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Recent News of the volunteer charity non profit Service Trek November 2008

Service Trek: news of our expedition
2 to 13 November 2008

Summary: This is the final official dispatch from Dan Mazur:

We left our Service Trek, rural Nepal, Kathmandu, and the tiny village of Patale feeling that we made new friends and new contacts all along the way. We were surrounded by some really wonderful, friendly people and well received everywhere we went. The entire time we never had any bad feelings and we were only well looked after. It was just an incredibly consistent feeling of trust. Amongst our own group I thought we had a great team and good bonding with Barbara, Sandy, Christy, Lilia, Dave, Hong, and Liz (not necessarily in that order), together with new friends Jangbu, Murari, Deha, Maya, Pasi, Jamyang, Dati, Mingma, Yangjie, Kanti, Tenzing, Gyeltsen, and all of the Nepalese who were so kind and welcoming to us.  


I just thought it was a really special time with a special group of people. I am encouraged for the future that we can bring more health care, more education, and do special projects and try to get involved in some more environmental projects in Nepal.

I think we were really lucky to be able to help these young kids and their families, especially Nima Tamang, the girl with no ears. It was especially rewarding working with her family from the context of their village. It was also great to have Jangbu and his family helping. We think Nima might have a bright future, we hope.

I’d also like to hold out some hope for this young boy named Pasang Sherpa, a really sweet 12 year old with bright eyes. He was so determined. He walked for 6 hours with a smashed leg, has no parents and hobbled on a crutch all day to reach the health clinic and see Sandy and Christy for the last 10 minutes just before the clinic closed. We’d like to see if we can do something to help him too.

I’d just like to thank everyone for their determination, especially Barbara who has been so thoughtful, Sandy, Christy, Dave, Hong, Lilia and Liz.

Thank you for listening. I really appreciate it and we look forward to seeing you on our next Service Trek and stay in touch. All right, take care. Bye, bye.
 Our team meeting with the health workers at the clinic (Dave Dogruel). Our EMT expert, Dave, showing a magazine to a local woman at our first teahouse overnight stay along the trek to Patale (Hong Hoang). Our awesome Service Trek group (Barbara Trenary). Lilia passing out backpacks up at the school (Hong Hoang).
Dispatches: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.
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 Nima Tamang, the small girl with no ears who we are trying to send to a deaf boarding school to learn to communicate (Deha Shrestha). Dati Sherpa, training to become a ceritified health worker in Patale village (Deha Shrestha). Jamyang, Patale health worker who we would like to get advanced medical training (Elselien te Hennepe). Pasi Sherpa, Patale health worker who we would like to get advanced medical training (Elselien te Hennepe). The three Sherpa girls from patale we would like to educate as certified teachers so they can teach in the school in Patale: Mingma, Yangjie and Kanti (Barbara Trenary). A small Sherpa child with burned toes we met along the trek to Patale (Barbara Trenary). Pasang Sherpa, the little boy who walked for 6 hours with a smashed leg, has no parents and hobbled on a crutch all day to reach the health clinic and see Sandy and Christy (Barbara Trenary).
16 November, 2008

Today was the final day of our Service Trek. In the morning, Murari made further appointments for Nima and her family to visit other ear doctors.

Liz and I decided to visit an orphanage in Kathmandu to see what’s going on there. We were amazed that there were so many orphans in the Balmandeer Orphanage in Kathmandu. It seemed like they were being well looked after. There were a lot of staff on hand and they have a lot of facilities.

The kids ranged widely in age, from babies only a few days old to children around 15 years of age. We saw hundreds of children and we were especially amazed to hear that no children had been adopted out from Nepal for the last 2 years because the government was reviewing the process and trying to understand the best way to go about this.

Then, as we were leaving the orphanage, we happened to ask if there was any kind of school or special place for deaf children. We found out that there was a deaf school right next to the orphanage. We went over there and visited the school. There were 300 students in there from ages 5 all of the way up to 18 or 19. We met the staff, headmaster, and teachers. They were so curious about us and also quite professional. We were impressed by the size of their programme and the number of classrooms. They a dedicated, so we decided to ask them if we could bring the family back in the afternoon and they said yes.


