next day. For the time being, we were looking forward to traveling to the Nuwakot District and put hands on in the field.
Finally the day has come and we departed from Kathmandu to the north, Nuwakot District, most precisely to our already beloved Dhungentar. Who could tell, but seems like we took about 4, maybe 5 hours to get there, while enjoying each other’s company with multiple and remarkable conversations taking place all around the bus. We shared some ‘pua’, from Nepal and also some ‘salmiaki’, from Finland. Everyone is finding their own place.
Actually, it took some time to get out of Kathmandu, but it didn’t take that long to get into Dhungentar. Upon arrival, the warmth, the people and the scenery said welcome at unison. It was and it is incredible, while we have divided in a few groups and just walk around, several insights were both touching the team in the academic level, as researchers and developers of the Nepali Project and also in the personal level. More walks to come, more moments to come.
After all, we made it and the first few hours, the first afternoon and the very first dinner together is going to stick with everybody for a long time. We prepared almost everything that was possible to prepare and left some room too for those unpredictabilities. Already happening, there was a wedding announcement yesterday and it’s taking place today and tomorrow. This changes slightly and dramatically our plans by from yesterday -once again-, meaning interview, dialogues, focus groups, photography and paths to go through.
The day will start and the energy is extremely high. We start the meeting with ‘chia’ (tea) and some overview of the upcoming day. The table gathers about 15 people not only from different countries, but different perspectives that offer priceless contributions every minute. We are leaving the first official morning meeting and ready to go.