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 A question about Nepal

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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
Registration date : 2013-04-21

PostSubject: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:40 am

Im considering taking a group of about 15 high school students (korean) to Nepal in April. Taking in Katmandhu and volunteering in a rural village. Anyone here ever done such an undertaking? Been to Nepal? I haven't.
Ive taken school groups to NA and Europe but never to a 3rd world country before.
I tend to embrace adventure...a little voice in the back of my mind is saying give this one more thought.
Ye wise pipe smoking counsel want to share your opinions on the idea.
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Fr_Tom

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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:34 am

I worked in the Youth Hostel in Washington DC when I was in college. We used to notice that everyone who had been to Nepal thought it was a life-changing experience. Some of the experiences we heard about involved tragic maladies and parasites not so familiar to Western medicine. I would go and be careful with drinking water.
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Ozark Wizard

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Age : 53
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:47 am

I'm not sure about altitudes in Korea, but I might be mindful of altitude sickness, it would depend on where you visit in Nepal to determine if that is a reasonable concern.

I agree with Tom regarding drinking water. Might want to consider a nifty device called Life straw.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+lifestraw&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=79413862821&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7415365367026449327&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9023676&hvtargid=kwd-4252033243&ref=pd_sl_5uvovdstj3_b
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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:54 am

Thanks fellas. Definitely some things to consider.
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Carlos
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Age : 60
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:13 pm

Be mindful of the social things. There are some guides. A fair number of amateur radio operations have been taking place from there. So it is not a closed society.

_________________


"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:45 pm

Good evening Sir.

Now that sounds like a great adventure worth investing in and I would say your little voice is taking good care of you.

I was there in 1999 and headed into Kanchenjunga which is in the top North Eastern corner of Nepal, close to the border with Tibet and Sikkim.  It's an area less frequented by westerners and is more off the beaten track than places like Everest and the Annapurna circuit.  We stopped with a remote village for a while (all planned) and helped them set the foundations for a new school.  This might be something you could consider with your project - helping to improve education.

Without wanting to sound like a cliché, as alluded to by Tom, above, it changed my life.  I was struck by how happy the children seemed, always with a smile, despite materialistically having nothing.  This as opposed to western kids who by comparison have so much but never seem happy.  I learnt that happiness comes from wanting what you have, not having what you want.  For this reason your project really resonates with me.  After I returned I had this notion burning a hole in my pants where I wanted to take a group of western kids for them to experience life from a different perspective by embedding them into a remote community.  Make no bones about it, it would change their lives and, doubtless, yours too.

As you've said it's a 3rd world country.  I vividly remember getting off of a Qatar airlines kite that was the height of luxury and straight onto the streets of Kathmandu where you're rubbing shoulders with poverty, lepers, and children who's limbs have been broken to enhance their begging ability.  The people are generally as helpful and loyal as you can get.  I've worked with Ghurkhas and once you've earned their respect they would fall on their sword for you.

As pointed out, water can be an issue including what appears to be the bottled stuff (recycled bottles are often refilled with contam'd water).  I took a bottle of iodine and, if I can remember correctly, used one drop / litre.  Iodine has the added bonus of being a useful antiseptic too - when travelling I like things that have a dual purpose.

I would highly recommend buying a copy of the Lonely Planet's Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya by Stan Armitage, and read it cover to cover.  Whilst it is highly biased towards trekking routes it'll give you an idea of possible destinations and there's a huge amount on the culture, society, politics, top tips, health, etc.

I would also fully recommend hooking up with a tour guide before you go, whether it be for trekking, climbing or touring around Kathmandu or similar.  They will help you safely maximise your experience.  Simple things like meeting you at the airport, taking you to the hotel, tour guiding - stuff that can be difficult to arrange in the moment.  I would also put some consideration to preparing the children fully before they go, so they are prepared for what they'll see.  

As the Wiz said, depending on what your plans are altitude can be a potential problem, but one that can be easily mitigated if managed properly; given enough time and a sensible schedule most people can acclimatise easily enough.  The problems start when folks start ignoring a few simple guidelines and / or ascend too quickly due to an unrealistic (and poorly planned) itinerary.

I really hope your project comes to fruition.  Gosh, I'm getting all excited just talking about it and reliving my adventure.  Drop me a PM if you want to discuss further old chap.

Good luck!




Returning from the mountains.  L - R:  'Stampy' my old pal, Mahendra our guide, and me.
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:00 pm

... thought I'd take a trip down memory lane so just did a Google Earth search for Tiringe, the village where we worked on the school for a few days. If you do a search for this village on Google Earth, if I'm not mistaken the school house is the long building visible just to the left of the dropped pin. Oh happy days!
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:22 pm

David me ol' mukker, that's a very interesting and exciting account you've just presented. I had no idea you were a world traveller to that degree. The things you must've seen and experienced there! You're a wealth of knowledge, experienced first hand too.

