Meeting a Participant of CAP2010 : Nepalese Delegate Riwaj Pokhrel

Communicating Astronomy With The Public - CAP2010, was successfully held from 15–19 March, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. This was a platform where different countries got together and discussed how each of them contributed towards the general theme of communicating astronomy with public, There were sessions where delegates from many places of the world demonstrated how they interacted with law and order generally covering the message of beauty and importance of astronomy especially in IYA2009, which was the international year of astronomy.

I had earlier planned to visit CAP2010, but financial problems in finding the necessary funds failed me. It would have been great if anyone from Sri Lanka could be there, but unfortunately nobody managed. :( If Sri Lanka was represented there we would also have had the chance of sharing with the rest of the world, what we really did, located as a small island in Indian Ocean.

However I did manage to meet a participant who was there @ CAP2010, He was the Nepalese representative, namely Riwaj Pokhrel. Actually he was on his way home and had to wait for a transit flight in Sri Lanka. He landed here in 21st evening and I and my colleague Thilina Heenatigala managed to meet him at around 7:00 pm local time.

In fact we were coming home after the Ask An Astronomer session with Prof. Michael, of which I had blogged in my last post. As we were coming home, Riwaj phoned us and told us about his arrival in Sri Lanka. After a some time of wandering, we met Riwaj at the Fort Railway Station in Colombo. In fact this was the 1st time we met him. We checked for the transit flight schedule and it was due in the afternoon the following day (22nd March) from Katunayake to New Delhi.

We spent that night at my place at Piliyandala, which is about 1 hour drive away from Colombo. Till late night we talked about astronomy and outreach in our countries and especially about CAP, and shared loads of information with some serious talk and laughter as well.

Riwaj was a nice guy and I found him always to be enthusiastic whenever during his stay in Sri Lanka. I also knew of Suresh, a colleague of Riwaj, whom I befriended via FB and he is also a collaborator of NASO, the Nepal Astronomical Society. However I am yet to meet this guy. In fact Riwaj is a research student of astrophysics at Central Department of Physics(CDP) of Tribhuvan University(TU), Nepal.

The next Morning we went to the Mt. Lavinia beach few kilometers away from Piliyandala and had some fun together, We captured some cool sets of pictures in our cameras and enjoyed it.
Soon it was time for Riwaj to be off to the airport and we bid au revoir to him from Colombo.

I'm looking forward to visiting Nepal and meeting these friends in the times to come, Let's home I will be able to do that sooner rather than later !

Contributor: Prasanna Deshapriya, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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