Organized by: Jess Fontaine
EVENT DATE Nov 28, 2015
Hello Friends and Family,
Well my fundraising skills have been put to the test with this Nepalese service trek - and although I am comfortable admitting that I am terrible at pestering people for donations, my poor skills have done a disservice to the people of HDF and Chhulemu. I leave on Saturday (!) and would like to make one final call to donate to this very worthwhile cause. As Black Friday/Small Biz Saturday/Cyber Monday approaches I know we all have intended destinations for our pocket change but I would be so grateful if you could throw some in this direction - 99% of what you give will go directly to the cause (crowdrise.com takes 1%).
If you have already donated THANK YOU, I am simply including you to again say thanks and to share an update... below is an email I received this morning from one of our guides - he is already in Nepal and has been working with Trek 1 and Trek 2 (I am in Trek 3). I have received notes from other trekkers over the last few weeks that have been...harrowing. Notes about sleeping on rocks, trekking up and down mountains, directions to prep for perpetual dampness and chill weather, instructions to bring head-to-toe rainproof gear because we'll be outside breaking/prepping concrete and stones in the rain...crazy (and intimidating) stories. Ed's note below is much, MUCH more pleasant. His note is centered around the experience and traveling, rather than the work (I suspect his take is tinted with a pair of rose-colored glasses but I appreciate the effort he's making). I haven't received a lot of info about day-to-day expectations and so I haven't been able to answer your questions about the nitty gritty - Ed's note goes into some detail and I thought you might be interested. The entire email is amazing so I wanted to share.
Thank you again for your thoughts, well wishes, and contributions!
EMAIL FROM ED (slightly edited to remove some logistics and details):
Trek2 Sandy is on an Annapurna trek now with superguide AngBaBu. 3XInscoes+Myah have probably completed their Gyoko trek by now after surreal vertical exit in a chopper from the cabbage patch next our Chhulemu Bigtent. Mary (a late additional crewmember) and I are are chilling in Pokharra after a pleasant superbus ride. All the rest of Trek1&2ers are returned/returning now to USA. 90% of this has been without problems excepting a few of the Trek2ers did come down with a flu which they muscled through although we can't figure out what they did that was different. Don Moore is stateside with his doctor for treatment and dearly missed as our founder and fearless leader... he greatly appreciates your participation and understanding of his health priority. I'll attempt to fill his shoes which I will do my best.
I've been here since late Oct with not a hint of any illness eating drinking most anything put before me, even being a bit adventurous food and drink-wise. I've consumed gallons of tea, juice, and water cooked by our guides and cooks, and at trailside teahouses, monasteries, and private homes. Also a bit of Roxi (homemade alcohol).
The plan is to fly from Kathmandu to Phaplu on the morning of Monday Nov 30. We'll likely walk to Taksindu Resort and Monastary, have dinner for a last “bed & toilet” for the week. On the trek, our cooks met us at Phaplu to serve tea then we set out... donkeys take your duffels and you see your stuff occasionally along with the cooks carrying the “kitchen” on their heads. At some point we stopped at a teahouse and there they were with a killer lunch prepared... I hope we will stop at Taksindu Resort (30minutes above Chhulemu) for the night followed by a monastary visit/blessing in the morning.
Tuesday we we slide into some work based on what the carpenters need at that time "tbd"... we “passed” rocks, mixed and passed concrete, hammered rocks smaller (aggregate), cut and arranged rebar and demo-ed walls. You can have a hot shower bag in a tent upon request, great food, singing, dancing, card playing and reading then two people/tent, think about a tentmate... with 1.5in thick pads. It will get to what feels like 40F and humid to me inside and 30F outside.
For a day off think about possible hikes to Nuntala or Hewa or all the way to an Everest view site "Camelot" (very big hike) all with some jungle single track and some with delicate but strong pedestrian and yakamoo cable suspension bridges...
There have been many suggestions as to what to bring... they're all true, as each person has found different things to need. I've been very comfortable in my 20F bag with a fleece layer and light weight fleece hat. For work I like my thick cotton military style work pants, kneepads, Caiman gloves, safety glasses, helmet and Osprey water bladder.Today I'm hunting for respirators for all of us.... if you can stop at Home Despot and pick up a white paperlike N95 respirator with the plastic valve on the front...
I'm very attached to my led headlamp and the guitar Martin& Company donated for the project... I never dreamed how awesome my hermitcrab shell (Thule Capstone32 Pack) was going to be... THANK YOU again John Casey and Thule!!!!!! In there is my Osprey 3l bladder (Claudia's Camelback failed), small roll of toilet paper, a Costco bag of dried fruit and nuts, powerbars, toothbrush and goretex shell. I have a back-country lightweight shirt which carries passport, $20000.00Rp and some US cash, ID, sunglasses, map and phone. My Republic Wireless phone works great on the hotel wireless internet service, it has a shut off feature for trekking and Chhulemu. There is a 9600baud modem in Nuntala. You all are too young to remember those and thank god we didn't have smartphones back then.
I hope you will enjoy this as much as I have and I look forward to helping you do so.
If you have any questions, I'll be on/off snail email for the rest of this week. Very much looking forward to seeing you all!
Co-coordinator Rebuild Chhulemu 2015
Hello friends and fam, Later this year (November 28 - December 10) I'll be joining the Himalayan Development Foundation and Sherpa Mountain Adventures in Chhulemu, a village in the Taksindu district of the Solokhumbu region of Nepal.
The April 2015 earthquake caused significant damage to the region - I will be working to support efforts to rebuild the homes of the people of Chhulemu as well as the school at the Taksindu monastery (Buddhism, English and Math are all taught at the school). As part of my trip I've been asked to reach out to you fine people to see if you have any pennies (or dollars!) to donate to the cause.
Anything you give will go to the foundation to support all of their efforts (although I'm traveling to help with rebuilding efforts, the org also supports fundraising for medical supplies and general community support). Please know that your donation will NOT go to funding my trip - 99% of everything you donate will go directly to the cause (the last 1% will go to crowdrise.com).
I want to keep this short and take up as little of your time as necessary, but if you want any more info about the volunteer effort or my commitment in particular please don't hesitate to ask. I'm looking forward to this crazy trip and am happy to share the details!
Thanks in advance for anything you can give. I know the residents of the Tokasindu district in the Solukhumbu region will be very grateful.