For the past 11 years, we have had the great privilege of partnering with Aspen Insurance. Each year, staff members from Aspen offices across the globe visit Adara’s projects on the ground to see firsthand the impact of this partnership. Until 2017 this visit was to Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda. This year, for the first time ever, a group of seven staff visited Adara’s Nepal projects!
As always, they left inspired by the incredible experience and invigorated by the knowledge that so much of this work has been made possible by Aspen’s support. They have been kind enough to share some of their stories with us.
By Paul Frydas
We woke up early with some trepidation after stories of a tough drive and sleeping conditions to come.
However, the day started well with a sighting of the lesser spotted (and some thought extinct) Steve Irwin (see photo). Three Land Rovers came to pick us up and I was sharing with Pam from Adara, the goat whisperer (we soon discovered Martin could also speak to goats) and the queen of snacks, Dom.
To be fair, the roads were pretty rough and it’s amazing to think the road needs to be rebuilt every year due to mudslides and the earthquake. Adara has contributed to this a few times to help with, amongst other things, supplies getting through. The drive was about 6 hours and we had to navigate some interesting plantations, a collapsing bus on one of our jeeps and raging rivers. The views were amazing and as we entered the final bend it opened onto the village with everyone out waiting for us. Dom was feeling a bit travel sick but some supplies from the snack queen’s stash seemed to do the trick. It was a fantastic welcome with the usual “Namaste” and scarves, tika and flowers on our head.
We were also meet by the chairman and vice chairwoman of the municipality and were then given a dance show from the kids which was amazing. We then had a great dance with the kids where they taught all the Adara ambassadors how its done.
A tour of the school which Adara built and its classrooms ensued. It is amazing to see these kids with the ability to work with laptops, learning English and maths and getting a good meal as part of the day. The number of kids coming to the school has increased from about 30 kids before the earthquake to roughly 350 now given the success of it. Some kids walk up to 3 hours each way.
Adara is now trying to think about how to manage this large number as it is putting strain on the school which was built for 250. This just shows the demand from these remote communities.
We then went to our lodgings which were absolutely fine after the scare stories. There was some electricity and the beds were now raised above the floor.
There was some playing with the kids and rich climbing before we finally settled down for a dinner of roti, vegetables and spicy tomato chutney. This was supplemented with a raspberry wine and some raksu (locally made spirit).