My oh my… It’s been a long way since this whole thing started – with months of planning, ping ponging of ideas, confusion, some more idea ping pong, and some more confusion – everything worth it.
From the start, our unstoppable team of idealists, the magnificent seven, were ready to go full-on and I had many wild expectations for the whole journey, and now as I think of it, maybe my anticipations were not so far from what actually happened…
Few days before the departure I caught the flu (no surprises here) and was a total wreck during the two flights we had, heading to Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal. After some good 20 minutes of sleep within the zombie-work mode on the planes, the arrival in Kathmandu felt quite surreal. Fortunately, our other mentor, Avinash sir knew a thing or two with the coordination and logistics in Nepali way, so there was no need of any brain activity from my part.
We headed to our lovely guest house near Patan Durbar Square – an UNESCO World Heritage site. The area was really atmospheric and full of life, and lots of traffic in every tiniest of streets as all sort of vehicles, people, dogs and cows hurled around in their natural rhythm. At first, it seemed pretty chaotic, but later during the trip I realised the whole traffic system was based on constant communication and actually worked quite smoothly all the time. Only once during the whole trip one of our taxi drivers hit a pedestrian, luckily without any physical injuries caused. Anyway, the few days in Kathmandu were intriguing and full of tasks and dust.
We used our time pretty much by working around the clock with some expert interviews and final plans before the trip to Dhungentar settlement. Of course, we had some delicious food, and wines as well – Wines such as “The Big Master” and “Divine Wine” (some unparalleled marketing right there). Can’t say that they were the best I’ve had, but maybe the grooviest, though.
Finally, we also met our counterparts, the amazing people from Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM). Our huge group worked intensively on preparing the objectives for Dhungentar and came up with the initial daily schedule, interview structures, goals for the trip and group working dynamics. It was challenging to work in such a hardcore tempo in a totally new environment, but at the end, it was extremely rewarding and we had some valuable lessons on the importance of coordination and organising. The time had come to hit the road.