Nima Tamang being introduced to the teacher, headmaster and other deaf children inside one of the classrooms at the school. The children at the school doing their lessons in class. A view of the deaf school from the outside as Nima, her mother and Jangbu were leaving (Dan Mazur).

We came back that afternoon and we had a really amazing visit to this deaf school with Nima Tamang, her mom, and her sister. We went around to the classrooms and met the staff, headmaster and teachers. We walked into the classrooms and the whole family stood in amazement as other deaf children were doing their lessons on the blackboard and learning how to communicate using sign language with no speaking going on.

It was especially amazing to see the look on Nima’s mothers face, her name is Chandra Maya Tamang. You could see the actual realization develop in her mind that:

 “Hey, there are other children in the world like my daughter. It might not be so bad. There are other kids like this. It’s not a horrible tragedy that’s happened and Nima might be able to go to this school.”

Nima’s eyes brightened in amazement as she watched the other kids saying “Namaste” to her with their hands and tried to encourage her to join their group. She was so shy she could only stare. Everyone at the school that we met was just so friendly.

You could tell that they were really touched by the visit of this family from rural Nepal from the middle of nowhere. Even the headmaster shed a few tears as we were leaving. Everyone was crying, Nima’s mom, all of the teachers, all of us and it was really quite a touching moment. I could see that we really connected and it was really an important day for Nima and her family. It was an amazing thing to have happen. We ended the visit and everyone felt so touched.

The family and Nima’s mom agreed that they would let Nima go there to the deaf school, which is a boarding school for a couple of months and see how Nima likes it. The mom would stay around with her other little daughter in Kathmandu for a few weeks and help Nima make the big adjustment of going to a boarding school after never leaving her mom’s side or her tiny village her whole life.

We’re going to see what happens and take it from there. Murari and Deha are going to make the arrangements and we’ll finalize the plans for Nima attending school. We’ll keep you posted with what happens. back to top

 Hong, Lilia, Maya and Barbara with the children outside the orphanage we visited in Kathmandu (Hong Hoang). Barbara and Maya demonstrating anatomy with "Mr. Bones" (Barbara Trenary). Sandy clothes shopping with the Tamang family (Barbara Trenary). Hong visiting with the children at the orphanage in Kathmandu (Barbara Trenary). Christy inspecting Pasang's broken ankle (Barbara Trenary). A great view seen along the return trek to Kathmandu (Sandy Murray).

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14 November, 2008

Today we started off in the morning and said farewell to David Dogruel, our member who is from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was really great to have on the trip and a very skillful EMT. He was just a great member of the team and we hope we get to see him again soon.

The doctor took a look at Nima’s scan today and said that she has no ear canal. This was very disappointing news. He also said that when she was in the womb, her skull grew over the place where the ear canal should be. The good news is that, in laments terms, she does have the middle ear, inner ear, ear drums, and the parts to hear inside her head. She just doesn’t have an ear canal that gets from outside her head to those hearing organs, if you will.

It’s difficult to make one of those ear canals because they’d have to drill a hole in her skull and behind that is her brain and spinal fluid. He wasn’t sure that this sort of procedure could be done anywhere. He was sure that it would be very involved and might be costly. He did recommend that she may see some other doctors at the Kathmandu teaching hospital, which may be willing to take on experimental procedures, but that he wouldn’t be able to proceed any further.

We were really discouraged by this. It was really sad news, especially since the doctor had been so upbeat about the possibilities the day before. So that was pretty tough to take in.

That evening Murari and Deha from Everest Parivar Expeditions, our local agents for our climbs and Service Trek in Kathmandu, hosted us at a wonderful dinner party at the Nanglo Restaurant. We were joined by a lot of interesting guests, including Scott and Sunita (his lovely wife) and Prem and Pemba from the Mountain Fund and Volunteer Nepal. They are a great foundation trying to provide volunteering opportunities for people who visit to help groups in Nepal.

