Two Photo Exhibitions you cannot miss

I first met Kuntal Joisher in 2011, when I, along with friend Peter Noble and his son Connery joined a Pumori Expedition with Peak Freaks.  Pumori (7161m) was being used as a training ground for Everest hopefuls, of which Kuntal was one.

Peter, Connery and I were challenged enough with our summit of one of the smallest Himalayan peaks called Island Peak, locally known as Imje Tse (6189m)!  We were happy to be included in an expedition with such caliber climbers, it made for many an interesting story on those dark cold nights.

Kuntal’s 1st attempt to summit Everest in 2014 was halted one month into the climb when a tragic avalanche killed 16 Sherpa mountaineering guides in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall section between Base Camp and Camp One. A week later, all the expeditions on the South side of the mountain were terminated, including Kuntal’s.  Kuntal found himself heading home a month earlier than expected at the end of April – which turned out to be my fortune!  Due to flight delays (his to Mumbai and mine to Dhaka), we spent a memorable couple of hours catching up at the international airport in Kathmandu.

Kuntal’s 2nd attempt to summit Everest in 2015 was also halted as a result of the April 25th 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal so severely (and another large earthquake on May 12).  The following is footage taken by Kuntal’s teammate, when the April 25th earthquake caused an avalanche at Everest Base Camp.  Kuntal can be seen in the white t-shirt scrambling for cover.  Serious stuff.” target=”_blank”>

Kuntal describes himself as being heartbroken at the devastation the earthquakes left and felt the need to do something.  Kuntal decided to use his photography to raise funds for the people of Nepal by donating all proceeds of his exhibitions to Empower Nepali Girls and Nepal Youth Foundation.

Kuntal words:  “My main objective behind the events is to bring as many people as possible to the events so that more and more people fall in love with Nepal and do their bit in helping rebuild Nepal.”

So if you find yourself in Los Angeles CA on September 20th, 2015 or in Orange County CA on September 24th, 2015 – please be sure to go along to the exhibition and  give Kuntal the support he deserves.  He’s also an interesting fellow to speak with, so let him know you know me!

Kopeikin Gallery -Los Angeles – Sept 20th – Sunday.  To register (tickets are free of charge!) click here.

Kuntal Joisher LA

Orange County – Sept 24th – Thursday – California Center for Digital Arts.  To register (tickets are free of charge!) click here.
Kuntal Joisher Orange County

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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