Volunteer Nepal charity non profit Service Trek June 2009 Recent News of the trip

Volunteer Nepal charity non profit Service Trek June 2009 Recent News of the trip

Photos in slideshow: Elselien te Hennepe, Murari Sharma, Lisa McClellan, Dan Mazur, John Vavruska, & Morris Prokop. For caption information on these photos, please visit our Service Trek photo gallery.
Service Trek: news of our expedition - dispatches
5-18 June, 2009
Sponsorship opportunities - projects the Mount Everest Foundation (www.Mount-Everest-Foundation.org) is trying to support, but we need your help: Click here to donate

Thanks to our November 2008 Service Trek members; Barbara Trenary, Hong Hoang, Christy Theusen, as well as Sonja and her school for all of your help raising money for the ServiceTrekMembersFoundation.org! Thanks as well to our awesome June 2009 Service Trek team for continueing to help the less fortunate people of Nepal help themselves!

1. Nima Tamang, a child with no ears is enrolled in deaf school in Kathmandu. She is doing well and enjoying her education, as well as meeting new friends with the same condition as her.

Nima Tamang at the school for the deaf in Kathmandu with her father and teacher (Murari Sharma).

2. Pasang Sherpa is undergoing treatment in Kathmandu. Originally, he was brought to Kathmandu to be treated for a broken leg. Upon being examined by a doctor, Pasang was diagnosed with many health ailments. Only weighing 20 kg at the age of 14, it was decided he must first be rehabilitated before surgery could be done. He will undergo various treatments, surgeries and school in Kathmandu so that he can get his health back. To view more information on his treatments and diagnosis, please click here .


Pasang, not able to walk under his own power (Chu Trandinh). Pasang and his father, Wang Chu. Pasang's right leg has been straightened and his left leg is in a cast after the recent operation (Dan Mazur).

3. Dati Sherpa has finished her school and took the exams. The marks will be released in September. She is doing her practicum at the mission hospital, assisting in all of the wards in the hospital. Soon she will return as a new worker at the Patale Health Post.

Dati Sherpa, training to become a certified health worker in Patale village (Deha Shrestha).

4. The three girls from Patale, Mingma, Yangjie and Kanti, are going to school in Kenji, to get their high school graduation equivalency before going to the teacher's college. Upon becoming qualified teachers they can return to Patale to teach school there. They live in a hostel in a nearby village where there is a good school. back to top

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).

5. Pasi and Jamyang, the two health post workers in Patale just had their second child. When Dati finishes her nursing programme and comes to the village to work in the health post, the workers will be returning to school to get more training. Pasi would like to get training and study to be more qualified with pregnancies and babies for prenatal and postnatal care. Jamyang wishes to study a pharmacy course and better understand medical drugs and prescriptions for the health post.

Jamyang and Pasi seeing patients at the health clinic in Patale (Elselien te Hennepe).

6. The little boy with burned toes we saw in the November 2008 Service Trek is a priority for treatment in Kathmandu for our next trek. We are looking for sponsors for his case to get him to Kathmandu to be examined by a doctor and undergo treatment this autumn. back to top

The small Sherpa child with burned toes we met along the trek to Patale in November 2008 (Barbara Trenary).

7. We need more Service Trek members to visit and teach school and do health assessment and patient treatment/diagnosis. Beside health care professionals, we are in desperate need for teachers or those that would like to work with the children at the schools, as well as anyone else who wishes to join. 

8. The Mount Everest Foundation could use volunteers interested in helping create a new brochure, send out thank you cards for donations, or anything else you can think of. You don't need to go to Nepal to help make a difference! back to top

Dispatches: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.

1 September, 2009

Well we started out today at 6am and climbed up to Kathmandu's sacred and beautiful monkey temple. The views were stunning and the air, pollution free. 10 monks chanted a low throated murmur in front of a massive table of shimmering butter lamps and we felt the heat radiating off of the butter lamp table searing our cheeks. Local men and women walked to the top of the temple to sit cross legged on mats then sang and played musical instruments harmoniously. Pigeons circled the enormous gold white stupa and the beating of their wings punctuated the morning with a thumping percussion and a light dusting of airborne feathers. We walked down the back side of the temple, watched suspiciously by monkey families munching fruit clutched in tiny hands.

Suddenly rounding a corner, we found refuge in the quiet garden of a five-star hotel and enjoyed an amazing breakfast of fresh local foods while seated in comfortable rattan armchairs on a raised dais while a few mosquitoes hummed lazily under a canopy of palm and grapefruit trees.

