On Exhibit: Faces of Nepal and Tibet: The Far and Forgotten

Photo of Himalayan woman taken by Renee Rivers

ExhibitFaces of Nepal and Tibet:  The Far and Forgotten

Location:  Second floor, Fletcher Library, West campus

Available:  Through January 11, 2016

Description:  In Fall 2014, Renee Rivers took a treacherous and remote journey through the Nepalese and Tibetan Himalaya with her nearly wheelchair-bound, seventy-four-year-old father to fulfill his life-long dream to see Kathmandu and Mount Everest.

Spurred on by her father’s story of how reading about Sir Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s ascent of Everest inspired her father to get an education and transcend his impoverished sharecropper’s upbringing, Renee worked for over a year to coordinate an expedition that would accommodate her father’s condition.

Once underway, this father-daughter expedition traversed the tangled, cacophonous streets of Kathmandu, Nepal, pilgrim-filled plazas and temples in occupied Lhasa, Tibet, and wound along the Tibetan plateau to the village of Tingre—the last village before Everest base camp. Their overland route ascended to Gyatchula, the highest pass on the Araniko highway at 16,404 feet and returned to Kathmandu via a treacherous detour over a fresh-cut mud-track, 1500 feet above the kilometers-long Sunkoshi Gorge landslide that had just buried hundreds of Nepalese villagers.

Rivers and her father encountered precipices thousands of feet high, struggles with altitude sickness, scores of intense military checkpoints, and having to push the wheelchair across the landslide-blocked border at Nayalam with hundreds of foot travelers. Father and daughter also found themselves enchanted with the Himalayan people whose lives and culture are often too far and forgotten and imperiled to begin to understand without walking a few days beside them.

These photos hopefully capture a moment of inter-cultural understanding that can only happen when people in pursuit of something beyond themselves come face-to-face.


About Renee G. Rivers

Renee G. Rivers teaches First-Year Composition and Creative Writing at ASU at the West campus. Outside of writing and teaching, her interests find her behind an acetylene torch, advocating for public education or traveling to remote locales. 

She holds an M.A. in English from SUNY Brockport, a B.S. in Special Education and B.A. equivalent in German via the Goethe-Institut-Muenchen.

Renee is a literary magazine reviewer for the The Review Review. Her stories have appeared in: PBS Filmmaker Jillian Robinson’s Change Your Life Through Travel, Extracts Literary Journal, Canyon Voices, The Feminist Wire and have won international awards from SouthWest Writers and Tin House.