Nestled in the mountains beyond the city lights and lush green valleys of Kathmandu, there lies the village of Takure in the district of Sindhupalchok. By the time I leave here this place will have been my home for nearly a month. It's a place where our camp is visited daily by locals who walk through to see what we are up to, meet newcomers to the Conscious Impact project and generally interact with a group of westerners who have chosen to be here to learn, to teach, to share and to grow. Whether it's for a day, a week, a month or longterm, the community has a love that emanates from its people and from the heart of the land. I've always believed that the energy of organizations comes from its leaders and this is especially true here. Coming as a volunteer I wasn't sure what to expect. I have friends who have done what I thought have been similar initiatives so I had a lot of ideas of what I could be stepping into. However I was not prepared for the inner peace and contentment that I feel every day in this sacred place.
Camping under the stars with the Himalayas as our backdrop the intention of this place and organisation is more than rebuilding Nepal. It's about creating long sustainable relationships, businesses and community so that this area is more self reliant. The earthquake devastated this little village turning stone homes to mounds of rubble. These are a proud people and more than this they are compassionate, generous and unbelievably kind. They invite us to their homes regularly and they are happy to have us sit and simply talk while they feed us copious amounts of sweet tea and dahl bhat. The children have a sense of curiousity and love nothing better than joining us in the agricultural site to help out or sit, colour, read and hangout in our communal space.
The emotions I feel change constantly. I've experienced deep peace, love, joy, loneliness, grief, vulnerability, hope and a renewed faith and as I lie here in my tent writing and listening to the sounds of nature and camp around me, I am aware that there is so much more to this place than rebuilding Nepal. I thought I was coming here to build and in actuality this journey has been about healing. Healing myself, healing others and allowing that energy to flow into helping the local community heal. Interestingly my fellow volunteers who travel through or choose to live in the Conscious Impact community are each here to heal in their own way too. This is what makes this experience so special and authentic. Provide a place where people are encouraged to be their bestest and truest self and you create a community of passionate, creative people who want nothing more than to jump in to lead or support the projects that are currently in development here.
My understanding of Conscious Impact's goal here in Takure is to create a longterm future that supports the entire community and to work closely with their local NGO partner - YUWA to help make it happen. Working together with the local community there is the creation of a brick making business using local resources, which is creating employment for local young people, who would otherwise go to Kathmandu to work. This will feed into the creation of two schools for the area and further down the line new homes for the villagers. YUWA's goals include the creation and support of a women's cooperative for the district supporting more than 700 families, a permanent presence at the schools with intern programs for English teachers & yoga teachers to come in and support and the diversification of Nepalese agricultural with new coffee and avocado plantations proposed for the land surrounding the village.
Takure and its surrounding neighbourhoods are still healing and processing the impact of the earthquake and while there is work to be done there is no official timeline here, it will happen in its own beautiful way. The energy that flows through here encourages this, and the people themselves whilst they work exceptionally hard, always make time for family, for connection, for sharing and for love. We learn from them as much as they learn from us and it is simply a sharing of cultures that gifts each of us here in different ways.
The impact for me has been profound. I am humbled. I am amazed. I am open. I am at peace. A dear friend said to me, before I left Ireland, that I was to make sure I took time out for me and this space has allowed me to do this. I didn't plan on staying so long. My trip involved trekking and travelling Nepal and I am so glad I let go of the plan and simply embraced being of service and staying in the one place. The people, the place and the daily commitment to presence and gratitude has opened me up, shook my own foundations and made me consider what roots I am committed to creating in my life.
To the creators, the leaders, the local community and my fellow volunteers that I have shared this experience with, all for whom I feel a deep love and connection, I am grateful and I am in awe. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being who you are and for your unshakeable commitment to creating with integrity, compassion and love. I look forward to seeing you again someday somewhere in this beautiful world.
For now as we say in Nepal - Namaste!
To learn more you can watch this recent video made by Subtle Dream on behalf of Conscious Impact. For more information about YUWA, the talented Sebastian Buffa & Luke Namer are in the process of filming a documentary on its' story and others in Nepal & India. Check out the trailer for Redefined: The Second Contemplation here.
To donate you can visit my fundraising page on Empowered and give what you can.
Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible for me... it has been a beautiful experience and one that will stay in my heart for years to come.
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