Back at the hotel, we plunged into our duties of packing the medical kits, sorting and packing the high altitude food, and then the www.LeaderIntraining.com members began the careful task of checking each member's kit very thoroughly.

We visited three of our key charity/non-profit service projects today.

Nima, the child born with no ears is fully enrolled at the deaf school and when we arrived at her classroom, the teacher called Nima to the board so she could practice her skills in reading letters, making word sounds, reading lips and using hand signs. Nima looked amazing, considering last time I had seen her, just 9 months ago, she was dressed in rags and torn sandals, her head was shaved due to lice, and you could count her ribs sticking out. Now she wore a neatly pressed uniform, her cheeks had a rosy glow, her eyes sparkled and her hair was cut in a neat page boy style. The teacher said Nima was one of the best students in the class, with a voracious appetite for learning, and every day made a new discovery about the world, after breaking her chains of poverty and isolation. The teacher asked if it would be possible for her to have surgery to open her ear canals as it seemed such a waste that this brilliant child might live out her entire life and never hear a sound. We took a lot of photos of Nima and plan to email them now. For more, please check out www.ServiceTrek.org . back to top

Nima and her teacher conversing in sign language. Nima at the blackboard (Dan Mazur)

Pasang, the boy with rickets and a broken leg, was in fairly rough shape. He lay in his hospital bed quietly reading an English primer when we arrived, right leg encased in a thigh-high stained cast. We asked him how he was feeling and he brightened up and reached under his mattress and pulled out an x-ray for us to look at. He carefully pointed out all of the new metal pins in his leg and showed us the visible line where a new fracture has opened up. Apparently his bones are brittle and the fracture might have developed somehow after the surgery. After starting out slowly, Pasang perked up and a spark came to his eyes while he chatted about his situation in a squeaky voice. I couldn’t help but marvel at how tiny this boy is for a 14 year old. His father came in while we were there and we presented them with the phosphorus tablets kindly given by good people back home who care at www.ServiceTrekMembersFoundation.org . We plan on speaking to Pasang's doctor in the morning, to find out the specific details of his recovery and plans for the next surgeries. It seems there may be many, as new fractures open up and need to be pinned. This boy's condition is very complex and ever changing and we pray for his speedy recovery. We took a lot of photos of Pasang and plan to email them now. For more, please check out www.ServiceTrek.org . back to top

Pasang holding the donated phosphorus tablets. Pasang's x-ray showing the pins in his legs. Pasang after surgery in leg cast (Dan Mazur).

Our next foray into trying to help Nepalese people help themselves was a meeting about our 6 year project of rebuilding the Deboche Nunnery with Heather Daniels, an enthusiastic Buddhist scholar. We met at a relaxed second floor café in Thamel and got into the meat of the discussion immediately. We spoke of our friend Marcia MacDonald and how she has been working very hard to tell the story of the last surviving generation of Sherpa nuns in the Khumbu valley, where Everest is located, now in their 70s and 80s. Not only that, but the Deboche Nunnery provides crucial refuge for beleaguered Tibetan nuns. Marcia has carefully and consistently spread the news about plans to rebuild parts of the old nunnery, bring a fresh water line to the kitchen and develop new nun’s quarters and a retreat centre. The idea is to bring new nuns and foreign students of meditation and Buddhism together, as well as breathe life back into this 80 year old convent. A service trek to dig a waterline from a nearby spring to the kitchen is underway during April 2010, and we urge you and all of your friends to join in. Please tell everyone about www.EverestBasecampServiceTrek.org . For even more info, please do check out www.DebocheNunnery.com . It was fascinating to speak to Heather about her studies and time at the nunnery, and future plans, and we are sending Heather's photo now.

Heather Daniels in Kathmandu (Dan Mazur).

Later in the afternoon I was thrilled to visit the new Sherpa Adventure Gear showroom and bed and breakfast and meet with Tsedo Sherpa and her mom. This committed group, spearheaded by Tashi Sherpa, has built an amazing building that looks right into the royal palace, has stunning views of the mountains and a gorgeous bed and breakfast on top, with one of the finest rooftop terraces you will ever see in Kathmandu. What an exciting project and we wish them all of the very best so please check out www.SherpaAdventureGear.com . I am emailing photos from our visit to the new store and b and b. Be sure to check out the grand opening in mid September!!! back to top

Finally our team met for a delicious dinner at one of Kathmandu's awesome continental style restaurants and I will have to say we were treated to the finest dinner of the entire trip we have had thus far...back to top

30 July, 2009

Pasang Operation Update - News received today from the surgeon:

Dr Hem Limbu, the surgeon for Pasang, will be operating on both knees as they are knock knees caused from the hereditary form of rickets. The first operation was just performed on the right knee.   

