Newsletter January 2002 - Projects and Information
For all of us involved with Nepal the year 2001 has been a very sad year. June the 1st saw the whole Nation and Nepalese all over the world in mourning for the loss of His Majesty the King and many members of the Royal family in the tragic massacre at the palace. The events that followed left many of us in shock and the people of Nepal at a loss to understand the enormity of the situation. The loss of the Nepalese Royal Family affected the whole Nation, people were deeply affected by their sudden and tragic deaths. Perhaps the people of Nepal felt the loss personally.
Nepalese politics have been affected for a number of years by unrest and insurgency. During the year it did not get resolved and has broken down again. We must all hope for peace and security in the months and years ahead.
The terrible events of September 11 have changed the world and probably changed many peoples views on travel. It will take time to see how this affects the travel industry. At Nepal Trekking we must look ahead, we must be optimistic and continue to plan our programmes and make arrangements for our clients. Anyone considering a trek with us should contact us in the usual way for further information and an update on the situation in Nepal. At Nepal Trekking, our staff and all our colleagues in Nepal are 'Open for business'.
There was a positive side to the year; Our clients trekked in all of the three main regions of Nepal and experienced the usual warmth and friendship of the local people. All of our clients gave reports of the usual excellent views and sightings of animals, birds and plants new to them, and time spent with local people all adding to their Nepalese experience. There was no major problems for any our trekking groups during the spring or autumn season.
In June Lhakpa Rita Sherpa our Senior
Guide in Nepal made his first visit to the UK. He was based in Hull
with Denis but during his two months stay managed to see much of the
country. The foot and mouth restrictions meant that walking in many
parts of our countryside was not possible but between our friends and
some of our clients his experiences were many and varied. On the east
coast, visits to Whitby, Scarborough, and Bridlington with a boat trip
round the cliffs of Flamborough and Bempton, sea birds and seals and
his first taste of salt water!! On the west coast the thrills and spills
of Blackpool pleasure beach and survival on the Big One roller coaster.
Visits to the Lake District, Peak District and Scotland. Dingy sailing
in Derbyshire, strawberry picking in Oxfordshire. A visit to the IMAX
cinema in Manchester, a tour of Rochdale Town Hall and an article in
the Rochdale Observer, fish and chips at Harry Ramsdens!! the list goes
on. We were not able to meet up with all of our friends and clients
but those we were able to see gave us some typical 'Sherpa hospitality'.
Our grateful thanks must go to all with a special mention to Paul in
Goole, Margaret and Lorrie in Oxfordshire, Ross in Poynton, Mike in
Manchester and Steve in Rochdale for their time and hospitality given
to Lhakpa during his time in the UK.
Specialised Tailor-made Service
Shorter treks and combined activity treks are often requested by those clients with limited time or other reasons for not undertaking our more usual longer itineraries. These have always been available but now we have a number of 'Softer' packages tailor-made to suit clients available time as requested. Our Nepal Experience tours are also becoming popular for those who find trekking is not for them. There are many sites and places of great interest in Nepal and you can explore the country with our tailor-made services.
You can have the flexibility that caters
for your personal 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.
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.
We continue to be involved with NGOs and our various projects in Nepal. 2001 was a quite year as far as project work was concerned. With the main projects in our own village completed we had hoped to make a start on other things elsewhere, however, things sometime move very slowly in Nepal!! We will be assisting the building of a school and medical centre for Tibetan medicine established by the Ringpoche of Tengboche Monastery. 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.
A percentage of clients fees will continue
to be used generally for projects as before. Our Sherpa Education
Sponsorship Project is a fund to raise money for the educational
needs of Sherpa children. The education system in Nepal is undergoing
change and is coming under pressure from political and other sources.
During 2001 this has created much uncertainty and some of our assistance
is presently on hold until the government and private sector decide
on the way forward. We do still need more funds to develop further.
Meanwhile our 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
Nepal Trekking has supported Tengboche Monastery since 1990 when the rebuilding of the present Monastery began after a fire destroyed the previous building in 1989. In the past twelve years the various projects initiated by the Ringpoche (Head Lama) of Tengboche have taken shape and now the whole community of Tengboche is thriving once again. A school gives traditional Sherpa teaching to the lamas, and a new cultural centre is available to give information to visitors. Recently the Ringpoche has established an Himalayan Herbal Medicine Centre with a clinic in Namche Bazaar and a high altitude medical Herb plantation at Tengboche and close by in Deboche. The high clean environment of Tengboche in the Khumbu is ideal for these medical herbs and makes them more potent. The pharmacy makes high quality natural herbal medicine, herbal healing tea and herbal healing incense. The medicine is dispensed at the clinic by traditionally trained doctors, the tea and incense is attractively packaged and for sale to visitors. All the income from this project returns to Tengboche and finances the clinic and a medical school for students in traditional Tibetan medicine. Nepal Trekking is supporting the building of the medical school and as part of this assistance we offer for sale direct in the UK herbal tea and incense, contact us for more details.
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. We are involved in an advisory and practical way with this very active and progressive NGO. Nepal Trekking continue to support KEEP in all of their efforts both in Nepal and in the UK.
ASARA Orphanage home Kathmandu
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. 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. We continue to support ASARA and we are actively seeking support for this project in the UK from interested parties. Our numbers are small at the moment but as resources allow this will be increased. Please contact us if you would like further information about this project or to make a donation.
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. Nepal Trekking has been associated with HRA for more than ten years and we continue this support in a number of ways, one is the issue of their excellent advice leaflet on Altitude Sickness to all our clients in Nepal.
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 2002 we will continue our association and we hope that we will be able to contribute further to the groups projects in Nepal which include the provision of porter shelters and clothing 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.
Once again we must give 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.
If you would like a brochure or further information please contact us, we look forward to meeting old and new friends in 2002.
Namaste Greetings to all our friends from Denis and all the Nepal Trekking team