Prior to my arrival in Nepal I wasn’t sure what to expect with the exception of meeting a fellow student on my flight. Shirbrina and I had been emailing prior with the intent of meeting up before our flight had left. There we are, the day of our flight, standing outside our gate on the phone looking for one another. Come to find out my flight departs from JFK and her Newark.
Fast forward 13 hours and I’m hovering over Dubai. The runway has been closed due to flooding and after we finally land there’s a problem with our gate. I was frantic about missing my connecting flight but once I got to my gate Shirbrina and I finally met up. We clicked instantly and I knew the trip was only going to get better from there. When we finally met the entire group I was a bit nervous, as I always am when meeting large groups. But if there’s one thing I was sure of it was that the fact that all of us were passionate about sustainable development in some form or other I had nothing to be nervous about.
Two-time GREEN Alumnus
Japan: Disaster Mitigation & Nuclear to Renewable Transitions | March 2019
Nepal: Microgrid Systems for Rural Development | December 2019
Arizona State University Class of 2020
The Happold Foundation Scholarship Recipient
The 10 days I spent in Nepal are memories that will stick with me forever
This may sound very privileged of me – which I recognize – but the biggest hurdle I overcame during my trip was not having access to WiFi. Towards the end of my trip I had realized that I had been the most present during the trip than I had been majority of the time back home. It took me flying across the world and being forced to not use my phone to realize this. The most memorable moments I have all were in the village. During our stay there were so many stars in the sky. I had never seen so many before, it was incredible.
One of the best parts about this trip for me was being able to understand what goes into installing a solar micro grid and water pump system. The struggles this village was facing is the same struggle that Dinétah, the Navajo Nation, faces. The only difference is Dinétah sits within a “developed” nation who offers little to no assistance. This was also the focus of my group’s capstone project. We focused on applying what we learned in our classes and the fieldwork to the Navajo Nation for communities who don’t have access to electricity. The knowledge I gained is something I hope to apply back home. The experiences at Kathmandu University, the village and from day to day activities about Nepali culture touched on the true nature of sustainability.
The trip was even more amazing because of the incredible people I was surrounded by. Being surrounded by people who were extremely compassionate, energetic and as passionate about sustainable development as I am was an amazing experience. We came from all parts of the globe- Asia, the Americas, Europe- and we instantly connected. By the end of the trip it seems as though we had all known each other for FAR longer than a mere 10 days. The friendships we created were immense and I have no doubt we’ll all be friends for a very long time. We’re actually planning a reunion for this coming summer.
“This program solidified what I’m passionate about”
It gave me the drive I needed to make a difference in the world after graduation in May of 2020. It also has inspired me to potentially work in Kathmandu as an urban planner.
I’m so incredibly grateful to the Happold Foundation for funding me because without their generosity this experience wouldn’t have been possible. I look forward to attending the next GREEN program!