Written by student Bryan Melonis
December 27, 2013
Alas, another travel team, another trip to Nepal, and another set of adventures awaits the EWB team members as we embark on a trip around the world. After four plane rides (including a 12-hour layover in Guangzhou, China) and a three-hour car ride through the Terai, we have finally made it to Ilam, Nepal and are adjusting to the 13-hour time difference between here and back home. This winter’s travel team is small, but our goals are lofty. We have big plans for our time in Ilam, and we are off to a great start!
Steven “Wild Walton” is a junior in Environmental Engineering and is heading up the design team this trip. He is currently living in a house of engineers here in Ilam and is spending his “dal bhat time” with Madhu, our engineering partner at NCDC, and Aviv, a construction management guru who recently graduated from Columbia University and has teamed up with EWB to help make our trip all the more successful!
“Brittany the Brave” is a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering and is returning to Sunrise Guest House for her time in Nepal. She has been involved primarily with the sustainability team within the Nepal program, but is helping out with design as well for this trip.
Okay, now that our obligatory introductory blog post is out of the way, stay tuned for more Nepali adventures with our dynamic duo!
January 3rd, 2014
Today marks our 8th day in Ilam, Nepal – past the half-way point for our trip. Jeff, our professional mentor for the trip, and Arista, a former student of the EWB-CU Nepal program and a current member of the Rocky Mountain EWB professional chapter, have safely arrived in Ilam. Everyone is healthy and doing well.
So far the trip has presented some potential pitfalls, which we have avoided thus far with good fortune. Heavy fog and weather conditions have canceled many of the flights from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur in the past week, but Jeff was fortunately able to catch a flight without running into any delays or cancellations.
We’ve had a lot to accomplish in this past week. We have been busy working with the Namsaling Community Development Center (NCDC), our local partner NGO, to prepare for a spring source protection workshop that took place yesterday. The goal of the workshop was to create discussion among different stakeholders involved with spring source protection programs in Ilam. Workshop attendees included members of NCDC, the Ilam municipality, EWB-CU Nepal, users’ committees from three different spring sites, and various other stakeholder organizations involved with spring source protection. The workshop was based on the work of Tammy Stone, a recent graduate from the engineering for developing communities (EDC) program at CU, with help from Dr. Barry Bialek, a professional mentor for the EWB Nepal Program. Their work has been to create a manual for sustainable spring source protection and yesterday marked the initial workshop in a series to bring about discussion for sustainable spring source protection in the Ilam district.
In the design realm, we have visited Jhor Dhara, Nali Dhara, and Patpate Dhara with Jeff to gather design ideas and answer pertinent questions with the various users’ committees regarding their needs/desires for spring source protection. We have also scheduled a meeting with the municipality on Sunday to discuss spring site priorities and funding for each of these projects.
Tomorrow is Saturday, which would normally be a holiday for NCDC staff, but all will be busy with yet another workshop! This meeting will include people from all over the Ilam district as well as the Nepali government to discuss the Green City Initiative (in other words, it is a pretty big deal). Ilam is the first district in Nepal to create a hundred year development plan outlining the needs for sustainable development within the district and how they plan to address those needs. Tomorrow’s workshop should be another great opportunity for discussion about how to move the country forward, and we are excited to see what comes of it!