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Newsletter January 2005


Namaste

POLITICAL SITUATION IN NEPAL

Throughout 2004 the tourism industry in Nepal has been widely affected by the political situation and uncertainty in the country. This has affected everyone connected with Nepal Trekking in Nepal and of course all of the Nepali people also. Although the Maoists have not specifically targeted Tourist's the general disruption and closures of roads and countrywide strikes etc. makes travel in general very difficult.

The political situation in Nepal continues to be uncertain and the tourism industry is having a difficult time along with all other sections of society in Nepal. The security situation varies from one place to another and generally the main tourist areas of Kathmandu and the valley are safe to visit. Some difficulties arise on some of the trekking trails mainly in the Annapurna region and in parts of Langtang with the Maoist asking for 'donations' from all trekkers. In the Solu Khumbu the situation is mixed at the present time with the Solu (south) region being affected by the Maoist as in the rest of the country but with the Khumbu north of Lukla not being affected by the problem. Nepal continues to need tourists to visit the country because there is a dramatic down turn in the economy of the country and all the people are suffering because of this. If you have booked with us or if you are considering doing so please continue with your plans and keep in touch with Denis for the latest information from Nepal. Also if you can be flexible with your travel plans we should be able to arrange a trouble free trip for you.

We continue to offer the usual trek itineraries and additionally we also have a number of tours that include many aspects of Nepal including cultural and wildlife subjects. Tours and treks are also available in Tibet and Sikkim these are linked with Nepal.

We now have a selection of quality craft items for sale from Nepal and a small catalogue is available as well as a PDF. If you would like to receive this information contact us any time.

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 client's 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.

Project News

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 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 at Nepal Trekking on 01482 703135 or by letter, Fax or Email.

Tengboche Monastery

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.

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. 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.

HWDT

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.

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. 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.

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 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.

Thanks

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.

Brochure

If you would like a brochure or further information please contact us, we look forward to meeting old and new friends in 2005.

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