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Journalist student Celia Boltes conducted field work in Nepal

Photo: Celia Boltes

Celia Boltes, journalist student at Lund University, received SASA travel grant in the spring of 2017. In September 2017 she travelled to Nepal for a field work. Celia has now returned to Lund and has written a report.

Celia Boltes' report:

During the spring of 2017 I was happy to achieve the South Asian Student Association's travel grant. I had been traveling in Asia many times before, and I was also present during the earthquake that struck the country the 25 of April 2015. Because of this reason I had I great love for the country, but I also knew that Nepal was still struggling from the aftermath of the disaster. As a journalist student I often think about blank spots regarding news coverage, and I definitely think that Nepal is one of those spots. I decided that I wanted to write a long read about post disaster recovery in the country to spread the knowledge and gain a greater understanding about people’s life conditions.

I travelled to Nepal in September 2017 and was there for approximately 2,5 weeks. During my time in and around the capital Kathmandu I got to talk to many interesting, inspiring and amazing people. My field work was a great deal of making contact with people that was interesting for my story. I would like to recommend everyone who is travelling to a new place to use Facebooks function “events near me”. There you can find a lot of happenings going on in a city, where the events are taking place, and who else is interested in the event. Also, never underestimate a spontaneous meeting with someone on the street or at a café.

The result of my trip to Nepal was a long read focusing on the fact that the tourist numbers are back to what they were before the disaster, but the people in Nepal are still suffering from trauma. My long read contains three cases: A mother and daughter working as teachers in Bhaktapur (an area that is on UNESCO’s world heritage list and was badly damaged during the earthquake), a Nepalese woman working with distaste relief as an agent for the United Nations, and a Nepalese trekking guide who, even though he was badly traumatized, is back working in the mountains to be able to support his family.

The long read will soon be published in the magazine Sydasien.