Now that we are almost set for WordCamp Kathmandu 2023, there are so many stories to unfold and many events that are full of unforgettable memories and bonds. One of the many memorable stories is shared in this article.
Imagine you’ve been invited to a big event as a speaker, Your pictures are set up all over the event location. And, you are just stuck in the airport with your fellow speakers just a day before. What will one do? Read the article to find out.
January 26, 2018
All the speakers were gathered at the Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu. Everyone was waiting for their flight to be announced; some speakers had flights scheduled for 11 AM and others for 2 PM. There were 8 persons in total: all guest speakers including myself (Surendra Shrestha), Pravas Karki, Yam Bahadur Chhetri, Prithu Singh Thakuri, Biplav Subedi, Arjun Singh Thakuri, and Suvash Khadka. Nishal Gurung who was in Pokhara decided to join us in Kathmandu so that we together could catch a flight to Biratnagar but little did he know about the flight being delayed. Since the WordPress Biratnagar Meetup was scheduled to begin on January 27, 2018, at 11 AM right tomorrow in Aarohan Gurukul, Hatkhola, and we had to be there at 7 AM, there wasn’t really a way to reschedule the flight for tomorrow morning.
The WordPress meet-up was a crucial occasion to attend because it was the first time in the WordPress Biratnagar community that such an event was initiated and they were preparing for WordCamp Biratnagar. It was a huge event with Sherdhan Rai as the chief guest. And, here we were in the airport totally not patient about the entire situation.
But, Yam Bahadur Chhetri being the full stack person that he is, “The Rescuer” had some other plans. He managed a Hiace in no time, everybody who was waiting for their respective flights are now in a Hiace. Exhaustion without even starting the journey would be a perfect line to describe the situation. We managed to sit in the Hiace and have a smooth journey ahead but guess what? More adventures were planned ahead for us. At the very beginning of the Sindhuligadi, there were no street lights because of the recently constructed road. Also, the roads were quite curvy and risky which invited many accidents at that point in time. So, no other car or Hiace could pass the area after 7 PM. Here we go again. Clueless.
Everyone started to call their respective higher authorities, totally oblivious to what to do next.
By doing everything and anything in our power, we finally managed to persuade the authorities to allow us to pass the vehicle through the route. The way after that was pretty smooth. We had our dinner at Bhiman and arrived at Biratnagar at around 2:15 AM.
Our very own Suvash Sir hadn’t prepared his presentation. And, the exhaustion didn’t really stop anyone from actually being all set for the event. Topping off the preparation we slept for a while.
We woke up at 6 AM. None of the speakers had properly rested throughout and after the journey. However, we were all set to embark on this new event and new experiences in Biratnagar City. Autos arrived to take us up. As soon as we got to the event site, we noticed huge banners with our pictures all over the place. Overwhelmed with such a warm welcome, we completely forgot the debility we had since the earlier day. The event was excellent, and the organizers had done their best to promote it in the city. Me and my two fellow speakers: Suvash Khadka and Yam Bahadur Chhetri clicked a photo raising our hands in the air. Cheering “WordPress Nepal”. We call it our ‘Season 1’ picture.
All the speakers did quite an amazing job, Sher Dhan Rai was also there. There were a lot of attendees. Through that event, WordCamp Biratnagar received a substantial boost. Additionally, the community was successfully created, and in 2018 they also organized WordCamp Biratnagar. It was a one-day event for us, and it was quite exciting.
We ultimately concluded the event at about 4 PM. We made the decision to take a short stroll and explore the city. Around 5 PM, we booked a Hiace to head back to Kathmandu meanwhile two of my colleagues had already left for Dharan.
Around 12 midnight, we found ourselves stuck in a place called “Bhiman” as there encountered an accident on the same night we were traveling to Biratnagar, which prevented us from driving through. The situation seemed a little critical so we couldn’t pass the route. We decided to search for Hotels so we could rest for a few hours. We looked around a few places and decided to sit in this restaurant for a while. It was a “Dhaba”, with all sorts of imported drinks and wines. Yam Dai was in the vehicle and Prithu fell asleep. So, in total, we were 4 people in the Dhaba.
We had all sorts of discussions about our WordPress Community, WordCamps, WordPress Career, Themes, plugins, and many more. We reflected upon changes we could bring to our community through these dynamic events. Eventually, it was 4 AM and we could finally drive through. We returned back to the Hiace and headed to Kathmandu.
Such little time and so many memories. We could have simply returned home from the airport due to the consecutive flight delays, but we decided against it. We all made it there and completed the task successfully. In the end, we made the right choice, and we are so happy that we had the opportunity to take the initiative to build a community, not only in Kathmandu but to gain global recognition. We were unstoppable and it was an amazing experience. Every bit of it.
Giving back to the community is not an easy task, but, when we are passionate to contribute, no circumstance can stop us.
This is just one of my many stories behind building a WordPress Community in Nepal. There are so many other untold stories.