The Journey Begins

Hi all! Welcome to my blog, “Pomona Geology: Nepal 2019,” or as my brother likes to call it, “ROCKS: Up High and Way Over There.”

My name is Gigi and I am a rising Junior at Pomona College. With the generous help of the Pomona Geology Department and the GSA Field Camp Scholar award, this summer I will be attending the Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya field camp for the next seven weeks!

This journey really began during my sophomore year of high school in March of 2015. My school passionately encouraged students to participate in at least one global trip during their time there. As a result, I was lucky enough to able to participate in a program setting up medical clinics in villages in mountain villages in Nepal. Having never really traveled before, I fell in love with the place I was visiting, its people and its mountains, with some degree of inevitable naïve innocence of youth, buoyed on by the undeniably problematic similarity to “voluntourism”. I had a love for the rocks before I had any understanding of how the tectonic location connected to danger.

Just a few weeks after we returned home, the 7.8M earthquake occurred. This was followed by fear, devastation, and weeks of trying to contact friends and watching the news channels for any reassuring news. I never expected to be able to return to Nepal, but miraculously, two years later as a Senior I was able to participate in the same trip with the help of school aid scholarships. We were able to directly see the aftermath of the earthquake, the rebuilding, and the pockets of progress in infrastructure. This unique experience is what initially sparked my interest in sustainable development and disaster relief, especially in Nepal.

During our trips we flew from Kathmandu to the small town of Lukla and trekked away from the Everest Region to the towns Chheskam and Bung, crossing many bridges like this one.

To a not insignificant degree, my college search revolved around the possibility of returning to Nepal again someday as a result of these experiences. Since I knew I did not want to be a doctor or a teacher, I was not completely sure how it would ever make sense for me to return to Nepal. Thus, I decided I must study anthropology and try to get in to the Pitzer in Nepal program for my junior year study abroad. However, as most of you know, I quickly fell in love with geology when I reached college.

Now with my elaborate Pitzer in Nepal plan overturned, a quick google search quickly revealed SIT’s Geoscience in the Himalayas program, but I immediately dismissed it as too expensive and unattainable. It wasn’t until halfway through my sophomore year that I began to reconsider the possibility. And so, with the generous help and support of Pomona Geo, GSA, and my parents, (and also having six different small jobs throughout the semester), here I am!

As a warning, I don’t really know how to blog, but I will be trying to keep everyone updated on whatever fun geology adventures ensue in the next seven weeks! For now I am getting over my jet lag/hiding in air conditioned rooms in Delhi, India with my family friend, Madhu, before I head to Kathmandu on Monday to start the program.

Be well, be joyful!



2 thoughts on “The Journey Begins

  1. Eric Grosfils

    From Hawaii to Nepal — having quite the summer! Thanks for letting me share this part of it too via tour blog. I look forward to learning about your experiences. Be safe, and enjoy!


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