Newsletter no 2 2019
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Newsletter no. 2 2019 från KMCH Support Group
Ekerö 4th of April 2019
Hello, Namaste och Thashi Delek
On April 16, a group of eight people from KMCH SG will go to Nepal to visit the school home. In the absence of news from the school home and Nepal, I will instead briefly try to describe how our journey may come to be. Certain it will be repetitions for those who have followed our newsletters, but also a little lesson in geography. In the next Newsletter, however, we promise there will be news from the school home.
How our trip to the school home can be
The journey always starts in Kathmandu. There we will apply for a Trekking Permit, to the district of Humla where our school home is situated. No trek in Humla is possible without being led by an approved guide. Our guide is for natural reasons Chembal Lama. When the visa procedure is completed, we leave Kathmandu and go to the city Nawabganj in southwestern Nepal. The days we will be In Kathmandu we shall this year meet representatives from some Nepalese organizations that we want to seek the support of and/or hope to cooperate with in different projects.
It is from Nawabganj the airplane to Simikot, the capital of Humla, departs. The planes always depart early in the morning because after noon, the wind is too heavy to land safely in Simikot. This means that we will have an afternoon to be tourists in Nepalganj, which is a city not far from the border of India. In Nepalgunj we always live by Candy, an American lady who runs a hostel called Travelers Village. It feels nice and familiar to be there.
If the weather is good, the plane can depart for Simikot already shortly after 06 pm. So, we must wake-up early. The plane departs only if the weather is good both in Nepalgunj and Simikot. If it is windy or too much clouds in any place, we will have to wait until the next day. The planes are small so it may happen that some of us must wait in Nepalgunj until the plane returns from Simikot for another trip. The journey to Simikot takes an hour. During monsoon time, it can sometimes be several days ' of waiting. The longest time we have waited for appropriate weather are four or five days. It is therefore necessary to have certain degrees of freedom in the planning of the trip, so we do not miss the booked flight home to Sweden.
Well in Simikot, we will this time spend the day there and will start the hike to the school home the next day. It is good for the acclimatization to the altitude, which can be good even if we lose a day at the school home. Simikot lies on the altitude of about 3 000 meters. During the hike, we only wear our day backpacks. The large backpacks are carried by horses.
I have not managed to draw the route on the map, but we start at the bottom right of the Simikot, and the image of an airplane. Then we follow the dashed line towards the northwest. It is the pilgrimage to the mountain Kailash and the lake Manasarovar in Tibet.
The first days of hiking goes to the village Dharaphuri (on the map above it says Dandaphoy). The village is inhabited by Hindus of the ethnic group Chetris, which is the predominant group of Humla. The distance between Simikot and Dharapuri is short in kilometers so this day hike does not take so many hours. The first part of the hike carries up to about 3 250 m and then carry downwards to the Dharapuri, located of about 2 350 m. (The altitude data I've taken from Google Earth. They differ from the previous data I have used. I have some doubts about whether they are entirely correct.)
The shortest way to Dharapuri is basically a steep downhill ride, which can be hard because it is rocky and very gravel. We will probably take a detour to avoid the worst steeps. The detour is partly where a coming road from Tibet to Simikot is scheduled to go.
In Daraphuri we stay Karnali River so we can go for a swim If we want. Last time we all slept in a room in a "hostel". It will probably be so this year too. It will be early awakening for the walk to the village of Kermi on 2 900 m. is the longest and perhaps even the toughest.
We follow the river a bit. After a while we see some fields on the other side of the river, which are the last rice fields we will see on this trip. Later the altitude will be too high to cultivate rice. At the same time, we leave the area of Chetris, as the dominant ethnic group and come to areas dominated by so-called Bhotias. It is an ethnic group of Tibetan origin and with Tibetan as their native language. Most of our children at the school home are Bhotias. It is not difficult to recognize them, at least not the women with their different jewelry and costumes. See the images below. Soon it carries up and then it continues with very much uphill and downhill.
|Fields with rice. Look at the village above the fields.||A Chetri woman.||A Bhotia woman.|
Well in Kermi we can, if we want to, go higher up in the mountains to a hot spring. It's a hard walk but well worth an effort to be able to lie and let the muscles rest in the warm water. I guess we will be accommodated in some families in Kermi. We have said that we are happy to avoid sleeping in tents.
The next day we will go to the village Yangar where the school home is situated. The trail is here much up and down as usually. There is a steep downhill walk of about 200 meters, which we on our way back, probably will have to climb. The road from Tibet has now reached Kermi, so it can perhaps make the walk easier. We'll see.
The nature is almost always very beautiful. However, the wildlife is quite limited. We usually see some raptors revolve over us but few vertebrates if we do not count the yak, horse and goat caravans that we normally meet.
On our way to the school home, we pass the children's school in the village of Yalbang and the monastery where Chembal has been a monk. We will come late afternoon and will surely as always be met by the children with sing and dance. It is always very moving to meet the children and say good bye to them after a few days.
It Is amazing how much you can see on Google Earth. Both our houses appear clearly as well as our kitchen. You can almost also see the hot spring above Kermi. Those who want can thus quite easy follow our hike via Goggle Earth. You can just follow the Karnali River.
If you want to get a more present feeling you can look at Gustav Nords movie from our visit autumn 2016. Click then here https://vimeo.com/209726942.
Look at Pär´s TEDx-Talk about his book "Solved on the Spot. Men travelling together"
The speech was held in Karlskrona in October 2018. Do you want to see it so use the address below or visit our website www.KMCHumla.se?
New Year and thus time to renew your membership or become a new member of KMCH Support Group.
We are happy to see that more of our donors also become members of the association. It costs 100 SEK. Payment can be made separately or together with a gift, but do not forget to announce that you wish to become a member. Please also indicate your e-mail address.
IBAN SE57 BIC: SWEDSESS 8000 0832 7990 4500 6518. Payments can also be made by using PayPal, se on www.kmchumla.se.