We were also joined by Tashi and Joe from Sherpa Adventure Gear, an exciting new outdoor company that’s trying to do some great things. They design some wonderful clothing, which they’ve let some of us try and sell some really good outdoor clothes at very reasonable prices. They make all of their stuff in Nepal and are a great company.

Raj was also there, who leads all of our treks in Nepal. Mingma and his lovely wife Yengjie were there, who are also leading quite a few of our treks.

It was great to have that reunion with everyone at a really tasty dinner and delicious restaurant.

That was it for the 14th of November.

On the 15th of November, we all took the day off and rested and relaxed. On Saturday everything is closed in Nepal.

OK. That’s it for the 14th and 15th of November. Thanks for listening. Bye, bye. back to top


Nima Tamang wearing a special headset to try to help her hear (Deha Shrestha). Our team enjoying a delicious meal after returning to Kathmandu (Barbara Trenary). Pasang Sherpa, the little boy who walked for 6 hours with a smashed leg, has no parents and hobbled on a crutch all day to reach the health clinic and see Sandy and Christy (Barbara Trenary). The Tamang family (Barbara Trenary).

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13 November, 2008

Today was our first day back in Kathmandu. It was great to return, especially after that great party we had at Murari’s house the night before. We started off the morning with a really nice cup of coffee at the Chicusa Café, which is near our hotel and has wonderful coffee.

We took Nima Tamang over to the hospital with Sandy, Christy, Barbara, and Deha right after breakfast. We met the doctor, who is an ear, nose and throat specialist named Kirran Rye. He was a very helpful and well spoken, thoughtful doctor, as well as really encouraging about the possibility of treating Nima’s ears. He said that we should come back that afternoon for a CT scan of Nima’s head at 1:00.

After that Barbara, Sandy, and Christy took Nima and her family clothes shopping, together with Jangbu, Jangbu’s wife and son. They went to a clothing bazaar in an open field. The Tamang family was excited and amazed as they acquired new clothes for everyone. It was like a fantasy come true for them. It was filled with smiles, happiness, and wonder. I think they were kind of in shock and awe at having this good fortune descend on them, especially Chandra Maya Tamang, who is the mother of the group. She was really taken aback by all of this generosity.

At 1:00 we all came back to the hospital. Nima had her CT scan. She was very uncomfortable and the doctor had to sedate her. She was crying, being very feisty, and even squirmed in the CT scan machine. Luckily, they were able to get an OK scan of her head even though it wasn’t perfect because she was still under sedation wiggling around in the machine. The doctor said that the radiologist had to review the scan of Nima’s head and that wouldn’t happen until perhaps tomorrow.

Then our group met again at the Yak and Yeti hotel for a wonderful lunch provided by Sandy and Christy. We had a delicious buffet lunch and said goodbye to Barbara, Hong and Lilia, who flew home on Korean Airlines courtesy of some great tickets provided by Unique Travel in Portland, Oregon. Sue is our contact there.

That evening, Maya Sherpa hosted us at a wonderful dinner party that she gave at her house, together with her sister Kandu and two of her friends. It was great to have Maya as our guide on the Service Trek. She is quite an incredible person, having climbed Everest twice and also the first Nepalese woman to reach the summit of Ama Dablam, Pumori and Cho Oyu.

They fixed us an incredible dinner with really tasty food. All of our remaining members from the Service Trek were there. We were also joined by Rajan Thapa, who leads all of our treks in Nepal. It was a really fun group and we hung out late into the evening in Maya’s living room.

OK. That’s it for the 13th of November. Thanks for listening. Bye, bye. back to top

Lilia presenting the solar powered calculators she brought to the Patale school to the headmaster and teachers (Barbara Trenary). Medical training books that Christy Thuesen brought and donated to Dati Sherpa at the Patale Health Clinic to further her training (Dan Mazur). Jangbu Sherpa, our awesome climbing sherpa and supporter of the Mount Everest Foundation (Hong Hoang).

12 November, 2008

Our team woke up in Jiri. We started driving and reached a roadblock around the town of Patchcal. Apparently there had been a motorcycle accident the day before and 2 Nepali people were killed. It was a very tragic accident. The family of the people who died were grieving and also kind of angry. They mobilized a lot of Nepali citizens along the highway in a 30 kilometre section and blocked the entire road.

