With a 13 year gap the author returns to a small village in Nepal to find his ex-students. Travelling across Nepal he not only finds out how their lives have changed but how the country has coped with a 10 year armed conflict. From the microcosm of a village to the challenges faced by the small Himalayan country.
Nepal is a country that captures the imagination of many who visit it. The natural beauty of the Himalayas and ancient monuments of the Kathmandu Valley attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. However, in recent years Nepal moved from the travel supplements of the international press to their world news section - fractured by a decade long internal armed conflict between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the state. Although the fighting ended in 2006 the peace process is stalled by political deadlock. Already one of the poorest countries in the world - the predominantly rural population reliant on subsistence agriculture - renewed hopes for change have turned to cynicism as self-serving political leaders engage in power games rather than the difficult process of economic development. Yet despite this, things are changing with the advent of new technologies, a generation of young Nepalese seeking work abroad and the rising economic powers of India and China that border the country to the north and south. This book attempts to capture the changes taking place through the lives of a handful of individuals from an average village in the centre of the country - unified by having attended the same school.
Robert Godden was born in London and first travelled to Nepal in 1996. He currently works for the human rights organisation Amnesty International as their Asia-Pacific Campaign Coordinator. He has travelled widely in Asia and currently lives in Kathmandu with his wife Garu Kim.