The mountaineer and watchmaker Michael Kobold presented his new book “Nepal Needs Fire Trucks” at the Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu . The book details Kobold’s 7+ year-long mission to bring much-needed fire engines from America to Nepal. Before they are donated to the Government of Nepal, the fire engines are to be used in a tourism promotion event involving Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities, as well as world-renowned mountaineers, adventurers and diplomats.
In his book, Kobold explains the many setbacks that have delayed the project. Kobold also details his struggle to convince potential sponsors of the benefits of the fire truck expedition, which is expected to draw a worldwide audience of over 50 million (in addition to audiences in Nepal and India).
The book is not just about the lack of fire trucks in Kathmandu Valley. It tells the story of the genesis of the idea to drive fire trucks through Nepal. Initially, Kobold and his friend, the late actor James Gandolfini, were supposed to drive a single fire engine to Kathmandu. After Gandolfini´s death and the 2015 earthquakes, the fire engine project turned into a major philanthropic and public awareness campaign for Nepal tourism.
The Fire Truck Expedition consists of international celebrities, diplomats and adventurers who are joining forces to drive ten fire engines across the Himalayas to Kathmandu and donate them to the local fire department. Bollywood stars such as Manisha Koirala, Rajesh Hamal and Sunil Thapa, are joining international actors like actors Malcolm McDowell, Michael Imperioli and Scott Glenn.
Music stars Nuno Bettencourt, from the rock band Extreme, and Chris Adler from Lamb of God, as well as the famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner are amongst those who will also drive the fire trucks over treacherous roads from Birgunj to Kathmandu. Kobold has been working on the Fire Truck Expedition project for seven years. In an entertaining and humorous way, the book provides an accurate, tongue-in-cheek account of the adventure of bringing the fire trucks to Nepal.
The author talks about the importance of the Fire Trucks Expedition, the fire trucks being merely a symbol for an international effort to help Nepal. The publicity generated through this unique event will boost Nepal’s tourism industry. The book is available at Varja Books, Thamel as well as other book stores in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Biratnagar. Copies are also available at Himalayan Java stores and Kobold boutique in Babar Mahal revisited, as well as at the Nepal Tourism Board branches in Kathmandu and Pokhara.