Pasang is doing fine. Dr. Hem Limbu had to osteotomise (cut) at two sites, one above and the other below the knee to correct the deformity. Today is his 3rd post operative day and his wounds are OK. His concern is he wants to walk early which is virtually not possible until bone heals.

Pasangs's uncle is going to Tibet for 3 weeks. Once he comes back the surgeon will correct on the left knee. So his plan is to straighten him before he leaves for Okhaldhunga. back to top

18 June, 2009

Today we received the following information from the hospital's initial report about Pasang (special thanks to Elaine and Shelley for this):

Pasang is suffering from the following conditions:

1. Vitamin-d resistant rickets (thus his bow-legs).

2. Multiple old fractures, including:

  • A. two fractured wrists;
  • B. right femur thigh-bone fracture;
  • C. right fibula lower-leg fracture;
  • D. left leg to be x-rayed.

3. Osteoporosis.

4. Scoliosis.

5. Champagne-Glass deformity of the pelvis. If the pelvis is not strengthened, the femur may grow into the pelvis.

6. Hypophosphatemia. This rare disease is caused by a surplus of calcium and a shortage of phosphorus. The doctors were not exactly sure if this can be treated properly.

7. Right upper lobe of his lung shows infiltration. The x-ray shows a white blob in his lung which might be a mass of worms, the 20 centimetre 'parent' of which came out of Pasang's mouth during the initial exam (to view a photo of the worm, please click here ).

8. Kidneys are not functioning correctly.

Here is the treatment which the doctor has reccomended for now:

1. Large doses of vitamin D, starting today.

2. Intravenous antibiotics.

3. Tuberculosis work-up.

4. 3 month nutritional build up to restore Pasang's health before surgery is to be considered.

5. Pasang needs to stay in KTM to get his health back, and he needs to go to school and live in a convalescent hostel for children during this time.

Pasang's dad needs to go back to the village to work the farm and look after his other children, as Pasang's Mom has tragically passed away. back to top


Chu inspecting a child's ear in the health post of Patale (Ying Hsu). Our June 2009 Service Trek team back in Kathmandu after a successful and fun time hiking together (Ying Hsu). Pasang, not able to walk under his own power (Chu Trandinh). A spectacular creek runnig near Bandar that we crossed (Chu Trandinh).

17 June, 2009

Alexa, Chu, Rachel, and Ying took a mountain flight early this morning. They said it was amazingly beautiful and the plane was very fancy and new.

We took Pasang to the hospital today. Pasang's dad went too and Pssang's uncle showed up while we were there. We did not know that Pasang had an uncle. In attendance were Elaine, Murari, Shelley, Chu, Jangbu, and Dan. The doctor whose name is Doctor Limbu, said Pasang is a very sick and malnourished boy with lots of joint and bone problems. He said that Pasang could become healthy and walk again with the proper care and diet. Pasang is 14 years old and only weighs 19 kilos!!! They want to keep Pasang in the hospital for 4-5 days and do tests. His father will bring him food and will sleep in the hospital too. Later in the day, during a battery of tests and administration of medicines, Pasang was coughing and a 20 centimetre long worm came out of his mouth. Everyone was horrified and the hospital staff said it was the largest worm they had ever seen come out of a patients mouth. Murari took a picture (to view a photo of the worm, please click here ).

We were all quite humbled after the hospital visit and we went to Mingma and Yangjie's house for dinner. We had a grand time chatting and feasting and laughed very hard at the antics of 4 year old Dolma Tsering. It's amazing to think she weighs 22 kilos and is robust and healthy while sickly Pasang is just 19 kilos and crippled at age 14. what a difference a proper upbringing can make! back to top


Pasang and the Service Trek team at the hospital in Kathmandu, getting a doctor to evaluate Pasang's conditon  (Murari Sharma). The view from the mountain flight that Alexa, Chu, Rachel, and Ying took. Ying and Rachel on the flight (Alexa Dillhoff).

