Today, the 4,000-foot runway in Tumlingtar, in eastern Nepal, is paved. But when I arrived there from Kathmandu in 1985 aboard a Twin Engine Otter, the runway was nothing more than a grass strip. With only 20 passengers onboard the tiny plane it didn’t take us long to disembark and collect our luggage. Among the cargo was what we, in the developed world, might consider unusual: a 100-pound sack of rice. My friend Nemat was planning to haul it up the Arun Valley to his home village of Kuwapani. Rice, although a basic staple throughout much of Nepal and the world, was hard to get in Kuwapani, high in the Himalayas.