Dream – enable and empower through entrepreneurship
Doing something sustainable in Nepal is not as easily said as done. I came here with many good intentions, and now that my time is nearing an end, it is not that my intentions are less, but I have definitely been confronted with some obstacles. But many times I have been reminded here, that things are as they are and you make due with what there is.
Reality – only 2 weeks left and where do I stand?
First of all, thank you all for the positive words and donations! A special thanks also to KaMing, my yoga and travel adventure buddy for the first 6 weeks in Nepal, for her help and contributions. You rock.
The sum of raised money is at a total of €1030,13 roughly 120,000 Nepali rupees. A beautiful amount to do something meaningful with.
Just to get a feeling, what does 120,000 rupees buy in Nepal?
- 1500 kg of rice
- 6000 bottles of water
- 240 liters of petrol on the black market
- 1465 liters of petrol, pre-fuel crisis
- 667 plates of dal bhat in the city
- 267 plates of dal bhat in the mountains
Looking to donate to a local entrepreneur or entrepreneurial idea, I met many inspiring entrepreneurial minds. All helping and enriching me in some way. Just to name a few:
- Santos, with his social paper factory (also see: Lessons about Donations is Nepal)
- Rajan and Rita, with Sanu Lake and their endless ideas (also see: Live a Happy Life)
- Lamsal family, with their organic coffee and honey farm network, Nepali Organic Coffee
- Buddiman, guide and farmer who lost his house and farming income in the earthquake. He is planning on selling his fortune – sal trees on his land – to send his daughter oversees to study so that she can make a better life.
- Bijaya, with his MBA scholarship project. He has reached out to universities around the world looking for a scholarship. In return he will put up the scholarship money for a next person from his income after he graduates. Now that is Pay it Forward. He has not been successful yet, so let me know if you have any ideas or contacts.
- Deepa, who quit her uninspiring office job and now teaches subjects ‘love’ and ‘joy’, seriously
- Kavita, who insists on making every day a happy day
- Bipin, an example of where dedication, respect and hard work can get you at the age of 26
- Daniel, who has never renewed a work contract within his 20 year career. In between contracts/projects, he travels – of course.
- Palmo, with her traveling-backpack-jewelry-store
- Niraj, with Antarprerana, investing in Nepali entrepreneurs
- Akash, with his travel and craftmanship platform, Backstreet Academy
Obstacles I ran into over the past 2 months
- Problem 1 – fuel crisis: with the big win for nepal, a new democratic constitution that was nearly 10 years in the making, pissed off India who closed the borders. Nepal has been without fuel for xx days. Result: less transport of people, goods and
- Problem 2 – time: 11 weeks in ‘western time’ is the same as 3 weeks ‘Eastern time’, how to get anything done?
- Problem 3 – corruption: like I mentioned in Lessons about Donations is Nepal, money often does not get to where it needs to be.
- Problem 4 – continuity: even with all good intentions, what happens with good ideas when I leave? Giving something away is easy, but making it sustainable costs time
- Problem 5 – myself: decision making is not always by strong suite. When it comes to deciding to venture off into nature by myself I don’t have to think twice. But a decision that can impact someone else, much more difficult. Am I making the right choice? What if that? What if this? Oh, that is also a good idea….
Action – Dealing with the above obstacles
- Solution 1 – fuel crisis: accept that everything goes slower, even considering Nepali time. Keep it close to where you are, literally because travel is not an easy option. Greater Pokhara is by default the location of the endeavor.
- Solution 2 – time: same as above, and also see solution 5.
- Solution 3 – corruption: donate/invest directly to a cause, no middle men.
- Solution 4 – continuity: find a local partner. Meet Rajan and Rita.
- Solution 5 – myself: mind management, stop thinking and start doing :). Also, I don’t need to do everything alone. Ask for some advice. With that, I have talked to Rajan, who said “let’s take a walk and some Raksi. It is the best for new ideas”.
So we are off for a walk and raksi. An update and decision tomorrow!
- Postcard: Sweden – July 2014 – Card from Koen & Lydia, sailing from Rotterdam to Sweden, navigating their way over rough sees. Doing something new always feels like navigating both smooth and rough seas. But that it what makes it the adventure :). Learn by doing!