16 June, 2009
Everyone had a bit of a rest and unpacking day today. Murari and his family threw a wonderful party at his house tonight. The food  was delicious and hospitality amazing. Its so nice to be welcomed into someone's home like that after a long trek. back to top
Our awesome June 2009 Service Trek team (Shelley Bloom). A view across a suspension bridge we crossed (Ying Hsu). Our team taking a break along the trek back to Kathmandu (Ying Hsu). Our awesome trek organizer, Murari Sharma, holding up a baby goat he met along the trek home (Ying Hsu). Dan and Murari trying on some special 'Service Trek June 2009' tema T-shirts that the group gave them (Alexa Dillhoff).
15 June, 2009

Hi, this Chu Trandinh for the SummitTrek Service Trek. This is a dispatch for June 15th, 2009.

It was our last day of traveling. We started in Shivaraya. We thought we had a bus and then they announced a general Nepali strike. Our awesome organizer, Murari, made a couple of phone calls and got the bus to us. We went from Shivaraya to Jiri.

In Jiri we went to the hotel and had a very nice lunch with goat meat for the first time. We caught the bus after lunch, which was amazing because we were pretty much the only vehicle on the road. The bus was very shifty, twisty and turning. We helped out people who had never been on a bus before. Pasang and his father had never been on a bus as well and some people on the bus got a bit sick, but we did our best to help out. For part of the trip there were probably 30 people on the roof of our bus.

We made it to Kathmandu at about 10:30 p.m. The bus dropped us off in front of the Annapurna Hotel.

This concluded our Service Trek. Beside some rain and one wet day, we had beautiful weather and incredible luck. We did it! So that concludes the June Service Trek 2009 from the all girls team. Thank you. Bye. back to top

A view of the spectacular terraced green foothills seen along the trek (Elaine Smith). Shelley helping in the health post atPatale (Ying Hsu). The children inside the Patale school we visited (Elaine Smith). Dan, Ying and Maya inside the school, clapping along to songs the school children sang for them (Elaine Smith).

14 June, 2009

Hello, this is Elaine Smith calling for the Service Trek with SummitTrek on the 14th of June, 2009.

We woke up in Bandar, which is a town of mostly agricultural people. It was a stone blue sky day. We had a lovely breakfast of pancakes, poached eggs, and we were very hungry.

Our trek for the day got off to a late start at approximately 9:00 a.m. That was the latest start we’ve had since the whole time we’ve been walking. We started to walk up the Durang pass and stopped approximately 3/4 of the way uphill for a tasty lunch of pasta, vegetables, and fried potatoes.

After lunch we continued our walk over the Durali Pass and arrived in the town of Shivaraya at around 3:00 in the afternoon. Shivaraya is a pastoral town with mountain traverse trails. People will walk through there if they choose not to fly through Lukla. There are a lot of Buddhist Nepali people living here.

Once we got our tents up we were able to put our feet up on the porch and rest our legs. The monsoon rain arrived and we so enjoyed sitting on the balcony and watching the village people do their thing. There was a lovely view of the farming valley and a very good river flowing through the town.

We all had hot showers and a two course dinner, followed by lots of more fun. We enjoyed taking photos and things like that. We closed the evening with sweet pancakes for dessert. Everyone was pretty stoked about that.

Pasang Sherpa and his father have been coming with us. They’re walking up these mountain passes. Pasang’s father is carrying him on his back, so he’s doing really well. I think they’re enjoying the trip to Kathmandu.

In closing out now, hi to everyone. Hi to my family, to my friends, and take care. Talk to you soon. Bye. back to top

A spectacular "mani wall", stone inscribed with Buddhist prayers. The team crossing a suspension bridge. Pasang and his father (Chu Trandinh). Maya Sherpa with snowy peaks behind in the distance (Elaine Smith).

13 June, 2009

Hi, this is Alexa Dillhoff with the June 13th dispatch for the Service Trek June 2009.

This morning we started out in Puchinga after battling some leeches and rain all night. We had noodles and eggs for breakfast and started our slippery walk down from Puchinga. It was hard to watch even the porters slip and fall some, although it made us be very careful on the way down to the river.

Pasang is still following along with us. He pretty much rides on his dad’s back along with the porters. He’s coming with us all of the way to Kathmandu for his leg x-ray.

