So with many thanks to my lovely clients, friends and family, I have been able to join the fantastic charity, Raleigh international, on their first ever program based in Nepal.
After heading off to Tanzania last year for nearly four months, in 2015, I am really very excited and honoured to have been asked again to document the wonderful work that they do within communities, especially as this is the charities opening program in these communities, and as such, unknown territories!
I have now been based at the Raleigh country office in Kathmandu for the last week, and what a time we have had already! The city itself, is a vibrant and active one, full of colours, smells, there is a constant hum of traffic, (even with the fuel crisis) and the dust gets everywhere.
The time here at field base has been used for training, and preparation for deployment into the villages, just South of Hetauda in the Makwanpur district of Nepal, where our volunteers will be heading to in just a matter of weeks. Everybody is extremely keen to get started and bursting with enthusiasm.
We have also been able to have a small amount of free time with which to explore, the people are welcoming and friendly, always a big smile to greet you, no matter their situation, some are still living with the very real effects of the devastating earthquake from 2015, and are in makeshift dwellings built next to piles of rubble that were once grand and substantial houses, but will still welcome you in and freely talk about their experiences.
Rebuilding is obviously taking some time, but the majority of the city is in the process of this, and the fuel crisis is certainly not making this any easier, even so you can see progress everywhere and they are keen to put it behind them. The villages may be a different story as they obviously are far more remote and inaccessible, so the process of getting back to normality will be slower.
As a team we will next week make the journey down into Hetauda, and then the team leaders will split into four groups to visit the specific villages in which they will be based for the next few months.
As the team photographer I will be visiting two of the villages Bhalu Khola, and Kiteni over the next week, to begin documenting the communities and the impact that the Raleigh volunteers will impart on the families and their lives.
Here are a few travel portraits that I have taken whilst walking Kathmandu…