[portfolio: vamos.com.sg email: foocheechang@gmail.com phone: +65 9622 9024 twitter: foocheechang]

gone caving

i went on a initiative outdoor-led day trip to chobhar recently to do a profile on the company, which aims to bring nature closer to the young generation among other things – a surprise considering that with so much of the world’s natural wonders, one would think nepalis will be taking to the hills and the fields. i guess familiarity breeds contempt, and in the words of initiative outdoor’s founder chandra ale, who joked: “young people here are more interested in getting a motorbike when they come of age and a boyfriend or girlfriend to ride it with than in exploring the great outdoors.”

the site of the trip – an abandoned cement factory, forced to close down decades ago because the locals felt it was spewing out too much pollution. imagine that, because no one would blink at something like that in kathmandu today. abandoned spaces make for good exploration too, as the kids in the first photo will attest to.

chandra ale, founder of initiative outdoor and experienced outdoorsman. he is also an instructor at the prestigious national outdoor leadership school in wyoming.

complaints about everything from the heat to the dirt abounded from the young participants. this one was focused on shaping a couple of horns on his head.

the team-building and ice-breaking games all have a few of things in common – teamwork, communication and patience. these messages were constantly repeated by the instructors. in this particular game for instance, the participants had to pass a rope (or two) around a closed circle with arms linked.

toxic waste involved attempting to shift the bucket of water out of a ring without spills. and no hands of course.

magic stick, in contrast, is all hands-on. the objective here is to lower the metal stick to the ground while ensuring that the fingers remain in contact with the stick. add more fingers to make it more challenging.

this one purely for its entertainment value.

all geared up and ready to explore the caves. safety is of paramount importance here.

for more posts direct from nepal, click here.

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