We had a beautiful walk down to the river and then wound our way up to Jerku for lunch. We had a huge lunch, even with an egg appetizer. They had beer, which was the first real beer we’ve seen on the whole trip. We thought we were going to hang out for quite a while at lunch, but ended up moving ahead quicker than we intended because of a possible rain storm and we wanted to stay dry. It was hard on some of us because it was pretty hot and we had eaten a lot and drank some beer, so it was difficult to do a big uphill push right after that.

We went downhill from Jerku and crossed the Khola River on a huge suspension bridge. It was gorgeous and there was beautiful scenery along the way. There were much more organized, cleaner farms with terraced farming. It looked like some rice, corn, potatoes, and beans are grown together.

We had many stops up the big hill with little shops along the way. A lot of us were thrilled to be going uphill for our knees. We stopped along at these little stores that were in individual homes. Dan was hunting for ‘cheese balls’, which are basically like puffed cheetos, so we were excited to find those in one of the stores. One of our guides, Gelzhen, showed us a newly discovered cave that has kind of been turned into a temple. One person could squeeze in at a time and there were some offerings back there.

Inside the newly discovered cave temple (Alexa Dillhoff). Our team relaxing and having drinks after a hard day of trekking, with camp set up in the background (Rachel Dillhoff).

At one local stop a gentleman, who felt very akin to me because we both had banged up knees from falling over, offered to show us a huge golden statue down by the river and a salt statue. He didn’t seem like the most credible source and no one was up for a 3 hour goose chase at that point.

We continued uphill and made it to Bandar in the afternoon. It was our first opportunity to have a hot shower inside. It was also an opportunity to find any leeches we may have missed when we were checking along the way. Personally, I found one stowed away in my waistband in the back. I think everyone at this point has had a leech bite, so we’re all getting comfortable with the idea, if you can believe it.

They sent us a ton of appetizers when we got here with something called jakuti, which is dried spicy broth. We bought more of the cheese balls, had coke, beer, tea, and some whiskey and basically spoiled our dinner.

We saw a huge tractor when we came into town. That’s the first vehicle we’ve seen along the whole trip. We haven’t seen any other tourists, just native people. It was funny walking into town because a couple of little boys started making monkey noises at us. One little girl who could probably only speak 5 words was saying “Namaste” to say hello. We all thought she was so cute and then she started saying “monkey, monkey, monkey.” Apparently that’s the name for foreigners, so it’s pretty funny.

We had a great dinner here in Bandar. Luckily there doesn’t seem to be too many leeches, which is probably because of the altitude. Our tents are in very tall grass and getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night is always interesting. You have to literally check at the door. There seems to be more spiders than leeches here.

We did treat one porter for an eye infection, but we’re concerned because of communication and hygiene issues whether that’s really going to resolve.

To finish the night, almost everyone was in bed and we had a hankering for dessert and, believe it or not, they made us special honey covered pancakes. I believe that’s probably why the dispatch didn’t happen last night. We were having so much fun eating sugar and having our first dessert of the trip.

Everyone seemed to have a good night’s sleep and seems better rested than yesterday. We’re going to be on our way today up a steep hill for lunch and then on to Shibali for the nighttime. So this is Alexa and you’ll be hearing from us later today. Thanks. Bye. back to top


The team trekking through a calm and nice meadow. Rachel and Ying (Alexa Dillhoff).

12 June, 2009

Hi everybody. This is Shelley Bloom again calling you from Puchingbe camp for the June 2009 Service Trek. I wanted to let you know what we did today.

We started out this morning with a debriefing with the health clinic trying to come up with new ideas on how to make it better. Then we headed off to Maya Sherpa’s house.

Maya’s house was very special. She is a person who has worked with SummitClimb for 15 years and is from Patale. Her home is a place where there is a monastery that is in reparation and it is absolutely beautiful. It is full of antiques and paintings on the wall and just a very wonderful place to be.

After that we headed off to Nawang’s house for tea. Then we headed off to his brother’s house for some more tea and dinner before heading on a trek all day long.

I am sorry to report that we had quite a few hours of rain and along with that, lots of leeches. We have all gone to bed leech free. We are no longer doing leech checks.

Pasang Sherpa met us at Puchingbe camp today. He is a boy with a broken leg and we are going with him to Kathmandu where we hope he will be able to walk better after treatment.

So we wanted you to know that all is well. This is Shelley again signing off from Puchingbe camp on June 12th for the 2009 Service Trek (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!). Bye. back to top


A very young Buddhist monk inside the Patale monastery (Rachel Dillhoff). Gyltsen, our awesome main porter, in Patale (Elaine Smith). Maya Sherpa leading a tour of the monastery (Ying Hsu). 

