The Blue Atlas Project was born amidst meetings and in remote villages of Nepal. Well, technically, I shared it with the world from a pretty bare bones guest house located on the infamous Freak Street in Kathmandu. But the months leading up to it and following were all of equal importance.
I had found myself there a few months after the earthquakes rocked the country in late spring of 2015. I needed a change of direction and felt it was time to put myself in place to see if I could be of any service in the humanitarian world. Through a random series of connections via a name from a friend, who then mentioned an organization, I arrived and rented a room for a month near their headquarters and agreed to go out on their first site visit amongst many to the focus of the operation. The week I spent with them in Bodgaun, and the subsequent weeks back in Kathmandu, helped me realized a few things. One, there are a lot of good people in this world who are doing amazing things. And Two, I was in “get your hands dirty” kind of mode. Alberto, who started Jay Nepal, was and still is doing amazing things in that village, far beyond rebuilding a pipeline and more along the lines of working towards economic empowerment and higher standard of living in one of the poorest places in the world. It was onsite in Bodgaun however, that I met Adam Chapulski, an architect, and it seemed we were on a similar path.
Once back, we kept in touch regarding other organizations that were doing work in remote villages that had been passed over by large AID organizations so far. There were meetings and talks and we find ourselves finally connected to and Nepali run organization that was utilizing the building style we were interested in. One that was disaster resistant in high-seismic areas and sustainable given the resources available in the area we were starting our first project in. It all happened fairly quickly in the end and the eve before we set out for our volunteer stint with Bring Thoughts To Action, to learn the technique by building a home for a family with disabilities, I creating a crowd funding site to start raising money for a community structure Adam and I were teaming up organize.