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Nepal is a country you really have to come and visit: Prince Harry

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Extends visit by six more days

KATHMANDU, March 23: Extending his five-day Nepal visit by six more days, Prince Harry of the United Kingdom has called upon people from across the world to visit Nepal and enjoy its natural and cultural beauty to the fullest.

“I hope that everyone back home who took an interest in the tour can see that Nepal is a country that you really have to come and visit,” Prince Harry said in a speech he gave at the British embassy in Kathmandu upon the conclusion of his five-day official visit. “You have to come and see world heritage sites like Patan Durbar Square and be inspired by Nepal’s history.”

He urged one and all to come to see beautiful wildernesses like Bardia National Park and said that the work there is an example to the rest of the world how the conservation battle can be won through the cooperation of communities, park staff and the military. He described it as truly a success story.

“You have to come and walk in the foothills of the Himalayas – watching the sunrise over those majestic mountains is something I will never forget,” he shared his fresh experience. “But most of all you have to come to meet the people of Nepal. I have rarely in my life felt as welcomed as I have over the last few days.”

Prince Harry said this after visiting Bardiya National Park in mid-western Nepal and the Gurkha and other communities in Lamjung, Gorkha and Kaski districts. He saw first hand the destruction in the families and communities of Gurkha soliders caused by last year’s earthquakes.

He also mingled with the revelers celebrating Holi, the festival of colors, in the villages of Lamjung. “This tika [vermillion powder] is here to stay!” he said.

During his five-day activities, he interacted with earthquake victims at their makeshift shelters, toured historic palaces and temples and stayed as a guest at the home of Mangali Gurung, an 86-year-old Gurkha widow living in a remote village in Lamjung.

Extends visit by six days

To the surprise of many, the prince in his speech at the embassy reception on Wednesday evening upon the conclusion of his official visit, disclosed that he is extending his visit by six more days.

“The people I have met and the beauty of this country make it very hard to leave. Thankfully however, I’m not leaving just yet! I will be spending the next six days in a remote village with a charity called Team Rubicon,” he announced at the end of his speech. “The team I’m joining will be working with a community to rebuild a school damaged in the earthquake. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity at the end of my official tour to do my small bit to help this beautiful country.” However, it is not disclosed where he will be spending the additional six days.

On Tuesday, Harry visited the site of a school in Gauda that was destroyed and is now being rebuilt. He described the community as one of the most vibrant and joyous he ever had the privilege to meet and said there was no sense of defeatism. “I saw a lesson in a makeshift classroom and even played a game of volleyball against the backdrop of the Himalayas before being covered in red paint to mark Holi – clearly not your standard day!” he said.

Meanwhile, Kensington Palace has informed that for the next week, Prince Harry will be embedded with a group of Team Rubicon volunteers in a remote village to help with the reconstruction of a new school destroyed by the earthquake last year.

“The team will trek into the mountains to an earthquake-affected area in Central Nepal, with their own equipment to assist the local community in all aspects of repairing and rebuilding their school,” it said.

It said that since the earthquake struck, students have been taking their classes in makeshift classrooms made of poles, tarpaulins and tin and that these temporary facilities will provide little defence against the difficult weather conditions in the rainy season to come.