'GROWING THE FUTURE BY RECLAIMING THE PAST'
Nature has blessed these Himalayan foothills, life has been wholesome and good and generations have lived here in harmony. Yet, in other villages, the children of today’s highland folk are migrating and many villages are already emptying, houses and small-holdings stand eerily vacant, causing the tenor of the ancient ways to falter. Such is now the lure of city life with its better education and health support, seductive earnings and access to mod-cons that there could well be no choice, no response, no alternative to these ‘progressive’ dynamics nor to the chaotic energies of our fast-changing, increasingly urbanised, world.
In Riepe sustainable old-style prosperity is finding fresh vigour, fresh purpose; it has stopped the uprooting of people from their ancestral homes and even encouraged some others to return. Plans to close the local school are on hold, increased funds have been voted for improved infrastructure, the road up has already seen diggers blunting its sharp bends with a view to eventual ‘blacktop’. There is interest in cultivating new cash crops such as avocados and coffee. More importantly, perhaps, just perhaps, Riepe’s visitor project will play a part (but not the pre-eminent part) in a village patchwork of viable enterprises. Culture, traditions, community framework will be sustained. This is how Riepe sees its future.
This little village really stands out; for awesome views of Manasulu and the Annapurnas, for the pure freshness of the air and for all that nature has provided here at 1,250 metres, for the charming homes linked by ancient pathways, and, not least, for simple hospitality.
'And the soul and the soil can again nurture one another.'