Shumei was introduced to the Surya Boarding School by its founder, Mr. Narayan Shrestha. The school is located in the remote village of Khandbari, Nepal, which is Mr. Shrestha’s hometown. Before encountering Shumei through a chance encounter with one of Shumei’s staff people at his import store in Boulder, Colorado, Mr. Shrestha had long nurtured a dream of introducing beauty, sustainable agriculture, and spirituality into the school. As he learned more about Shumei’s philosophy, which incorporates all three of these things, he recognized the possibility of the dream coming true.
In 2010, after meeting with Mr. Alan Imai, Shumei’s director for international Natural Agriculture programs, the two of them agreed to visit Mr. Shrestha’s school in Nepal. In 2011, Alan interviewed 13 teachers at the school and selected two candidates who would come to Crestone, Colorado to study Natural Agriculture and learn about Shumei philosophy. The two teachers, Nabaraj Rai and Bhuwan Shrestha, completed their year of training and returned to Nepal in April of 2013 to teach in their school what they had learned at Shumei.
Nabaraj and Bhuwan are now developing a curriculum to teach the 700 students at the Surya Boarding School the sustainable practices of Natural Agriculture. The students have already sown the first seeds of Mr. Shrestha’s dream in their new Natural Agriculture garden on a piece of land he donated.