After a few days in Nepal I am both pleased with my risk management of the trip and disappointed at how overwhelming the task has been. And it makes me reflect on an idea that came to mind that Nepal and the Nepalese people are not managing risk, there is an absence of plan for risk management so that when things go wrong things go badly wrong.
I am pleased that my packing and sorting of things, taking things out and putting things back in bags, for several days, has lead to loss of just two handkerchiefs and one water bottle and some notes on paper, so not so bad. Twice I have panicked that I have lost something only to find it in the mess that packing and unpacking creates. After several days the packing and unpacking process has become chaotic, greater self discipline was required and it became overwhelming, in the end everything was being taken out of bags and not enough planning for putting it back again (as there was for the first pack. The trouble is tiredness after flying, the sense of what to do when and how gets lost, so the packing plan needs to be written down, not just something carried in my head. Next time I will do better.
Nepal is wonderful, well, what I have seen so far, great people, great food, lovely cool rain, which starts and stops with a little warning, but not much. But it is very clear from the moment you arrive that things are not planned, lots of signs that mean nothing to the the weary traveller, lots of people who want to be helpful but the processes, for example, for immigration, and way too complicated than seems necessary. Why did they not seem to think that anyone would buy a Visa on entry when all the indications were this was the easiest thing to do? Why was the man for the buying of Visas not there when the plane from Singapore had just arrived?
Then there is the chaos on the roads, being dug up but not covered, anywhere it seems. Maybe they did them up in the wet season and lay them in the dry season, but that seems a bit crazy to me. So the holes in the road are not just the rains, they are from people with shovels who have dug holes so big that cars have to avoid them, yet no-one is anywhere fixing them, not as far as I could see.
And then there is the problem of the rubbish, things get dumped, on the roadside, in the river, even down the hillside by the Stupa. There are not enough waste dumps I am told, but it needs more than more waste dumps, it needs management of risk, it needs planning.
I have talked about plans with my new friends here, and planning for personal life and for business seems not the done thing. It is not the same as in Spain, que sera, but more, and I need to think more about why. I need to understand the people more. But this will be a returning theme I think. For now, Dhaneyabat, thank you, to all my neew Nepalese friends, for their wonderful hospitality.