11 June, 2009

Hi everyone, especially my friends in Sacramento and Spokane. This is Shelley Bloom giving you a report for the Service Trek from Patale on June 11th at 8:00 p.m.

Today we started out bright and early going uphill for the most wonderful breakfast we’ve had yet at Dorje’s.  He is the town treasurer.

Then we went down to meet all of the children in the village. The whole school came down to say hi. There were around 120 children. We gave handed out stuffed animals, as well as hats and blankets made from the generous students at Shaker High School, way up in upper New York.

The highlight of the day was working in the health clinic. Over the past 2 days we’ve seen 138 people from all over the valley. We saw many types of patients, from babies to grandmas and grandpas. Cases ranged from stomach illnesses to babies with head trauma. We could have used an ophthalmologist or a dentist.

The Sherpa people here are so appreciative. They have had activities for us and each meal they have made for us is better than the last.

We have to say that we continue to have excellent weather, which only means one thing. No leeches yet!

This is Shelley signing off. Bye. back to top

The teacher and children of the school accepting the generous donation of hats and blankets from Shaker High School in New York. The children of Patale wearing their new warm hats (Dan Mazur).Children holding up their new stuffed animals we donated (Rachel Dillhoff). Alexa helping in the health post at Patale (Ying Hsu).
10 June, 2009

Hi, this is Elaine calling from the Service Trek with news on 10 June, 2009.

We have spent the entire day in Patale Village. We woke up early today to a perfect blue sky and a day full of activities.

 After a breakfast of noodles we walked up to the local Tibetan Gompa that the Sherpa people frequently visit. On the walk to the Gompa we saw a young girl tending to her family’s goats and cows before going to school. When we arrived there, we were delighted to be able to look back to the other side of the valley where we had entered the Patale area the day before. It was so nice to be able to see wheat and corn fields that we walked through earlier. They were layered in steep terraces. When we were about to go into the Gompa an eagle flew above us. It was so nice to just be there in that space.

Inside the Gompa we were welcomed with tea and involved in a traditional puja of prayers, charms and offerings. The ceremony went for an hour or more. We all offered success to the monastery, the Gompa, and the area of Patale by holding candles and placing them on the altar. We each received a Buddhist blessing from the lama. There were children standing outside and looking in at us with great curiosity.

Next, we were invited to the lama’s house for butter Sherpa tea. From there we started to make our move towards the health post.

On the way down we were invited into Lakpa, and Mingma’s new house, with their beautiful baby boy named Jangbu. We were served more tea and a delicious brunch.

It was time to open the health post’s doors at about 10:30 a.m. Two Service Trek teams were put together and set up with jobs to tend to patient’s needs. The two teams were made up of Chu and Rachel, and Shelley and Alexa. Interpreters were required and we were also joined by two health post members that were able to assist with the large queue of people standing outside. Tomorrow’s dispatch team will go through this in more detail regarding the type of illnesses and kinds of people that were treated.

A small group of us decided to go to the nearby school. There are two schools in the area and we chose one on the bank higher up. We taught some basic English and a few math exercises. We also played volley ball during lunchtime and closed the day at the school with dancing and singing.

It was then time to walk back to the health post and join the other members who had been helping sick people all day. On arrival the monsoon season rain came down heavily.

We really look forward to seeing Pasang Sherpa tomorrow. We hope that he will come and see to his leg.

Tonight we had a nice surprise. The people of Patale village turned up and decided to put on a dance for us. It was beautiful and enchanting with excellent dance styles. Their clockwork was really impressive. Then they decided to invite us as a group to dance with them and that went on for a couple of hours. We closed the evening at about 10:45 p.m. Good night for now and talk to you soon. back to top




A young sherpa family we passed along the trek (Chu Trandinh). The Patale health post before the doors were opened (Murari Sharma). Everyone dancing at the celebration the people of Patale put on for us (Murari Sharma). Another scene of jangbu Sherpa at the celebration (Ying Hsu). Chu checking a young baby (Elaine Smith). Rachel and Alexa crossing a suspension bridge along the trek (Rachel Dillhoff).
9 June, 2009

Hi, this is Ying Hsu reporting in for the June 2009 SummitTrek Service Trek. It’s 8:10 p.m. on June 9th.

