Welcome to magnificent mystical Nepal. So said the sign as we arrived in Kathmandu to begin a 3 week long journey working in an orphanage and trekking to Everest Base Camp. We were full of anticipation and wonder, hoping that Nepal would prove to live up to this promise.
Combining my love of outdoor adventure travel and the desire to give back through community service led me to Trekking for Kids (TFK), which organizes purpose-driven treks for socially-conscious hikers in some of the world’s most remote and iconic locations. A Trekking for Kids expedition is like no other because it provides Trekkers with a truly unique opportunity to combine their thirst for adventure and the outdoors with their desire to help those less fortunate. TFK focuses on the orphans who live in the shadows of the world’s most coveted adventure destinations and Nepal seemed like the perfect place to marry both desires.
We began our journey at the Orphan Children”s Resource Center (OCRC) in Kathmandu and spent time getting to know the children, playing games, and improving the orphanage’s facilities.
We spent 3 days working and playing with the kids and anticipating the trek that lay ahead. The children were so giving and open and it made us feel grateful that we could give back to them. We left them buoyed by their spirits and excited to return to see them after we got back from Base Camp in two weeks.
Our group of 22 was quite nervous the morning we waited to board our flight to Lukla airport. It is known as one of the world’s most dangerous, as the landing is uphill into the side of a mountain at 9,000 ft. Luckily it was a spectacularly clear day and we landed without incident full of adrenaline and excitement and ready to go. As we exited the plane, we were greeted by our 6 Sherpa guides, a hearty Namaste and a ceremonial silk scarf. We were now in the Khumbu region – a world away from the hustle of Kathmandu – no cars, and the only way to get up the mountain is by foot, horse or yak.
We started off and quickly and settled into what would become our routine for the next 9 days – trek for miles, stare in wonder at the sheer beauty all around us – waterfalls, villages, stone steps, 150 foot suspension bridges, the villages and local people, yaks, breathtaking mountains – we would climb for hours and finish each day exhausted but still feel giddy about our surroundings.
The juxtaposition of sights and sounds was fascinating – the trail is definitely not the “road less travelled” as this is prime time for trekkers. It’s not all pristine – there is poverty, yak dung, human waste, porters with 100 lbs of supplies on their backs, but all with the backdrop of the mountains and the villagers’ pride in their surroundings.
As we continued on our journey into the altitude, the views got more spectacular, the teahouses more Spartan and our first view of Everest came into focus in all it’s glory. On the 7th day we made the summit at Khala Pattar (18,500 ft). It was a truly arduous climb but so worth it, as we were treated to a glorious sunset and alpenglow on Everest – a sight that even overwhelmed our Sherpa guides.
As we descended over the following 3 days, I was able to breathe fully again and reflect on the many challenges. The trek was a huge accomplishment and I was looking forward to revisiting the children at the OCRC knowing that they had motivated me to complete every step. I realized that through Trekking for Kids, I was able to to truly see and experience Magnificent, Mystical Nepal.
For more information about TFK adventures, visit www.trekkingforkids.org and here for the next trek to Everest Base Camp on November 2013.
Bridgit Fried is an alumni trekker with TFK who has reached not only Everest Base Camp but, most recently, the roof of Africa: Kilimanjaro!
Thanks Bridgit for the cool guest post on Everest and hearing about the wonderful charity work that Trekking for Kids does
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Interesting . . . in about a year you’ll be posting pictures of your trip to Everest (Sagarmatha) base camp!
Very true Todd. I can’t wait!
Bridgit, you are quote the adventurer. Great work in your hike AND for doing it to benefit orphaned kids in Nepal. How rewarding!!!
I agree Raul,
You can’t beat combining travel and charitable work.
Wow! Love the descriptions and the photos. The Khumbu Valley must be magnificent. Thanks, Ted, for the guest post.
No problem Cindy,
It is my pleasure to highlight such a fantastic region and such a worthy cause.
I can’t wait for the Everest Expedition. I’ve already started training and am really looking forward to trekking through all of the locations that Bridgit has described in her post. And, most importantly, I’m excited about the lives of the children we will be improving through our trek. What a great opportunity to do good in the world and see it from the heights of the Himalayas!
