Together with 25 dutch volunteers we are going to Nepal in November on a 5 day trek in the Annapurna mountain range. We will visit Simavi’s projects in Kohalpur and Kapilvastu and see the benefit of the funds we will raise. Nepal has the highest maternal mortality rate in Asia. For every 10,000 births, 259 mothers die. Of every 1,000 babies born in Nepal, 21 die. Compare that with the infant mortality rate in the Netherlands: 3 per 1,000 births. Luckily the solution is simple, and with your money we can make it happen! Simavi’s projects are focused on hygiene, toilets and clean water in the poorest part of the country. We will pay for our own trip and expenses.
When I heard that the Simavi foundation was organising this trip I did not have to think for a long time. Who does not want to help people in need especially children. This is a great opportunity for me to make a difference. It won’t be easy to raise the 3000 euros but this actually inspired me as well. I am in good health and capable of taking action!
Thursday 21 November - From Tadapani to Ghandruk
We went down through the forest and sometimes we even had a normal path instead of steps! We realised how steep we had gone up as we descended. What comes up must come down...
Ghanddruk is still at 1970m and it is one of the most populair and well kept villages in the Annapurna region. We were lucky with the weather and the next morning we had a clear view over the snowcapped mountains, Mt Annapurna 8091m, fishtail, ..
Friday 22 November
Today we were brought back by jeep to Nayapool where we started our trip. The rest of the group did descend the first part by foot but as I was still ill I preferred to take the jeep and finally give in to my illness :-)
From Pokhara we were supposed to take a plane back to Kathmandu however the flight was cancelled. Instead we took a 8 hour bustrip and we arrived at two o'clock in the morning. I flew back the next day and arrived in Paris on Sunday morning.
It was a fantastic experience for everybody and even though it was not easy all volunteers confirmed if they could do it all over they would do it again!!
Thanks again for all your support and for your donations!! And of course when I see you I can give you more details (if you want of course :-)
Wednesday 20 November - Poon Hill day and further on to Tadepani
Today the group reached Poon Hill at sunrise altitude 3193m. I also got out of bed at 4AM to start the climb of 400 meters to Poon Hill, however after 100 meters I had to abandon; my body said stop unfortunately...For me this was a mixture of altitude sickness together with the flu. On my way back to the lodge I ran into hundreds of people who were climbing Poon Hill all at the same time...
Later on everybody came back to the lodge from where we continued are hike to Tadepani at 2590m. Even though we went down, all over we did go up a lot as well and reached twice again 3100m.
Tuesday 16 November - Hike day 2
Today we hiked from Ulleri to Banthanti and finished in Ghorepani at 2850m. Unfortunately I got ill with fever today, however that could not spoil the day! Compared to the first day the trail was much steeper. The climate changed and it was really cold in the end. The flora is amazing everything is of such enormous measures that you imagine yourself in the film Avator. The trees are huge and abundant at this altitude. Later we would see that the pine trees are only taking over at an altitude of around 3000m and would grow as high as 4000m.
Monday 18 November - Hike day 1
We started our hike in Nayapool. The first part was quiet nice going though several little villages. It was clear that this hike would not be boring. So much to see and so many little villages on the way. After about 30 minutes we arrived in Birethani. There were no snowy peaks in sight yet but lots of local live to enjoy. The last part of the hike towards Ulleri included literally thousands of steps.
Ulleri is a tiny loverly village. Very friendly people.
Today we climbed from around 1000m to 2000m.
Sunday, November 17 - LUMBINI birthplace of Boeddha
Today we visited the Maya Devi Temple where queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddartha Gautama at around 563 BC.
Later on we took a plane to Pokhara, the gateway to the Annapurna mountains where our five day hike would start the next day.
Saturday 16 November - SIMAVI PROJECT
Today we drove in jeeps for around 4 hours from Kohalpur to Kapilvastu. Here we visited a Simavi project still in its start up phase. And this is the project for which your donation will be used! This was a big difference with the project we saw yesterday. The people (still) live in extreme circonstances without safe drinking water and hygiene. The people were not yet interested in toilets and education around pregnancies. It will take as well a couple of years and thanks to your donations they by than will have access to safe water, toilets and above all have more control over their own and children's life.
Friday 15 November. Arrived last night in Kathmandu., a very hectic crowded city and today flew from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. Visited Simavi projects in Kohalpur. The progress over the last six years was clearly visible. Strong women taking ownership of their household , life and hygienic situation! Lots of smiling faces and grateful people.
Wednesday 13 November - the day before departure.
Thanks to all of you I have reached the 3000€ target fund! Tomorrow I am leaving for Kathmandu to join my fellow volunteers.
I will keep you posted on this action page and also through Facebook (if I manage to organise myself :-)
Packing is a bit difficult due to the not so small differences in temperature going from -5 degrees during the track to 25/30 degrees in the places were we visit Simavi's projects....