We had to change vehicles. Eventually we were able to make our way towards Kathmandu after waiting for a few hours with our Sherpa team and also the Tamang family with the child who can’t hear and has no ears.

We rapidly became aware that the Tamang family has never been outside of their small village in the mountains and were in quite a state of shock after seeing a busy highway and bustling towns. They were very carsick, never having been in a car before and kept asking if we were in Kathmandu at each small village we passed.

Finally we did reach Kathmandu in the late afternoon after transferring to the new jeep ahead of the blocked highway. We got the Tamang family to the house of one of our sherpas, where they could get cleaned up and have a decent meal.

Our entire Service Trek team reunited at Murari Sharma’s house. He’s our local agent. We all met up there where Murari, his wife, his brother and sister-in-law had prepared a really special and amazing dinner for us. We all sat around and enjoyed the wonderful Nepalese hospitality. Then we went back to our hotels, relaxed and had a good night’s sleep.

Thank you for following our Service Trek and we’ll send you another dispatch tomorrow with an update on the child who is going to the doctor and tell you what the doctor has to say. OK. Bye, bye. back to top


Our local agent and owner of Parivar Expeditions Murari Sharma and his lovely wife (Barbara Trenary).  Liz having a cup of tea (Barbara Trenary).

11 November, 2008

Our group of 5 woke up in the morning in Gyalku. Barbara, Sandy and Christy weren’t feeling well, so they took a helicopter back to Kathmandu.

Our other group of 3, Lilia, Hong, and David got up in Phaphlu and they flew together with Deha on a special flight because their flight was cancelled. They flew up to Lukla and then caught another plane back to Kathmandu.

Dan, Liz, and the rest of the sherpas walked up to the village of Vandar and there was a bus waiting for them, but they continued on over the Dayrali Pass and hiked down to the village of Shivalaya, together with the Tamang family with the little girl who is going to have her ears checked. The Tamang family was doing very well when the team got down to the village of Shivalaya, where there were two good 4-wheel drive land cruisers waiting. They all drove to Jiri where they stopped for the night, had a wonderful dinner and everyone had a good night’s sleep. Thanks for listening and we’ll send you another dispatch tomorrow. Thank you. Bye, bye. back to top

Hong checking her heartbeat to demonstrate at the clinic (Barbara Trenary). Deha Shrestha, our local agent back in Nepal at our office (Hong Hoang).

10 November, 2008

We woke up in Kangru Dima and had breakfast. Our team set off after making some phone calls to arrange our transportation. Some jeeps are going to meet us in the town of Shigalaya.

We hiked down through some ancient forests and came out in a deep valley where there was a lot of farmland. It was very beautiful with stunning views of the local peaks, such as Gauri Shankar and Duht Kunda. We stopped and had a delicious lunch of rice, fresh vegetables, and a tasty potato soup at a little farmhouse. We continued down to the rivers that come out of the Gauri Shankar area. We crossed another beautiful hill and watched a golden sunset. We walked down further through beautiful farm villages to the Nikku River and the town of Gyalku. That’s where we had our dinner and spent the night in a comfortable campground. It was a really beautiful day.

I spoke with Deha Shrestha, the leader of the other trekking group and the team has reached Phaphlu. They arrived there at 4:00 p.m. Everybody is fine and they’re ready to fly back to Kathmandu first thing in the morning. Thanks for listening and we’ll send another dispatch tomorrow. Bye, bye. back to top

Scenes from the return trek leaving Patale (Sandy Murray). Christy on the return trek to Kathmandu (Sandy Murray).
9 November, 2008

This morning we woke up early and said goodbye to all of the really great people who helped us out in Patale and the new friends we have made. We went and had breakfast at the house of our cook, Lakpa Sherpa, who has a really beautiful house and we had a delicious meal.

Then our team split into two different groups. Hong, Lilia, and Dave trekked out to Phaphlu, together with Deha, Tenzing Sherpa, Mingma, and Yengie. They plan to fly back from Phaphlu to Kathmandu on the 11th as planned in our trip itinerary.

