So we're off to Nepal for 5 months - as of August the 17th. Here's the rundown - I applied for a volunteer position through Engineers Without Borders and was subsequently offered the position which is a project commercialising a low cost LED lighting system in Nepal. Apart from being an incredibly poor country, Nepal suffers from 'load shedding' meaning that there can be blackouts for 12 hours a day or more. So having access to a really low cost lighting system that runs even when there is no power is important. There's plenty of options around for this, but KAPEG (Kathmandi Alternative Power and Energy - the group I am working with) thinks there is an opportunity to get Nepalis to manufacture something locally using some locally sourced materials - thereby stimulating the local economy and improving on the low quality Chinese imports.
Whether it's all possible... we'll see. But five months is not a very long time to find out. We spent last week in Melbourne with a bunch of other volunteers heading out into the field undergoing some pre-departure training. Learnt a lot and got to hang out with a great bunch of people!
We'll be located near Dhulikhel, about 30km from Kathmandu and are heading off on 17th of August. I'll be updating the blog along the way. For starters - here's a photo of Dhulikhel. More soon!