This year, we are organizing the fourth WordCamp in Nepal. The fourth time really presented us with quite a few curve balls, sometimes making us doubt whether we could really pull it off this time around.
First came the earthquake, on April 2015, followed by numerous aftershocks. We didn’t think it would be possible to hold the WordCamp in the wake of that devastation. However, we began to recover from that shock, and started becoming optimistic that the worst was behind us, and we could pull the program together. As soon as the optimism hit, it was dampened by the political crisis, which is still resulting in fuel shortages bringing transportation, schools, cooking, and much of regular daily life to a halt.
We held a community meeting recently to discuss this year’s WordCamp. All of us were painfully aware of the multiple challenges we would have to deal with in order to organize this event. But we knew that we wanted to ensure continuity of this event and secure its future. Previous WordCamps have been highly successful, leading to lots of new people joining the community, and lots of new companies forming. We had a realization that if we don’t lead the event now, it will collapse. People are expecting it every year, but might not happen.
Finally, we decided that we would walk, we would bike, we would find ways to bring our guests from the airport, we would stand up against the odds, and we would organize it. After all, we have been working in Nepal for a while, and this is just the nature of working in the country. If you start thinking too much about challenges, you won’t be able to work at all. There are too many challenges to list, better have faith in our own ability to solve problems, and keep moving forward.
We didn’t think we would get sponsors amid all this turmoil, but we have almost all or sponsor slots filled. We also didn’t think we would be able to get international speakers, but our friends abroad decided that they would brave the difficulties and attend. Getting participants might still pose a bit of a challenge, although we are seeing healthy registration numbers.
We have changed the program slightly this year – based on something I saw in San Francisco last year. We have a hall dedicated to hands-on material for the development of programmers. They are able to learn something new through tutorials on various subject, contribute to the theme review team, or otherwise get involved in a real way. More than half of our participants come from a technical background, so we are hoping this will really get them engaged.
We hope you can join the event, and become part of this community that never gives up!