Nepal's Drukpa Kung Fu Nuns Protect Himalayan Rivers

Christine Ellis, our Deputy Director and River Advocate, is off on another adventure...this time to the Himalayas in Nepal. Follow her adventures in this and upcoming blog posts.

I am so honored to join my Waterkeeper colleagues, Sharon Khan, Min Zheng and Brett VandenHeuvel, on a Waterkeeper Alliance sponsored trip to the Himalayas and the beautiful country of Nepal. We arrived in its capital city of Kathmandu on Sunday, March 13th, tired but excited to begin our adventures.

On Monday morning we met with some of our Nepalese waterkeepers and their colleagues to discuss the final details of the National River Summit 2017. This is the second summit held in Nepal, bringing together the best minds in the nation to discuss conservation and management of Nepal's rivers. The summit begins on Thursday so you'll hear more from me then.

Photo by Sanot Adhikari

On Tuesday we traveled to the Druk Amitabha Mountain, located high above Kathmandu with an amazing center for spiritual practice and for humanitarian causes. This is the home of the Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery and its Kung Fu nuns, from the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism and believers in gender equality, environmentalist, and staying strong.

Photo by Padma Tashi

It was an auspicious day to say the least as the nuns were trained on water quality monitoring on the International Day of Rivers, March 14th. As participants of the Himalayan Glacier Waterkeeper project, the nuns were trained on the use of Earth Echo International's World Water Monitoring Challenge kits and now have the tools to spread this knowledge throughout their communities to protect clean water.

Photo by Min Zheng

And as the saying goes "without water, there is no life". The Kung Fu nuns seek to "protect our water as we would our own lives". 

Stay tuned for more adventures in Nepal!