Love is capable of uniting us all and I am reminded of this every time I meet our fellow brothers and sisters on my trip. I have pedaled through 79 different countries to date and have met many Nepalese living far away from their villages, towns and cities in Nepal. Their emotions and love for Nepal can be found in their hearts, no matter where they are. It is also true that we come to realize the love for our country and family only after being away from them.
From Uganda, I entered Rwanda on 21 January, 2012 through a bordering city called Gatona. I reached Kigale, the capital city of Rwanda on 22 January at 12:30 p.m. after 84 kilometers of bicycle ride from the border. After reaching Kigale, I contacted Mr. Rajesh Kayastha, whom I already had his contact number provided by Mr. Siddhartha Shrestha, a staff of UNICEF, living in Southern Sudan. Among the current Nepali residents in Kigali, Amar Shrestha has lived in Kigali the longest from June 2006, and is followed by Navaraj Gyawali who arrived in June 2010. Mr. Kayastha, who had arrived Rwanda in April, 2011, invited me to his home for dinner where I met his wife and two sons. Earlier in his tenure, there were a few Nepali families in Kigali but all but one had left when Navaraj Gyawali arrived and a small Nepali community was forming again”. Arrival of Rajesh Kayastha in April 2011 and Shiva Paudyal in November 2011 strengthened the Nepali community further..
Mr. Kayastha mentioned about 29 Nepalese working in a hydro-power project, situated in Muhanga district, 90 kilometers South from Kigale. Since I wanted to meet them, Mr. Kayastha contacted Mr. Pragati Adhikari, an engineer working in the project, and helped me to get there. It took almost 2 days to reach the site.
Unlike Mr. Adhikari who is able to make a frequent visits to Nepal, the other 29 Nepalese workers had been working continuously since 18 months. It was an emotional occasion meeting these young men with all of us overcome with joy and even tears in our eyes. They had not met a new Nepali since arriving in the country. They will be allowed to go back home only after completion of two years of their contract period. They were all excited at the prospect of going back home soon. I know how it feels like and how much you desire to meet your own people when you are in a foreign land and that’s the reason I was there.
Being in the presence of these young men from all corners of Nepal, we forget each of our ethnicity and instead we become a true Nepali that we are. I see each of these men as the leaves on a tree, and the tree, our motherland. Without the leaves, there is no tree and without these men and women, there can be no Nepal. There is a light on the other end of tunnel when these men and women will be able to apply their skills and knowledge in building our new Nepal just like they are helping to build a new Rwanda.
I am always blessed to experience brotherly respect, encouragement and energies of love through my Nepali brothers and sisters. So, from January 2012, I have taken a new move, through my website, to explore the lifestyle of Nepalese living in African countries like Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. so that we would get an opportunity to be introduced amongst ourselves. Also, my goal will be to help fellow country men and women connect with each other as I come across them that might be living in nearby towns and cities. With their consent, I will publish a directory listing their names and contact info so that they can contact each other if they choose.