The rest of our group: Christy, Sandy, Barbara, Liz, and Dan decided to take a little bit longer and walk out to the nearest road at Jiri, where we’re going to take a jeep on the 12th.

We trekked over some hills and beautiful forests and came to the town of Kangru Dima, where they’re having a Buddhist festival right now. There were several hundred people inside a temple and we watched some really fascinating dancing with monks dressed up in colourful robes and masks. It went late into the night. It was really spectacular and unusual. We were really lucky to see this event. Then we went to sleep.

I just wanted to mention some of Nepalese who are with us. We have Jangbu Sherpa, another Jangbu Sherpa, Gyalzen Sherpa, and Lakpa Sherpa. We also have two Nepalese Sherpa women who would like to become student teachers. That’s Mingma Sherpa and Kanji Sherpa. There is also our guide, Maya Sherpa, who we are lucky to have with us. She has climbed Everest two times, once from Nepal and once from Tibet.

We have a family of Tamang people, a mother and two children and one of her children has no ears. Through the kindness of Barbara, we’re taking him to a hospital in Kathmandu, where we hope to have him examined by an ear specialist and see what we can do for him and how we can help him. He’s only 6 years old.

We’ll keep you updated with another dispatch. Thanks for tuning in. Bye, bye. back to top

Our awesome team on the trek out from Patale (Barbara Trenary). 

8 November, 2008

Hi, this is Barbara Trenary calling in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Service Trek for 8 November.

It was a beautiful, crystal clear morning and the light on the terraced mountains was just beyond description. It isn’t as hard getting up at 6:00 a.m. when your alarm is hot tea brought to your tent.

I could see the villagers already lining up for the medical clinic, which is adjacent to the tents that we call home sweet home. Some had come for several hours to days to be seen at the clinic.

The teachers: Lilia, Liz, and I helped at the clinic before departing for the school. As we were down to one nurse and one EMT in the clinic that day, Hong stayed behind to help Christy and David. Sandy wasn’t feeling well, but felt stronger by the end of the day. She noticed all of us coming to check on her throughout the day in the tent, asking “are you OK”?

We had to have a very quick early lunch of French fries and peas, which was to die for, before leaving for the school. There is no school food at all. The kids brought river water, which runs right next to the school. It’s just beautiful and a really National Geographic moment. The fact of life, however, is that the livestock also uses that river.

We trekked to the school, which takes around 30 minutes down a pretty steep bank. The school children just zipped right past us and were quite amused with our hiking clothes and careful footing. The school is named something that loosely translates as the “Achieving Buddha”. They had to come to school specially that day on a Saturday, which Dan had to let us know, as we had completely lost track of what day of the week it was.

The headmaster took a 2 day ride and trek and the teacher also came in. It was really humbling to see the hope that the villagers have for these children to learn. We were honoured with very many Kata scarves and marigold necklaces. There were so many that we couldn’t keep them on our necks. It was just so humbling.

One mystery was why the kids left their warm coats on in the sun, as it was very hot that day. “Mr. Bones”, the skeleton, was a very big hit again, as well as the balloons that Liz blew up in his chest to illustrate how our lungs work. Liz did cutout art and reading with the kids. Lilia did some amazing origami and read fun books. I did little exercises in drawing, took a lot of pictures, and learned more about what the schools need. Our aspiring Sherpa teachers to be assisted us in teaching the children on the way back to our basecamp over an hour uphill.

After a delicious dinner of lentils and rice everyone hit the hay very early that night at around 8:30 p.m. This is Barbara Trenary for the November 2008 Service Trek, over and out. Bye. back to top



Barbara inside the school with the kids doing their lessons (Barbara Trenary).  Liz teaching a lesson on how to play pick-up-sticks (Barbara Trenary). Sandy, Deha, and Dave going over how to take blood pressure (Barbara Trenary). A young mother and child we saw at the clinic (Barbara Trenary).

