By Sean Froeb, UNCW

Over the summer I traveled to Nepal with the company Actuality Media to participate in their documentary outreach internship program. The program is designed to take documentary filmmakers from all over the world and pair them with social entrepreneurs from developing nations who are working to improve their communities.

When I was growing up my father always told me stories about Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and their ascent of Everest, turning Nepal to a magical place in my mind: the most extreme geography in the world, life’s greatest challenge waiting to be conquered. So when the opportunity presented itself for me to travel to Nepal I lept on it.

However, I was soon to realize that Nepal was not the romanticized mountaineers’ Valhalla that the stories had made it out to be. While the Himalayas are truly a spectacle to behold, the true greatest challenges in Nepal are not the summits that are there to climb but the adversity that the Nepali people face everyday.

Suryabata Pani
from Actuality Media on Vimeo.

The environmental problems Nepal faces stem from the challenging terrain, ecosystem and climate but also from generations of cultural tradition, political corruption, and economic and social disparity as well. The people and the ecosystem are so interconnected that you cannot talk about the problems and challenges of the ecosystem without talking about the problems and challenges of the people as well.

Over the course of this blog series I will share more personal accounts of my time in Nepal.

Sean Froeb is a senior at The University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

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