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May 2017 - Update from Nepal

It was later in April this season before I was able to arrange a visit to Khumbu and up to Tengboche Monastery.

It is always good to see all my Sherpa friends and colleagues again on the way to, and also at, Tengboche. This season most of the lodges were busy with many tourists trekking in Khumbu. This was good for business after the last two years with the earthquake in April 2015 plus the border closure by India and the political unrest continuing into 2016, all of which caused a major decline in visitors to Nepal generally.

I was able to spend three days at Tengboche, it was a very busy time with all the lodges full each day, both for lunch and overnight. Some of my Sherpa colleagues who were guides for groups continuing on to Kala Pattar and Base camp also said many lodges along the way were full. Later back in Kathmandu there were some news reports of some trekkers having to use makeshift shelters at some of the places, Lobuche and Gorak Shep, close to Kala Pattar and Base camp.

Once again I was privileged to meet with the Rinpoche (Reincarnate Head Lama of the Monastery) on two occasions, being invited to have dinner with him on one of those occasions. It is always special for me to visit Tengboche and meet with the Rinpoche but this time more so as I had not seen him for two years with all the various difficulties in the Khumbu region since 2015.

April 2015 Earthquake:

Aftershocks still continue although becoming less frequent. Those of 4 plus on the scale are recorded and the last one was on 24 April which was 55 days since the previous one, at the time of writing there has not been any more over 4 recorded.

25 April 2017:

Two years on from the earthquake of 25 April 2015 very little has been done by the Nepal government and its agencies to assist the people in the most affected areas of the country. In Kathmandu there are still thousands of people living in shelters on spare land waiting for some action from the authorities in rebuilding houses in the area of the city which were badly affected by the earthquake. Out in the other districts of the country that were most affected the same applies with many thousands of people still in shelters and waiting for some government action and assistance.

Political situation:

Local elections, the first for 20 years, are scheduled for 14 May in three provinces of the country, including Kathmandu, and 14 June in the remaining four provinces, so perhaps the people will be able to have some say in who will be the local leaders and that they do something to improve the situation for the local people. As is always the case in Nepal it is sure to be 'Wait and see' yet again.

Nepal Trekking in Nepal:

Life continues to be disrupted by ongoing road works throughout Kathmandu, as well as in Kapan, where all transport is affected by the very slow progress of the work.

Kunga Doma is waiting for the results of her SLC - School Leaving Certificate - equivalent to O levels exam that was completed in April and will then have to find a college to finish years 11 and 12. Tshiring has just started the last year of his 4 year Bachelor Information Technology (BIT) course.

As always we are very grateful to everyone who gives us support for our work direct in Nepal. Support both financially and with the continued supply of clothing for children and adults in the villages and in Kathmandu. This is an ongoing project and if any donations of funding or good used clothing for children, teenagers and adults (small and medium sizes are best for adults) are available please contact Denis any time to arrange. Direct funding is always required, specifically for Education Funding which I hope you may be able to assist with a donation. Our projects are ongoing and we look forward to continued support in the months and years ahead. If you can help with any of our projects, or you require any further information, please contact Denis direct (email and phone details enclosed). You can Make a Difference.

Denis Gallagher
Nepal Trekking
May 2017