This will be the trip of a life time! Trekking for Kids at Everest Base Camp. A time to climb, and a time to give back.
Good luck on your Everest expedition and great you can combine with doing some good for the people.
I went in 2010 with Trekking for kids and this truly was a trip of a lifetime. Hoping to arrange things with work so I can go again in 2013. If you’ve not trekked in the Himalayas, don’t pass up this chance – and I can’t imagine going all that way and taking all that time without taking time to give back to the people of Nepal. Jose, I hope I see you in Nepal!
Good luck with arrainging the 2013 Everest expedition.
What a fab experience! V inspiring too!
@mrsoaroundworld recently posted..My hOtel: Four Seasons Doha, Qatar @fsdoha
Thanks Mrs. O,
yes, you were treated indeed… the sunset looks amazing. stay adventurous, Craig
Craig Zabransky recently posted..Wide Awake Thanks to the Northern Lights
You know me Craig, it is what I do.
Loved the post Ted! I agree with craig, what an amazing sunset! I’m loving keeping up to date with your adventures, stay safe!
Thanks for following along. This is actually a guest post; however, I will soon be in Nepal.
I love that you could tie in both, sounds like a great trip.
Travel and adventure are always great on their own, but combine it with charity and it is sublime.
I first heard about this through Raul. What a great way to help kids. Love this!
Leah Travels recently posted..48 Hours in London: Tradition with a Twist
Yep, Raul was secretly behind this post. He is secretly behind a lot of things.
I am like the Clark Kent of good traveling, good drinking and good volutnourism!
Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..A Boarding Pass Collection – My History of Flying
Love it! Nepal is so amazing – I fell in love years ago. The beauty of the region and the kindness of the people left a lasting impression! Love that this hike paired such a great cause with such an amazing place!
Anita Mac recently posted..Gear Review: The HoboRoll by Gobi Gear
That is awesome you have been Anita. I hope to go there within a couple of years. I have a good friend who is leaving in June to be a diplomat in Kathmandu for two years, which means a place to stay while in the capital.
the more we hear about trekking for kids, the more we wish we could actually envision ourselves doing something like this… can we start one called “drinking for kids” instead?
the lazy travelers recently posted..style spotter: marina bay sands hotel, singapore
A lot of pregnancies, both wanted and unwanted, are a direct result of drinking, so I think that already exists.
i love mixing my love of travel with doing something good for others in voluntourism. so rewarding – a win, win!! can’t wait to do my next Habitat for Humanity build, so i completely get how great this is.
lola recently posted..going local in Costa Brava – Spain
Very cool Lola that you do that. Very inspiring.
I want to go do a Habitat with Lola!
Raul (@ilivetotravel) recently posted..A Boarding Pass Collection – My History of Flying
So awesome! I’ve always wanted to climb to Everest base camp and do it for a great cause. What a great story.
Tawny of Captain and Clark recently posted..Life lessons from rock climbing
This is on my bucket list for sure, and I hope to do it with Trekking for Kids. If I cannot make it happen for this year, I will definitely make it happen the following year. Great post!
Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Advice to Those Graduating.
I will be there soon myself as I have a good friend who will be starting a two year stint as a diplomat in Kathmandu in June.
Great to see you are ‘giving back’. As travelers, it’s the best thing we can do. The fact you combined it with something you want to do, makes it a win win 🙂
Nicole @ Green Global Travel recently posted..Water Wonders: A Father-Daughter Story of Growth Through Adventure
You have to love win-wins!
I am so pleased that you had wonderful trip in Nepal.
Hope will visit our beautiful country again in the nearest future.
Wishing you all the best for everything.
Nepal Hiking Team
I hope to visit next year. Nepal looks amazing.
I’m glad that you liked Nepal and the trip that you had.
Loved the post. It is very inspiring indeed.
Subigya recently posted..Hiking to Namobuddha Gumba
Just found this blog, what a inspiration loved it and eager to meet you in Nepal, Friends Adventure Team
Adventure Trekking in Nepal recently posted..Trekking in Nepal | Adventure Trek in Nepal
Pleased to know you had an awesome time trekking here in Nepal.