We arrived on Monday, April 18th with three of our members flying for over 30 hours to arrive in Nepal! Needless to say we were hungry, exhausted and excited when we all met in the early afternoon. This is the first time The LEADER Project has come to Nepal and we want to thank Aimia for making this trip possible
We were promptly picked up by our hosts in a van and driven through the bustling streets of Kathmandu. The heat, noise and traffic were dizzying at first. Scooters and pedestrians effortlessly weave in and out of speeding cars, who use their horns as a warning, rather than an angry protest (as we see in North America.)
The effects of the recent earthquake can be seen all over Kathmandu. There are still many walls being propped up by bamboo poles and areas where whole blocks have been reduced to piles of bricks. Despite this difficult scene, the people of Kathmandu are stubbornly optimistic and kind. The streets are safe and the shop owners friendly.
We are staying in a small hotel in the centre of Thamel (the main tourist area of the city.) Almost every shop sells either gurkha knives, pashminas, t-shirts, Buddhist and Hindu statues and the usual incense. We are certainly flexing our negotiation skills when purchasing any products on the streets and good deals are to be had! We have been very impressed with the food since arriving and have not had one disappointing meal yet. Many of the restaurants are open-air and provide a wide-selection of Indian, Nepalese, Western and Asian food that can satisfy any palette.
We met our students on Wednesday, April 20th and we have been very impressed with their questions, knowledge and participation. There is a wide range of entrepreneurial experience among the students: some already have established businesses and are completing MBA degrees, while others are eager to develop their first. [AS1] The current businesses being developed range from a personal assistant services provider to an asset tracking application and an online clothing company, to name a few. We are teaching at the FNCCI (Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Innovation) [AS2] Building which has a very impressive lecture room.
This weekend we are going to be travelling to Sindhu Palchowk to visit “The Last Resort[AS3] ”. This is the area famous for the second highest natural bungee jump in the world and challenging white water rafting. We have made a pact that the whole group, Anthony, Kevin, Jairo, Julian, Vedant and Zach, will all participate in both of the activities (no turning back now, as per the picture below)