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Newsletter January 2001 - Projects and Information


Namaste

With the year 2000 over, or almost over, by the time you receive this News Letter we now look forward the New Year and to our other new year celebrations with Lhosar the Sherpa/Tibetan new year in February and the Nepali new year in April, once again celebrations all round. As usual everyone at Nepal Trekking is looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones during the coming year. If you are booked with us we look forward to meeting you. If you are still undecided contact us without delay for more info, or to confirm your booking.

With the change of the year it is a good time to record our thanks from all at Nepal Trekking to our clients and to all those who donate clothing and supply various medical items which we distribute amongst the Sherpa community. With a percentage of all client fees being used for our various projects we are extremely grateful for the support of clients and we look forward to being able to continue with our plans for the future.

Specialised Tailor-made Service

Our flexible Tailor-made service continues to be very popular and more of our clients are taking this option. We continue to give clients the flexibility that caters for their trekking requirements. You can join a group or you can arrange your own group, we can make your visit to Nepal at a time to suit you during the trekking seasons, individuals and small numbers are able to benefit from our specialised tailor-made services. You don't have to fit to someone else's arrangements.

Trekking Peaks, and Expeditions are available for all levels of experience. This type of more strenuous trek would suit small groups of friends, clubs, colleges, youth organisations, and others. We will tailor an itinerary to suit your requirements. If your group are interested in a community service project let us suggest a few ideas or develop yours together with you. We do make all types of ground arrangements in Nepal and Tibet. Tours in Bhutan and Sikkim are also available.

Group departure brochure dates

Our group departure dates are spread over the main trekking seasons and cover most areas for those who wish to join a group. Joining a group in Kathmandu is also possible with fixed departure treks now available through our colleagues and agents in Kathmandu. We can offer something to suit most people and look forward to your enquiries.

Community Service group

In April 2000 the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Group based in Hull arrived in style by helicopter in our home village of Pangum 3000m up in the Khumbu. With a base set up they worked together with our Sherpa staff and the villagers to renew part of the trail up to the Monastery 150m above the village. Undertaking physical work such as this at this altitude takes much effort and determination, this was shown by members of this group whose ages ranged from 16 to 25 years. After a weeks hard work, and with the grateful thanks of the village shown with typical Sherpa hospitality, dancing, drinking, and singing, they trekked to Kala Pattar and Everest. A very successful expedition, one where we were able to further help the village Gompa and the villagers.

Project News

We have been involved as usual with NGOs and projects in Nepal and we continue to assist those we have had a long association with. During 2000 we have also become involved with some new projects and news of those are mentioned elsewhere. If you would like to know more about any of the groups we support, or you are interested in receiving details of how you may be able to help any of our projects, please contact us at the address shown in this News Letter.

April 2000 saw the completion of a project in our home village of Pangum in the Khumbu. The renovation of the trail leading to the Monastery above the village was undertaken and completed by members of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award group based in Hull. The group members also donated educational items to some of the schools in the Khumbu during their trek to Kalla Pattar and Everest.

Our various projects to assist the Sherpa people are continuing. A percentage of clients fees will continue to be used generally for projects as before. Our Sherpa Education Sponsorship Project continues to grow slowly. This is a fund to raise money for the educational needs of Sherpa children. Our project does have to compete with many other worthwhile projects both in Nepal and in many other parts of the world. My grateful thanks to all those who have helped and continue to help. Education is very important so that children can have the opportunity through the benefits of schooling to provide a better life for themselves, their children, and their families, and to have a better understanding of the way they can help with the fragile economy and ecology of their country.

If you would like to sponsor a Sherpa child or to make a donation towards this project, or you would like more information, contact Denis Gallagher at Nepal Trekking on 01482 703135. Also by letter, Fax or Email as below.

KEEP

The Kathmandu Environmental Education Project aims to show trekkers how to trek gently in the mountains, they do this with a great deal of success. They also work very closely with trekking agents to raise awareness and to give training to Nepalese trekking staff in a number of ways. Our Sherpa staff have been on first aid courses, and a course to learn the use of Portable Altitude Chambers to combat the severe effects of Altitude sickness. The year 2000 saw the continuation of KEEPs work with a mountain first aid course specifically aimed at Nepalese trekking staff. Various workshops and training courses were held during the year. There has been a further expansion of their English courses in Kathmandu and around the country. KEEP is now involved in more than 20 villages in the Solu Khumbu assisting with projects to help the local people benefit more from sustainable tourism. New offices in Salleri in the Solu Khumbu and in the far west of Nepal in Royal Bardia National Park continue to assist and inform. Nepal Trekking continue to support KEEP in all of their efforts both in Nepal and in the UK.

HWDT

ASARA Orphanage home Kathmandu

A new NGO that we have become involved with this year is the Himalayan Women Development Trust HWDT. This project is run by a small group of Sherpa women to give a home and refuge primarily to children whose parents are in prison. In Nepal there are many children who are in prison with their parents for no other reason than the fact that their parents are there.

The ASARA home is of value to the children who can once again have a life, almost like family life. School is provided and they are well looked after by the staff. With our own family ties with the Sherpa community in Nepal we see our involvement with ASARA as an extension of our other activities and we are actively seeking support for this project in the UK from interested parties. We only have a small number of children at the moment but as resources allow this will be increased. Please contact us if you would like further information about this project

HRA

The Himalayan Rescue Association operate aid posts in Manang on the Annapurna trail and in Pheriche in the Khumbu. Their office in Kathmandu informs trekkers of the dangers of Acute Mountain Sickness and other altitude related problems. During the year HRA have assisted a film crew from the BBC to make a documentary about the porters who carry goods for local villagers and for trekkers. This is assisting the International Porter Protection Group IPPG to alert trekkers and others to the conditions some porters work under particularly those employed by trekking groups. We continue to support HRA and we also support IPPG both in the UK and in Nepal.

IPPG

International Porter Protection Group IPPG is raising awareness of porters and their well being in the Himalaya and Nepal in particular. We do subscribe to this group and support their code and follow their guidelines for trekking groups. During 2001 it is our hope that we will be able to contribute to the groups projects in Nepal which include the provision of porter shelters and clothing to be available to be used by porters at higher altitudes. IPPG has links with KEEP and HRA so this important issue is brought to many who seek their services also.

Prices

For the first time in a number of years we have had to increase all our prices for 2001. This decision has been influenced by a number of factors outside of our control. The two main reasons are the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Pound, and the fact that the Royal Nepalese Government have introduced many increases in taxes, permits, and commodity prices that not only affect the tourist industry but just as importantly the local people also. Kerosene has been doubled in price and many basic food items have been increased. World fuel prices are obviously affecting domestic air travel and other transport services. The exchange rate has caused the major increase but we have also had to review our trekking budgets in Nepal and increase payments to our staff to help with the general rises in the cost of living. It still remains our wish to offer the best service we can to clients and we hope that you will understand the needs to adjust prices. With our prices being inclusive of almost all your needs in Nepal we feel our clients continue to receive good value.

Brochure

If you would like a brochure or further information please contact us, we look forward to meeting old and new friends in 2001.

Namaste Greetings to all our friends from Denis and all the Nepal Trekking team