‘RESONANCE’ IN NEPAL
In November 2011 I produced a short piece of writing with the title ‘Resonance’ for a reading at a literature festival in Nottingham. People liked it so much that I started to share it at many different events all across the UK. Two radio stations, Radio Erewash and Trent Sound Nottingham, broadcast it. I also gave guest lectures on ‘Resonance’ in Derbyshire and a TEDx talk at the University of Loughborough.
The next thing that felt true to me then was to share ‘Resonance’ at conferences and s0 I boldly submitted an abstract to various events around the world. A few months later, in November 2014 ‘Resonance’ took me across the globe after my submission was accepted by the committee of an international conference in Nepal. When I wrote ‘Resonance’ in Nov 2011 out of a whole mix of circumstances coming together I wouldnt have imagined in my wildest dreams I would ever be reading it at an international conference in Kathmandu 3 years later… Through fundraising and amazing support from many people the impossible became possible – I was able to take up the invitation from the World Without Anger organisation in Kathmandu to present my written piece at their 5th International Conference on ‘Global Peace through Emotional Intelligence (EI), Inclusive Education, Positive Psychology and Unity in Cultural Diversity’ in Kathmandu. Presenters at the conference were from Nepal, India, USA, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa and me from the UK. THANK YOU again to everyone who helped with and contributed to the fundraising that enabled me to make it to Nepal and present my piece on ‘Resonance’ at that conference!
So, on 29th October I packed my suitcase and embarked on a 24 hours journey from Arnold in Nottingham to London Heathrow airport and via Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu in Nepal. Ethihad airlines were quite comfortable. No sleep though as looking at the starry sky from the plane was so fascinating (the stars seemed so big and so close!) and then the sun started to rise… Approaching Abu Dhabi flying over miles and miles of desert , then a couple of hours in the United Arab Emirates very posh departure hall to catch the flight across India to Nepal. As the plane approached Kathmandu you could see the snowy tops of the Himalayas stick out from above the clouds. What an amazing sigh! After landing I had to queue for about 2 hrs for a visa… and getting to the hotel was a bit tricky but I finally arrived on the 30th October at around 7.30pm – exhausted from a very long journey…
The next morning, 1st November was the big day! A very early start to get to Kathmandu Mall for 7.45am. The conference took place on the 6th floor of the building. Inauguration (with a short dance performance to begin with) before breakfast and then the day was divided into 4 sessions with 18 speakers (from Nepal, India, USA, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa and me from the UK). 3 of the sessions were chaired by women. I was the first one to present in the morning. Shortly thereafter the honorary guest, the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs arrived with his body guards for a short visit and to give a speech. A very intense and long day that ended with many more speeches and award of certificates.
Click here to access a pdf file containing all abstracts and content of the conference booklet
The next morning I explored Thamel, the very busy and quite touristy area of Kathmandu where I stayed. In the afternoon I was invited by the Nepalese Psychological Association to share my presentation and lead a discussion with a group of psychologists including a medical doctor, chief social worker and scientist. We had a very interesting discussion.
The day after, I was picked up from the hotel at 9.00am by the conference organisers who treated the delegates to a fantastic day out- taking us up to Kakani Hill (2150m above sea level). From up there you can see the Himalayas’ snowy peaks sticking out from the clouds and also get a nice view across the Kathmandu valley. We had a very spicy local lunch, saw some eagles fly above our heads and the weather was hot and sunny – although there always seemed to be some kind of mist hanging over the hills.
For the last few days I got a very cheap package locally to travel on the bus (7 hrs!) to the Chitwan National Park. I was looking forward to getting out of the polluted city and spend a bit of time closer to nature. It took a long time to get out of Kathmandu as the windy road down the mountain and out of the city was congested for miles…. Then the bus raced up and down one mountain after another and alongside a ravine and most of the time on the wrong side of the road… The package included 2 nights in a hotel at the edge of the nature reserve, full board and some National Park experience – walk through the village and the river sunset point, a short elephant safari in the morning, a jungle walk in the afternoon (on which I saw some rhinos bathing in the river, wild peacocks and deer, monkeys and at a water hole the footprints of a bear), and an hours ride down the river in a hand carved canoe early the next morning before breakfast (on which I saw some real big crocodiles and lots of Kingfishers and other birds). Thereafter transfer in the back of a jeep to the local bus back to Kathmandu…
On the very last morning I got up extremely early and took a taxi to the local airport at 5.00am to go in a smaller plane on a short flight across the Himalays. Many thanks to the person who made this possible! To leave behind the misty city and rise above the clouds just after sunrise and see mount Everest and the surrounding mountain range (most around 6000 – 8848m high) majestically rise from above the clouds was just simply breathtaking!! Thereafter back to the hotel for some breakfast, packing, quick walk through Thamel and a bit of rest before making my way to the International airport for a very long journey, via Abu Dhabi, back home.
to everyone who has contributed to make this amazing and unusual journey possible and share ‘Resonance’ in Nepal!
I will be giving a talk & slideshow in the new year. Date & time tba.