October 11th, 2016

Making A Difference In Nepal

Making A Difference In Nepal

Eagle Creek Ambassador, Nick Greece, has visited Nepal five times over the last seven years as a tourist, a professional tandem pilot, and a worker to set up an education program in Pokhara, Nepal.

 

Nepal is a stunning country with sincerely kind and generous people. He has traveled there twice since the devastating earthquake on April 25, 2014. Nick helps run a non-profit that enables paragliding and hang gliding pilots to become successfully local agents of change. They have programs in Haiti, Nepal, Honduras, and in the US as well. He reported back after one of his trips. 

Karmaflights, a program of the Cloudbase Foundation, has been based out of Pokhara, Nepal for the last six years. Just before the earthquake, they had achieved self-sustainability through building strong community ties, which made it economically viable for local business to support the altruistic community endeavors of the organization. They also were on the precipice of creating a bag program out of old paragliders at a fair-trade women’s co-op in Pokhara, which they would sell to the thousands of tourists that fly tandems in Pokhara as they wait for their Annapurna Basecamp Circuit to begin or end.

When the earthquake hit, the local led team rallied with over 100,000 dollars-worth of aid and supplies in the first week to the epicenter of the event, the Gorkha. This amazing group of Nepalis, and foreign paragliding pilots, led by Karmaflights In-Country Directors Prem Bahadur Kunwar, Isabella Messenger, and Jamie Messenger, ran towards the fire and in many incidences were the first aid teams on the scene.

(Check out the video of Karmaflight's efforts in Nepal)

Since then, the team has worked tirelessly to work with communities in the epicenter to rebuild stronger, and better. A few of their amazing accomplishments are helping to build 1600 temporary shelters, administering and taking on 50 life-long scholarships for earthquake orphans, and re-building eleven schools and twenty-two libraries for Nepalis displaced by the quake. They also launched new waste management programs, food distribution centers, and are teaching earthquake resistant building techniques with locally sourced materials throughout the communities in the Gorkha.  

The team continues to work to make sure the communities in the Gorkha are back on their feet before they go back to their normal lives. Karmaflights needs all of our help to keep awareness alive about the plight of a people still struggling to rebuild, as well every one of them encourages tourists to return to Nepal. Now is the time to go visit as your tourist dollars do wonders for helping a limping economy return to its pre-earthquake strength.

It’s often very liberating to travel in order to aid a country. You win in the sense that you get to experience a foreign culture while not having to worry to much about haggling as the more money you spend the better for the economy, and the country wins for your capital influx as well as interactions with its citizens. 

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Flying High: The Best Zip Lines In The World 

Nick Greece's Travel System 

How To Plan An International Trip

by Nick Greece

Nick Greece currently lives eight minutes from Salt Lake City’s international airport. Holding out for a career that would allow him to work remotely, he landed his dream job of editing the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association’s magazine. His spirit first tasted adventure in 1993 when his mom, Carolyn, took him out of school to travel through Peru. Hiking the Inca trail and seeing the sunrise arrival in Machu Picchu became, for him, the cornerstone of a full-fledged commitment to experiencing as many cultures, and countries, as possible.

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