Flowing Together

Reflections on the Ecoversities Asia Gathering 2024 by the Trishuli River

Dr. Bhawana Shrestha
June 21, 2024

As the sun set over the Trishuli River, casting a golden hue over the Royal Beach Camp on the 7th of June, Friday, I felt a sense of profound fulfilment wash over me. This was my third time visiting this place. The first time, I had gone to see if the place was the right one for the gathering that we were planning to host. The second time, I was there for the gathering, and the third time was as a closure to months-long work we were doing as a host to make the gathering a success. Being one of the organising members of the Ecoversities Asia Gathering 2024 was like tending a garden, where each participant was a unique flower contributing to a beautiful, diverse ecosystem. Reflecting on this journey, I realise that our gathering was not merely an event for us as the host; it was a living, breathing entity, thriving on the energy and collaboration of all involved.


The gathering thrived on shared experiences, meaningful conversations, and the diverse contributions of each participant. The vibrant exchange of ideas and the creation of a supportive community fostered a dynamic environment where learning and growth were deep. Just as a garden flourishes through the care and nurture of its gardener, our event blossomed through the collective efforts and mutual support of everyone involved. The energy was infectious, and the sense of community was deeply felt, creating an atmosphere of inspiration and transformation.


Moreover, the Trishuli River, with its ceaseless flow, became a powerful metaphor for our collective journey. Swechhya’s connection with the river and other people was palpable. She beautifully expressed in one of our reflections, “From the moment we arrived, the river echoed our collective journey.” Like tributaries converging into a mighty stream, participants from diverse backgrounds and regions came together, bringing their unique energies and stories. It was as if the very currents of Trishuli mirrored the flow of ideas and emotions among us. Working with the team, not knowing exactly how the event would unfold, felt like planting seeds in fertile soil, witnessing them bloom into something unexpectedly beautiful.

The silent dinner on the bank of Trishuli was a moment of loud realization. The silent dinner, a novel experience for many, was a testament to the power of unspoken connection. In the quiet, we found a shared understanding, and that silent communion was a reminder that true connection transcends language, much like Trishuli’s flow that speaks volumes without uttering a single word. Amrittam echoed this sentiment, and Manish added that the dinner conversations were like diving into the depths of the ocean. Connecting deeply with a few, but meaningful connections, for him, revealed a wealth of different ideas and perspectives. These interactions did not seem fleeting but rather profound and lasting, much like the deep-sea treasures that await those willing to explore beyond the surface.


Hosting the gathering felt like steering a ship through uncharted waters. Prashanna and I, fresh from an international conference, jumped right into finalizing the logistics for our gathering. Transitioning from a traditional conference to an unconference format allowed us to set our own course. This intentional exploration of ideas illuminated new worlds, much like navigating by the stars. Each session was a journey of discovery, where we set our intentions and allowed the currents of creativity to guide us.

Bijay’s reflections were more experiential, similar to the fluid journey of the Trishuli. He saw himself as flowing along with the current, adapting and evolving. Witnessing participants with their children, Bijay envisioned his path as a parent. Just as the Trishuli gains momentum and direction as it flows southward, Bijay found clarity and purpose in his role as a father, guided by the collective experiences of the gathering.