There is nothing I love more than gazing, in awe, out to the rural hills of Nepal.
I am on the long journey home from the far northwest corner of Nepal back to its capital closer to the southeast. Here, steppe farming unearths a magical landscape of soft and spiraling green ladders. Tiny houses are dispersed throughout, a snapshot I could see on Cabin Porn or another website that reveals the beauty of natural solitude captured in our world's tiny crevices. These hills and the houses are balanced by towering mountain peaks in its background—some painted with snowfall, all reaching up for more sky.
The stark reality is Nepal's beautiful landscape is also what makes it one of the most challenging and inaccessible (perhaps, impossible) places on earth. Roads are rightfully scarce. Villages are folded high in its hills, indadvertedly displacing people from access to basic necessities.
Not too long ago I took an hour jeep ride from Possible's hospital hub towards a village that on paper, isn't too far away. After the slow and windy ride, we hiked straight up for nearly two hours until the signs of life began to bloom. There was a school yard...then a (dilapidated) government health clinic...then a cluster of homes, before I really began to understand: people live up here.
And then what happens? If you're pregnant, how do you hike down these hills, just to make it to the main road so you can travel another hour—if you're lucky and have a car—to the hospital? What happens if you need to carry a sick child, or an elderly parent? As someone who prides herself with being in decent shape, my lungs and muscles had enough trouble navigating the landscape. But what if I was sick? What if I relied on simple carbohydrates (white rice, potatoes) for fuel, day in and day out, in screaming temperatures, after working on my feet all day long?
These gorgeous hills, this spectacular landscape, now only serves to haunt me as I shamefully gaze out the car window, aiming for one final photo.