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Bringing Progress to Paradise: What I Got from Giving to a Mountain Village in Nepal Paperback – September 15, 2010

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Bringing Progress to Paradise: What I Got from Giving to a Mountain Village in Nepal + Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Conari Press (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573244821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573244824
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,386,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Quite an amazing book - really a must read for conscientious travelers not only to Asia but other parts of the world that have been in any way isolated from Western influence." -American Buddhist Perspective

"Our Nepal experiences have been through a locally-owned company in Kathmandu staffed by people from Basa, near Everest. Jeff has spent time in Basa and taken on this village as his personal project.  A school and electricity generation were the first two projects Jeff undertook and this is about his personal growth experience." Maximum Adventure

"This ... is an experience in spiritual enlightenment as well as Himalayan adventure ... It is a rare book indeed that can provide this kind of spiritual and psychological depth as well as breathtaking high adventure. It will be of interest to mountaineering explorers, anthropologists, spiritual seekers and anyone looking for an exciting true adventure story. It is a wonderful addition to eco travel literature as well as a book for spiritual journeyers, soul travelers, and philanthropy travelers." by Sylvia Andrews for

From the Author

Bringing Progress to Paradise is more than a travel memoir.  It is a how-to and a how-not-to manual for Himalayan trekking. More significantly to me, it introduces readers to the strongest and kindest people I know.  God willing, it will inspire others to action, to live adventurously, but not just for self, but to transmit love and compassion across mountains, oceans, and cultures.

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Customer Reviews

It really is an inspiring story, beautifully written, and beautifully illustrated.
Andrew Parodi
He is led by Niru, a villager who wisely sees an opportunity in Mr. Rasley to bring much needed support for the schools and eventually electricity and running water.
Mary Ellen
His descriptive characters and folklore branches out from Katmandu through the vast lands to trekking to the mountain village of Basa.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on May 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is a thrilling arm chair adventure that is partly memoir, partly travelogue, partly a review of modern history in Nepal, and partly an expedition which served as a fund-raiser to build an addition on to a grammar school in a remote Rai mountain village in Nepal. The author lives in the prairie state of Indiana and described how he felt a kind of malaise when he was aged 43 that he labeled 'a midlife crisis. His wife dropped a brochure in front of him about a Himalayan mountain trekking expedition and essentially told him, "go climb a mountain." And as they say, "the rest is history" because the author turned this new adventure into a love affair with trekking, mountain climbing and the people of Nepal. He spent over 10 years visiting the Himalaya mountains and building up his stamina and physical abilities to climb mountains at the height of 20,000+ feet to experience the highs and lows associated with this kind of life experience, essentially he was hooked! The Himalaya mountains put a magical spell on the author, which most visitors who enter this part of the world seem to experience and describe as life-altering.

The author begins his book with an unexpected tragic event that he witnessed in 1999 when he was attempting to climb the Mera Peak a 21,224 feet high mountain. It took eleven days to reach the Mera base camp from where the group had views of surrealsitic mountain passes and glistening glaciers. A low distant roar was heard as an avalanche struck and buried three Nepalese porters. This event caused the author to wait four more years before he ventured into this alluring and challenging environment again.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cherri Megasko on October 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Bringing Progress to Paradise is a solicitous combination of high adventure and soulful enlightenment. Rasley's internal struggles about helping the people of the isolated mountain village of Basa, Nepal, become your own as you share his experiences and contemplate his interactions. The warmth, love and trust bestowed upon him by these remarkable people has sparked in him a transformation that will likely influence every aspect of his life.

Part memoir, part travelogue, part documentary, this true adventure captures your interest in the opening pages and leaves you yearning for your own personal pilgrimage through the remote villages of Nepal.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Neely on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Bringing Progress To Paradise by Jeff Rasley This book reminds me of Three Cups of Tea in that Rasley went to Nepal, saw the needs of the tiny village in the Himalayas, which had no running water and no electricity and badly needed teachers and a school, returned home and made it happen. Jeff is a lawyer and an action adventurer and the climb of Mt. Everest was a life-changing event for him. In wanting to help the people he found so wonderful, he was very cautious that the "help" might also bring with it the problems of Western civilization:greed, and trash, and waste, fighting, materialism, and the destruction of families working to help each other, which has always been the way of life and survival in the "top of the world" villages for centuries. Jeff, in beautiful writing style, shows the reader the place, the people, his experiences, and his yearning to help in a truly careful and best way. He returned in 2009 to supply these people with many of their needs and requests through funds he raised for several years. The book details beautifully "Waht I Got from Going to a Mountain Village in Nepal.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sheri in Reho TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It was with some reticence that I chose to read Bringing Progress to Paradise. Perhaps I have been unlucky in my nonfiction choices, but I have experienced some really dry, slow and boring nonfiction reads in the past few years. Additionally, after this book had arrived but before I'd started it, some book pals of mine mentioned that they found the author's writing arrogant. There is little I hate more than arrogance in a writer (except perhaps bad writing!).

Thankfully, my fears were quickly alleviated when I began reading this book. While, certainly, Mr. Rasley says things about the people who went on treks with him that I don't think needed to be said (or perhaps just not said so overtly or in such detail), his arrogance didn't bother me that much (that said, I would not want to be one of the people he skewered in this book!).

The charm of this book to me was its breadth. It is part memoir, part travelogue, part humanitarian mission report, part exploration of Nepalese culture and part treatise on the high and low points of mountain trekking/climbing. It reads like a diary of how, in general, the author went from mountain climber to humanitarian but also, in specific, how one particularly-important trek succeeded and failed.

Mr. Rasley's over-arching thesis is this--at what point does bringing Western aid, culture and technology to a tiny Himalayan village without running water or electricity change that village for the worse? In other words, when does helping hurt? The author uses the Sherpa culture as an example--how they have become so Westernized (from making money off of the mountain-climbing industry) that their culture has lost its old ways.
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More About the Author

Jeff Rasley lives on the White River in Indianapolis with Alicia and Bandit. Jeff is the author of eight books. He wrote bad poetry as a teenager and short stories in college. Newsweek, Chicago Magazine, ABA Journal, and other periodicals eventually published his feature articles.

Jeff dropped out of college, saved money from factory work, then hitch-hiked across the USA. Money earned on a road crew financed travels in Europe and motorcycling from Indiana to Mexico City. Marriage and kids limited him to Himalayan mountaineering and sea-kayaking expeditions.

Jeff's commitment to social activism and philanthropy began in high school when he co-founded the Goshen Walk for Hunger. In law school he fought for renters' rights, and organized the first rent strike in Indiana as president of the Indianapolis Tenants Association. He was lead counsel on class action suits for prisoners which resulted in the construction of two new jails in Central Indiana. Jeff was plaintiff in a class action requiring clean-up of the White River after it was polluted by an industrial chemical spill. Jeff is president of the Basa Village Foundation, which funds culturally sensitive development in Nepal. He is a director for five nonprofits. He is U.S. liaison for the Himalayan expedition company Adventure GeoTreks Ltd, and teaches philosophy of philanthropy at Butler University.

Jeff's BA is from U of Chicago magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, All-Academic All-State Football, letter winner in swimming and football; JD Indiana University Law School cum laude, Moot Court, Indiana Law Review; M Div Christian Theological Seminary magna cum laude, co-valedictorian and Faculty Award Scholar. He has been admitted to the Indiana, US District Court, and US Supreme Court Bars.

Jeff describes reading Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past as great an adventure as climbing Himalayan peaks.

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