Tag Archives: Nepal

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone, USA

Earth Day is all Wrong

Earth Day is all wrong. We seem to have everything backwards. Once a year we celebrate Earth Day; World Environment Day; World Oceans Day; National Tree Day; or World Wetlands Day. Sure, we should celebrate them because they are absolutely essential to our continued existence on this planet, but these “days” are a reminder of what is under threat, rather than a celebration.  Here are just a few of the endless examples of “days” we shouldn’t need: World Rhino Day; Endangered Species Day; Lion Day; Vulture Awareness Day; World Wildlife Day; Cheetah Day.

Kalahari, Botswana

Kalahari, Botswana, photo by Alison Nicholls

So I’ve been giving some thought to an alternative reality and some of the “days” we could hope to eliminate or celebrate at some point in the future.

Lake Kyle, Zimbabwe

Lake Kyle, Zimbabwe, photo by Alison Nicholls

Instead of Earth Hour (where we shut down all our electrical appliances and devices for an hour) wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where once a year we had “Power Hour”, when we’d try running all our appliances and devices at once, just for a laugh, knowing that we couldn’t overload our clean, green, renewable energy grid.

Mount Machapuchare, Nepal

Mount Machapuchare, Nepal, photo by Nigel Nicholls

Instead of Car Free Day, we might one day live in a world where “Pollution Day” is on the calendar – not as a celebration but a remembrance of the past and less-enlightened times.

In this world we wouldn’t need any of the wildlife “days” because none of these species would be under threat from habitat loss, poaching, or human-wildlife conflict.

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone, USA

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone, USA, photo by Alison Nicholls

And this could go well beyond environmental issues. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where “Remembering ALS (MND)” or “Remembering Breast Cancer” was held, because no-one suffered from these diseases anymore.

Do you have any ideas of current “days” you’d like to abandon, or future “days” you’d really like to celebrate?
Alison
PS. Yes, for all these reasons I didn’t write this post on Earth Day, although I couldn’t help myself – I had to celebrate the Earth with some photos from my travels over the years!
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Mount Machapuchare, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Before Botswana there was Nepal.

Before I saw the wide expanses of Botswana, I was entranced by the high peaks and quiet paths of the Himalaya.

Before I knew the creatures of the Kalahari, I fell for the gods of Nepal, who lurked in every carved Kathmandu doorway.

Before I learned of the San hunter-gatherers, I was awed by the kukri-wielding Gurkhas.

Before Dumela, was Namaste.

Mount Machapuchare, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Mount Machapuchare, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Shady spot. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Shady spot. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

In the early 1990’s my parents lived in Nepal, in Patan, just a few minutes walk from Kathmandu. My father was a British Army Officer with the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, my mother learned Nepali (and taught horse-riding skills to the King’s cavalry!). Nigel and I visited for 3 months. We cycled all over the Kathmandu valley and out to amazing Bhaktapur, trekked in the remote Langtang for 16 days, rafted the cold Trisuli river, searched for tiger in Bardia national park, and visited Annapurna base camp.

Market, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Market, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Bhaktapur evening. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Bhaktapur evening. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

The Durbar squares of the Kathmandu valley were stunningly beautiful, full of intricate, ancient temples dedicated to various Hindu Gods. They were part of everyday life for Nepali people. Then there were the enigmatic eyes and fluttering prayer flags of the Buddhist stupas, places of worship for the large Tibetan population who fled their homeland and still live in exile.

Buddhist stupa, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Buddhist stupa, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Durbar Square morning. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Durbar Square morning. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

The people I met everywhere were friendly & colorful. The women shimmered in their saris. The porters and sherpas in the Himalaya were amazingly fit, resilient and hardworking. It was a life-changing visit in many ways and the country and people of Nepal have a special place in my memories.

Porters playing cards on the way to Annapurna base camp. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Porters playing cards on the way to Annapurna base camp. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Durbar Square, Patan, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

Durbar Square, Patan, Nepal. Photo by Alison & Nigel Nicholls

So the scenes from Nepal have been heartbreaking. My parents, who work closely with the Gurkha Welfare Trust, were back in Nepal last year. Not only have homes and lives been destroyed, but towards the epicenter of the earthquake, in Gorkha, the terracing on the steep hillsides has been destroyed, preventing the planting or harvesting of crops, adding to the magnitude of the disaster.

Gurkha Welfare Trust 2013. Margaret & Rob Cross, 3rd and 5th from left.

Gurkha Welfare Trust 2013. Margaret & Rob Cross, 3rd and 5th from left.

Terraces, Nepal. Photo by Cross Culture Images

Terraces, Nepal. Photo by Cross Culture Images

A small amount of money goes a long way in Nepal, if you donate to the right organizations. I would like to suggest one here – the Gurkha Welfare Trust. They provide financial, medical and development aid to Gurkha veterans, their families and communities. They have unrivalled experience and excellent skilled staff, with robust communications and a well established infrastructure. They will be in Nepal long after the emergency aid charities and NGOs have left, and they will help rebuild the country.

Please donate if you can.

Village Houses West Nepal. Photo by Cross Culture Images

Village Houses West Nepal. Photo by Cross Culture Images

Learn more about the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Thank you!
Alison