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In January I travelled to Nepal with a group of amazing women (and one amazing man) to see the work of Baptist World Aid and their partner NGO, United Mission to Nepal (UMN). We travelled for 8 days through rural Nepal and visited some inspiring women and children who are flourishing in business, education and community. It was an incredible experience that I hope has changed me forever.

Dear Diary,

I have been in Nepal for fifteen minutes now and I’ve decided they need me. Specifically, the International Airport needs me. On a contract for about six months. People will do studies on how I turned this place around in that time. I will be invited to speak at Global Leadership Summits on how I turned the Tribhuvan International Airport into a well-oiled machine.

I will overhaul the building, starting with signage.

I will rally the staff, identifying team leaders and I will set fun team goals. Right now, we (see, I’m already taking some ownership of the problem) function like the DNV at Zootopia. Painfully slow! That queue over there hasn’t moved and I’ve been here almost twenty minutes now. If I inject some KPI’s and a fun staff incentive system, I can get this place hoppin’.

I’m so glad I’ve discovered how much Nepal needs my God-given gifts of leadership and administration!

Pumped to get started!

Yvette

p.s The man who stamped my passport had an overflowing pile of arrival cards on his desk and all over the floor. I offered to alphabetise them for him while I waited for my friends in the line behind me. He politely declined.

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Welcome to the developing world, sheltered, well-meaning, privileged white lady!

This is supposed to be satire, in case you didn’t get that. Though I actually did think some of these thoughts as I arrived at the airport.

I’ll come to realise over the next few days that the airport runs smoothly in comparison to the rest of Kathmandu.

This first day was the beginning of an incredible learning journey for me. By the end of it, I’d seen mind-boggling poverty, pollution and a confusing mix of religion and culture. All the feelings about what I could see came out of my eyes and rolled down my cheeks.

Kathmandu is broken, crowded, dirty and the air is hard to breathe. But it is also devastatingly beautiful and I felt safe, welcomed and cared for at every moment.