Well done mate, you seem uniquely qualified to help Psmith on his adventure!

sunny


Cheers,

RR
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:59 pm

Brewdude wrote:
David me ol' mukker, that's a very interesting and exciting account you've just presented. I had no idea you were a world traveller to that degree. The things you must've seen and experienced there! You're a wealth of knowledge, experienced first hand too.

Well done mate, you seem uniquely qualified to help Psmith on his adventure!

sunny


Cheers,

RR

Thanks Rande.  I've been very lucky with the last organisation I worked for providing such opportunities, if you know what I mean.

My pics from this exped were taken on 35mm slides.  I still have them and have scanned a few so that they can be stored on my computer.  It's very time consuming though taking (with editing) almost 5 mins for 2 slides.  I have approx. 230 slides for the Nepal trip along with countless others for other expeds so the thought of scanning all these seems a little overwhelming.  I also dropped my scanner during my recent house move (my only casualty identified so far) so it's likely it's no longer working.

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Hermit

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:45 pm

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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:11 pm

Thank you Stick.

That's some helpful advice. This week I intend to propose it to the students and hope that I get some takers. I expect it might take some convincing as Koreans tend to prefer travel destinations that offer the opposite of what Nepal can offer: shopping, modernity, luxury. This would be a life changer for sure.

I will keep this thread alive as I move along with the intended trip plans. It may die a quick death due to lack of interest among the students or, maybe this thread will have a long life and eventually in April, have some posts involving the actual trip itself.

Hermit...now I know what song to use to open my presentation about the trip to the kids.
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Psmith

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Location : Sokcho, South Korea
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:46 am

Yesterday afternoon I presented/proposed the trip to my gr. 10 to 12 students (about 30 in total). Just over a week of volunteering and sightseeing in Kathmandu for April. Response was very positive.
Will give them till Dec. 1st to decide and commit. Would like a minimum of at least 12 to make it a go.
Hope I get more than that.
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:35 pm

That really is tremendous news! Well done! Can't wait to see how this project evolves...
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Psmith

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:15 pm

A little update on the Nepal adventure I mentioned I was planning a while back for anyone interested. I work at an international school located in Korea and my favorite part of being a teacher is organizing and leading trips overseas for my students. This year, thanks to being the principal, I no longer have to ask permission for such things so I chose to make Nepal our destination with the intention of having my students help, in some way, in the efforts to repair the damage left in the wake of the earthquake a couple years ago.

Well..the trip is a go! 12 adventurous students signed up and I will bring one of my teachers too because Nepal is a bit of a more challenging destination and it may be good to have an extra set of hands.

Trying to keep costs to a minimum for everyone so we will take an overnight stopover in Chengdu, China. Take an evening I guess to enjoy some Szechuan cuisine, breathe some smog and then head out the next morning.

After we arrive in Kathmandu and get our senses in order we will check out the city eat some local food and sleep. The next day, along with the NGO charitable organization we are volunteering with, visit an educational materials center and spend the money we have fundraised buying books and other necessary items to outfit a sadly lacking school well outside the city. The day after that we will travel by 4x4 out to a village called Thangpalkot and donate the goods to the school there. We will stay there for a day to play soccer with the local high-school, stick out like sore thumbs and just take in village life.
The next day we will set out for 3 days of trekking in Langtang National Park, spending the night in tea/guesthouses before heading back to Kathmandu.

All in all we will spend 6 days in Nepal with a night in China at the start and end of the trip. A short jaunt but we are doing it on our Spring break and don't want the kids to miss classes should we stay too long. Also, Nepal is only 7 hours away from Korea and the time difference is minimal so we don't have to account for jetlag thankfully. Just culture shock.

Between now and the trip (we set out on April 06 from Incheon) I will conduct another fundraiser and hopefully we can match the 1,300 dollars we already have raised to donate. I shall also have to educate the students about what to bring/expect and lead them on some local treks in the mountains nearby to get their stamina and health up so they don't get wiped out on the treks there.

In the future I hope I can post some photos from the trip. I have never been to the Himalayas yet!
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:57 pm

That's terrific news! I'm really excited for you all! It really will be a trip of a lifetime! Looking forward to seeing a few pics on your return...
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:39 pm

Stick wrote:
That's terrific news!  I'm really excited for you all!  It really will be a trip of a lifetime!  Looking forward to seeing a few pics on your return...

What t'Guvner said!

Very Happy


Cheers,

RR
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riff raff

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Location : Western Maryland
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PostSubject: Re: A question about Nepal   Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:56 am

I suggest you contact Steven Laug on the Reborn Pipes blog:
https://rebornpipes.com/

He runs a charity organization that supports abused women in that part of the world. He travels to Katmandu several times a year (and other locales). I'm sure he would give you some advice.
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