We’ve arrived in the village of Patale, where we’ll be staying for the next two days working at the clinic and the school, as well as meeting the local people.

We started today with a beautiful view of the mountain ranges early in the morning. There were no clouds and we could see very clearly Everest, Mera Peak, Ama Dablam, and other peaks. Then we started the slow climb through a lovely rhododendron and hemlock tree forest. After we came out of the climb up the ridge there was an even more magnificent mountain view and you could see the peaks even more clearly. It really felt like an alpine foot-land. It was a day of gentle climbing up and down.

We made a few tea stops and saw a few patients in the local villages. One of the ladies had an eye problem. We gave her some antibiotic eye-drops. Another lady had been coughing for some time, but after giving her a full examination, it seemed it was being caused by the smoke in her house because the Nepalese people in these villages don’t seem to have ventilation where they live.

We eventually got close to the village of Patale. As we approached we started descending the hill to have lunch at Jangbu’s house, one of the sherpas. They made this wonderful lunch of potato dal and rice and fried eggs. Eggs never tasted so good.

Then we thought we were done, but that was the start of the never ending chaang drinking ceremony. We had regular chaang, milk tea, black tea, and then we started having chaang with fried eggs in it, which tastes amazingly good. Jangbu’s lovely wife kept refilling everyone’s cup. The cup was never empty, it was always full and ‘the cup that keeps giving.’ We were there for probably 2 ½ hours. Everybody kept drinking either chaang, tea, or chaang with eggs. Eventually we had to leave because otherwise we were never going to make it to the village.

10 minutes after leaving Jangbu’s house we stopped by Tenzing’s house and the same ceremony began with chaang, milk tea, black tea, and chaang with eggs. So that took a while. The other important thing today was we had one of the many kata (silk scarves) offerings. By the time we got to the village of Patale we had collected 4 silk katas and it seems many more are to come. The villagers are just so generally happy to see us.

That’s it for today. Wait for news for tomorrow. Signing off for the girl’s team. back to top


A view from above of our camp in Patale. Stuffed animals we handed out to the children (Chu Trandinh). The team trekking up towards Patale (Elaine Smith).

8 June, 2009

Hi, this is Chu Trandinh reporting for the Service Trek on the 8th of May.

We began by departing on a beautiful day today. There was no rain or leeches. We climbed up a ridge and then down to the Sisa Khola and walked around the river. It was beautiful.

We stopped at the Sisa Khola for brunch, where we visited with a few people and a tech who used to work with Dan. Then we went on to cross and go up again, stopping to have lunch high on the ridge. It was a beautiful day again with no rain.

We then headed out to Japhre where we are now camping tonight in the cold, damp and foggy weather. We did get to see a couple of peaks. We’re not sure which ones they are, but will identify them in the morning. This was from the girl’s team. See you later. back to top


The scenic foothills along the trek (Alexa Dillhoff). Dan playing a game of ball with some of the local children (Alexa Dillhoff). Our comfortable camp (Chu Trandinh). Buddhist statues inside a monastery we visited (Chu Trandinh).

7 June, 2009

Hello, this is Rachel Dillhoff reporting in for the Service Trek June 2009. We are calling from Dungopa. Today is June 7th, 2009.

We started this morning in Kathmandu and took an early flight in a small twin-otter plane to Phaplu. It was the first time that most of us experienced landing in a gravel airstrip. We walked to a large town called Salleri. It was a short day and we only walked for about 3-4 hours. We were pleasantly surprised when none of us ended up with a leech on us all day. We had nice weather with no rain.

We arrived this evening at Dungopa and there were a couple of villagers who asked to see the doctors and the nurses, so it was a fun chance to be able to provide medical care. We are staying in a very nice place and actually have tents inside a building this evening, so we feel really spoiled.

We’re all healthy and very happy to be here. That’s all for tonight. Thank you. back to top


Our comfortable indoor camp for the night in Dungopa. Shelley and Elaine taking a break along the trek (Alexa Dillhoff).  The team boarding the plane (Shelley Bloom). Inside a Buddhist monastery we visited (Chu Trandinh).

Team roster:

  • Dan Mazur (leader) -  US
  • Ms. Elaine Smith - New Zealand
  • Ms. Rachel Dillhoff - US
  • Ms. Alexa Dillhoff - US
  • Ms. Shelley Bloom - US
  • Ms. Chu Trandinh - France/US
  • Ms. Ying Hsu - US 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).