7 November, 2008 (part 1)

Hi, this is Christy Thuesen calling in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Service Trek on 7 November, 2008 from the village of Patale.

We woke up at 6:30 this morning with tea brought to us in our tents by the sherpas, which we enjoyed a lot. After getting up, we walked out and had breakfast. Some of us used some soap from the village to wash our clothes, which felt really good.

We started working the clinic at about 10:00 a.m. Lines of people were waiting outside with lots of sick women and children.

The other team went for about a 30 minute walk up to the school. They had about 50-60 children waiting for them. They passed out some neat backpacks and school supplies and started to teach them some anatomy and physiology with a cute little skeleton that was packed in from Kathmandu.

I’ll tell you about the 2 most interesting patients we saw today as we were working our clinic. One was a 15 month old baby that was brought in who was listless, not awake, and very ill with a high fever. We treated the baby with some antibiotics, fluids, and temperature medicines and the baby seemed to improve. If this child hadn’t gotten some care things would definitely not have continued for him to do well. He probably would have been in a children’s hospital if we had been back home.

We also saw a little boy who had walked all day to see us. He had fallen about 10 months ago and had a fractured ankle which needed to be set. As a result, he is debilitated and will be a cripple if he doesn’t get some help. He has a small cane that he walks around with. He was happy to sneak in at dusk and catch our clinic. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do much for him other than offering him some pain medicines.

The rest of the team from the school popped in late in the afternoon and we were grateful to have them start helping us hand out medications and run our clinic.

As we closed up the clinic, we tried not to turn people away, but we will be running it tomorrow as well to try to catch the rest of the people. We had a total of 57 individuals we saw today and all of us medical people were very excited, but very exhausted at the end of the day.

Dinner last night was a surprise. We had some fabulous pizza that was somehow packed in by our sherpas. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but the excitement was pretty great seeing that pizza sitting there on our plates.

We then had a really neat ceremony where all of the people danced and proceeded to give us prayer scarves and flowers until they were packed around our necks. They were thanking us for coming and celebrating our presence, while we celebrated them for allowing us to come into their village and give them care and connect with them in such a remote area.

The end of the day included a group meeting with the people from the village talking about what they would like to see happen. Their needs are books, nursing books, and many other things. We have a nursing student who is in training who worked with us today.

It was cold as we crawled into our sleeping bags at about 30 degrees F. There was a little bit of frost on our tents as we pulled our hats on and went to sleep. Thanks for following along. Bye for now. back to top



Sandy and Christy taking a break along the trek to Patale (Sandy Murray). Hong trekking towards Patale (Sandy Murray). The terraced farms we saw along the whole trek (Sandy Murray). Barbara learning how to farm (Barbara Trenary).
7 November, 2008 (part 2)

Hi, this is Hong Hoang calling in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Service Trek on 7 November, 2008.

I just wanted to tell you about what we did today. It was a very beautiful morning here in Patale, Nepal. We woke up and had a nice breakfast and then some of us hiked up the hill to the temple to do a welcoming ceremony called a puja. After that a couple of the nurses and David, who is the EMT expert, stayed behind and helped with a couple of the people who run the clinic here. They had quite a crowd. There was a long line and I took some photos of that.

The rest of us: Barbara, Lilia, Liz, and I hiked up to a school nearby and met up with about 57 children who were all lined up in a row waiting to see us. We had a great time hanging out with the kids and teaching them various things. We passed out rulers, backpacks, pencils and everything seemed to be well received. Barbara did some science type teaching, while Lilia and I did some more artwork type lessons. Lilia also did some reading to the kids. We met up with a couple of the teachers there and gave them some books and also some extra school supplies.

We walked back down to the clinic around dinner time. David, Sandy, and Christy were still quite busy with the clinic and there was still a long line. We worked until sunset with them. They worked very hard, but were satisfied that they were able to see so many patients.

Then we had a really nice Italian dinner, which was rather delightful being here in Nepal with no Italian restaurants nearby.

After a while a group of the villagers got together in their very traditional outfits and did some ceremonial singing and dancing for us, which was really something. It was similar to a scene straight out of a Discovery Channel show. It was really a treat. Then we were invited to dance along with them.

