IIDS Mini Retreat
IIDS' mini retreat to Dhulikhel began at the crack of dawn with the team arriving at campus at 6:50 sharp. Despite the cold spell of early December, everyone reported to IIDS grounds with a sense of anticipation for a day out from our usual work environment in the office. Boarding a bus en route to Kavre, we could not help but reminisce about school field trips, backpacks crammed with snacks and the excitement and competitiveness that came with getting to pick our own seats. After an hour-long ride involving lots of singing, nostalgic games like Antakshari, laughter and chatting, we finally reached the starting point of our hike in Kavre. There, we were warmly welcomed with a perfectly balanced breakfast prepared by Dr. Sucheta Pyakuryal to kick-start our retreat.
After a hearty breakfast, a meeting led by Executive Director, Dr. Biswash Gauchan and Chair, Dr. Swarnim Wagle commenced. Dr. Gauchan mentioned why challenging the status quo and changing the narratives across development issues based on evidence is so important in a country like Nepal for which IIDS is well positioned, and will be dealing with in the days forthcoming, while Dr. Wagle shared a vision of making IIDS one of the best think tanks in South Asia.
Huffing and puffing, we reached our final destination - Namobuddha through a long concrete road and a flight of steep stairs. Besides the breathtaking view, Namobuddha is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Buddhist people and makes for an incredible reward for the tiresome hike. After spending two hours of quality time, we returned to the host's place on the bus just in time to devour a wonderful lunch. A short session of team building games pursued after the lunch break with games such as pass the parcel and dumb charades. The games helped break the ice between the new interns and volunteers and the rest of the IIDS family encouraging the team to get comfortable with each other. The entire IIDS team would like to thank Director, Dr. Sucheta Pyakuryal and Mr. Amod Pyakuryal for graciously hosting this mini-retreat at their place and for providing us with an opportunity to unwind in nature and to grow closer as a team.
At long last, the end of the fruitful team building session marked the end of the short but memorable mini retreat and we returned to IIDS watching the sunset on the way back to the hustle and bustle of the city.
The event summary was prepared by Tanushri Gauchan, a Volunteer at IIDS.