Nepalese women celebrating the completion of their month long guide training
Recently I met with Christine Readman, a member of the Eleuthera community, whom some of you know.
Christine spends much of her time living with a family in Pokhara, Nepal assisting an NGO Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN).
Christine has actually been back in the UK since March and is planning to return to Nepal on 8 June. Whilst she is relieved to have missed the earthquake herself she is directly connected with her friends across the miles.
Thankfully my friends in both Pokhara and Kathmandu have all been confirmed as being alive although this seems to be changing so I am not actually sure that they all are.
I spend my time in Nepal mainly working on projects related to empowering women including female trekking guide training, girls leadership programmes in schools, supporting girls in the children’s home and various local families.
Young women arrive from all over Nepal to train with EWN to be trekking guides to foreign trekkers through the mountains. They learn all aspects of trekking, what foreigners expect (some of them have never seen a foreigner when they first arrive), the mountains and they learn English in pursuit of earning a living to support them and their families back in the village.
Most of these female guides and the children in the home come from villages all over Nepal and have family close to the epicentre and some of the most seriously affected areas, being remote and poor they will no doubt be struggling. Many have already reported the loss of family members, homes and entire villages being devastated with many injured.
The organisation that I work alongside have themselves been struggling to organise medical assistance and helicopter rescues for guides and trekkers in remote regions as well as dealing with the trauma of those returning and those in their community. Having been in Pokhara last October when the blizzard and avalanche hit the Annapurna region (minor in comparison) I have some sense of the organisational nightmare that they must be going through.
Already I’m told in Pokhara water is 350NRs a bottle (usually it’s 20NRs) and probably more in Kathmandu. I guess the cost of food will go through the roof as well, that’s if they can get hold of any; life is so hand to mouth anyway with many relying on small crops that they grow to support their families which will have been ruined possibly for many seasons to come.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries financially, but one of the richest in so many other ways. I am collecting donations for the people and families that I am connected with to meet some of their needs as they recover and reestablish themselves after this unimaginable disaster in the hope that they can find the strength to build a future for themselves.
Are you up for a 21 day challenge?
A couple of us have been texting what we did to nurture ourselves today as well as what we might do to give ourselves as a mini treat tomorrow. Nothing has been too small or insignificant to aim for. eg taking a 15 minute walk (even though I think I haven’t the time), phoning a friend, asking for help, putting a smile on my face and holding it for a while, turning the phone off for an hour or two, giving someone a hug, enjoying a ‘cup of tea’ while not multi tasking on something else, reading a book for 10 minutes, gazing at the sunset……I am sure you can be much more creative than this list.
Think about what small breaks (just a few minutes) you could build into your day to slow you down to ‘be in the now’ and be centre stage to yourself .
So here’s suggestion number 1)
Find a buddy who is willing to partner your self nurturing plan for 21 days.
Why 21 days? Studies reveal that 21 days or 3 weeks is needed to loosen oneself from an old habit.
In fact the studies refer to 3, 6 and 36 weeks.
3 weeks to break a habit
6 weeks to make a new habit
36 weeks to hardwire a habit.
Here’s suggestion number 2)
Be tolerant and patient with yourself
In contrast to the fast paced norms of a quick fix, making changes in our lives is a meandering affair that requires patience.
Secrets from Chuckling Goat
Who couldn’t resist a book with a title like that?
Actually I found myself intrigued by the story of the author, Shann Jones, who left San Francisco, moved to Wales and totally reinvented herself .
This is an uplifting story of how one woman’s openness to life’s events and her determination to make the best of things now benefits the health of many.
Since reading the book I have heard Shann speak on Radio 2 so if you want a quick summary try this link…
One to One Encouragement
I am often asked the question whatever do you do for 2 whole days?
I select exercises and activities that enable individuals to:
- Clarify what they really want
- Tune in their own innate wisdom
I aim to encourage and support the individual to work through the demanding task of ‘mining for gold’.
And I make it my business to continually extend the contents of my ‘toolkit’.