Nepal 2018: a ‘true adventure’ in every sense
Our year 10s have returned safely from their two-week journey to Nepal. Friday saw emotional reunions with parents, the students tired and inspired in equal measure. The car journeys home were full of the experiences the students had just left behind.
The fortnight began with a flight into Kathmandu followed by a long coach journey to Pokhara. Though only 200km, this journey took 11 hours; the adventure had begun. An even more exciting bus journey followed to the start of the trek in Gilung. Here the coach climbed about 1000 metres on a dirt track barely wider than the vehicle itself. The students stayed in the homes of the villagers in ‘homestays’. The village Mothers’ Group then prepared a meal over a small open fire for all 22 in the party. The following day saw an 11-hour trek in temperatures north of 30 degrees. This challenged the mettle of all involved, and the encouragement and support the students gave each other was noteworthy. At the end of this day-trek, the group arrived at the village of Singdi where they spent five nights under canvas.
At Singdi, students worked with the local school, painting some classrooms, laying out a new science lab (in a room with no electricity), lining out the soccer pitch and new volleyball court, and best of all teaching the students English. These students were on holiday for the Nepalese New Year, but nonetheless came up to the school each day to take part in the lessons, and play sport with our students. A highlight was undoubtedly when the local villagers put on a cultural display for Sackville (as well as killing a goat for the evneing meal), and gave our students a tour of their own homes. The unbounded happiness of the local students was striking.
An emotional farewell after the project led to the final four-days of the trek. The first day saw torrential rain – and leeches!
As the group passed through some stunning scenery in the foothills of the Himalayas, the high tops came into view. The Annapurnas and Manaslu were both clearly visible. Each evening students stayed in ‘homestays’ again. Often the food was cooked by the porters who travelled with the group. On the last night of the trek, the group were invited into the houses of several families in the village and ate the food the locals had prepared over open fires. There is no gas and little electricity in the more remote Nepalese villages.
The journey back to Kathmandu was delightfully punctuated with a two-hour white water rafting expedition. A day sight-seeing and buying souvenirs followed. As the flight left Kathmandu for Delhi, the team were treated to unbroken views of the high Himalayas, and were able to reflect on a fortnight which had given them a year’s worth of new experiences.
We would like to thank Emma Mitchell from True Adventure for leading the trip, and particularly Mr Johnson and Miss Garrison for accompanying the team.