10 weeks working with local artisans at a fair trade organization in Kathmandu.
FEWA LAKE, POKHARA
We spent a week at Hope House, an orphanage in the sleepy lakeside town of Pokhara. We went paragliding, rowed old wooden boats on the lake, and hiked up to a temple overlooking the city.
We were also fortunate enough to be invited to a traditional Nepali wedding. The clothing, food, dancing, and ceremonies were all so vivid and beautiful, but since the bride is leaving her family forever to live with people who are virtual strangers to her, it is a bittersweet event to witness.
association for craft producers
My 2 classmates and I spent our days working in the little product design office of ACP on a busy, dusty street in Kathmandu. I designed motifs and patterns to be used on lines of home goods and textiles, such as tote bags, lamps, and bedding sets. Our challenge was to create products that would be marketable to a Western audience, but still preserve the culture, aesthetic, and craft of the Nepali artisans who made them.
TREKKING IN THE HIMALAYAS
My favorite part of my time in Nepal was the 5-day trek we took in the Anapurna circuit, to this day one of the most stunning landscapes I've ever encountered. Punctuated by the physical challenge of 2 straight days hiking up hundreds of thousands of stairs, we were treated to views of icy Himalayan mountain peaks, terraced rice paddies reflecting the sky, and tiny villages rarely disrupted by civilization.