After the dance we went to a village meeting or sort of what we would call a town hall meeting. The villagers got together and talked about what they needed and the problems that they had. A couple of the main subjects that we touched on were schooling and keeping teachers here. They have a lot of trouble keeping some of the teachers here because they are from other villages and they may only be here for a short period of time before leaving.

A solution we are thinking of is to train some of the local people here by sending them off to get certified as teachers and then coming back here so they can teach their own village children. The result of that was we chose 3 girls who had volunteered to be sent to get certification.

We also went over issues with the health clinic. One woman voiced her opinion about some of the inadequacies of the health clinic, so we talked over ways of dealing with that and improving it. Hopefully something can be done eventually to address everyone’s concerns about the health clinic. Over here in Nepal, improvement is little by little.

It’s still a really beautiful day here in Patale. We’ll be getting started up again tomorrow running the health clinic with all of the Service Trek members. Have a good day and that’s all for now. Thank you. back to top

Liz meeting the children up at the school (Hong Hoang). Liz and Maya reading a story to the children at the school (Barbara Trenary). A child at the clinic with a very bad burn (Barbara Trenary). Sandy and Christy administering medicine and fluids to a dehydrated baby at the health clinic (Dave Dogruel).
6 November, 2008

Hi, this Dave Dogruel calling in a dispatch for the SummitClimb Service Trek for 6 November, 2008.

We slept and woke up in Tapting to our first day of clear skies and warm sun. After eating a delicious and hearty breakfast we set off for Patale. A stiff hike uphill led us to a ridge where we met a young girl whose eye had been injured by a bear. Her eye-patch is allowing her eye to heal slowly, but well.

A bit later we got to a high meadow where we were treated to our first good views of Everest and the high Himalaya. We rested here and took lots of pictures. We were near a tree line for a short while and then began our long descent towards Patale. We trekked through rhododendron forests and lots of tall old trees, such as oak, spruce and hemlock with many of them covered in moss. As we broke out of the trees, we entered the green fields of Patale.

The team had lunch and tea at the home of Jangbu Sherpa. Later we also stopped at the home of Tenzing Sherpa for some tea.

We passed the Patale School on our way down to the river and then a short climb brought us to the home where the clinic is located, which will be our basecamp for the next couple of days. Our service work begins tomorrow at the school and at the clinic. We had a great day. Thanks for checking in on our Service Trek and please look for our next update. Bye for now. back to top

First views of the high peaks of the Himalaya (Dave Dogruel). Hong pointing the way to the next village (Lilia Wong). Barbara and Deha (Barbara Trenary). Barbara, Sandy and Christy (Barbara Trenary). David playing with one of the local baby goats in the village (Hong Hoang). Hong and Lilia wearing the Kata scarves and marigold necklaces the villagers placed on the team upon arriving (Hong Hoang).
5 November, 2008

Hi, this is Lilia Wong calling in a dispatch on 5 November, 2008 on behalf of the SummitClimb Service Trek team.

We woke up in a village called Dungo Pa. It was a little overcast, with no rain, and perfect hiking weather, which was nice and cool. We hiked all day starting at 8:30 a.m.

As we hiked, we bumped into a man with a broken hand that he got from the festival that just ended a couple of weeks ago. Our nurses Christy and Sandy looked at his broken hand and decided not to put on a splint, because if they did he wouldn’t be able to plow and work his land. He’s right handed, so they forewent the splint and taped his hand instead. He should be fine and it should heal nicely.

As we hiked on during the day, the next village we came to was Daurapani. This was where we stopped for lunch. Just before we got there, some of our members were craving French fries. Guess what we had for lunch? We had local French fries. They were delicious and perfect for our tummies that were really hungry from our hard hike this morning.

The neighbors right by our lunchroom consisted of a grandma who was just putting her little baby to sleep. She had a little basket, which she put on her back and attached to her forehead like how our porters carry our equipment. We were taking pictures of the cute baby in the crib when the dad or the grandfather lifted up the blankets and revealed, to our surprise, that the baby had burned her two feet by walking into the open fire, which is quite common in a kitchen here in Nepal. The nurses, Christy, Sandy, and David our EMT, looked over the baby’s feet. There was nothing we could do since the burn had already healed. Barbara is thinking about putting together some prosthetic shoes to send over for him to use when he is older.

After lunch we continued hiking and had some tea at a local teahouse. Some of our members bought some singing bowls from the locals while we were there.

After tea we continued hiking through late afternoon and crossed the Shisha River, which means “River of Glass”, and sounds straight out of an Indiana Jones kind of movie. We crossed a cable bridge, which was beautiful and then hiked up a hill to the next village of Tapting.

Tapting is famous for their apples. We’re surrounded by orchards now and we tried their local apples and drank their apple brandy. Tapting Village is also where Maya Sherpa from our group’s grandparents live. We had a lovely evening here and most of our members ended with a hot shower, which was much appreciated after the long day that ended when we got here at about 6:00 p.m.

Thank you for following along our Service Trek and we’ll call in again soon with more news. Bye for now. back to top

A beautiful sunset seen from camp along the trek (Dave Dogruel). Christy and Jangbu Sherpa taking a break from trekking (Hong Hoang).

4 November, 2008

Our members started to arrive around the 30th of October. On the 2nd of November our last member arrived and now everybody is here.

On the 3rd of November some members went to a small Nawari village to see how they do their farming, which was interesting and then we had our briefing. We went over all of the maps and plans for the trip, discussed what everybody would need for the Service Trek and also what the members would like to accomplish on the trek. Our healthcare worker, Pasi Sherpa, came along and we reviewed the medical needs, got the medicines organized, and talked about the school that 4 of the members would like to help out at with some special classes for the students. They also prepared some book bags and school supplies for the students, which is really wonderful.

On the 4th of November we got up early in the morning and flew from the Kathmandu airport to the town of Phaphlu in a small 18 seat plane with most of our luggage. Some of the extra school supplies wouldn’t fit on the plane, so we’re going to have them carried up by porters and meet us in the village in a couple of days.

After our plane landed in Phaphlu we had a delicious lunch of lentils and rice. Then we walked down to the river where they make electricity for the town of Salarhi. After that we walked through some nice thick forests and on through a mixture of fields, farms, and forests uphill along a ridge to the village of Dungo Pa. We set up our comfortable tents with nice comfortable mattresses inside and had another lovely dinner of lentils and rice with local vegetables. For the people in our group who ate meat we had some chicken. We enjoyed the evening playing cards, drinking tea, and talking to the local people about what it’s like to live out here in this farming community.

It’s really gorgeous here with a lot of rolling hills, big trees, and many terraces with multiple kinds of crops. They have harvested the corn and have it up drying on racks. There are also a lot of banana trees and every house has a cow tethered out front and chickens.

We’re really looking forward to our hike on the 5th of November and curious to see what it will bring. The weather was a little bit cloudy and misty, but it looks like it might be burning off now. We’ll be in touch and thanks for following the news about our Service Trek. Bye for now. back to top

A view of Swayambhunath Stupa, the "Monkey Temple". It is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Swayambhunath's worshippers include Hindus, Vajrayana Buddhists of northern Nepal and Tibet, and the Newari Buddhists of central and southern Nepal. Each morning before dawn, hundreds of pilgrims will ascend the 365 steps that lead up the hill, file past the gilded Vajra (Tibetan: Dorje) and two lions guarding the entrance, and begin a series of clockwise circumambulations of the stupa. On each of the four sides of the main stupa there are a pair of big eyes. These eyes are symbolic of God's all-seeing perspective (Dave Dogruel). Our team boarding a small plane for the flight to Phaphlu (Dave Dogruel).

Team roster

  • Dan Mazur (leader) - US
  • Ms. Sandy Murray - US
  • Ms. Barbara Trenary - US
  • Ms. Liz Carr - US
  • Ms. Christy Thuesen - US
  • Ms. Lilia Wong - US
  • Ms. Hong Hoang - US
  • David Dogruel - US back to top
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