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  Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nepal and Tibet: Service Trek led by Everest summiter Dan Mazur: Dispatch Five

photo showing John Vavruska holding a photo taken 20 years ago of the grand opening ceremony of the first public water well, known as a "tap-stand" that he built in the village where he lived for two years as a water-worker. Now, we are on our way to visit the village, after a 20 year hiatus, to see what is left of the system he worked so hard to design and implement.


Hello EverestNews.com,  Hope all is well. Thanks again for letting us tell this story about the very poor people who live in the tiny villages near to Mount Everest, for the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development of Nepal and Tibet. Here is the latest news from our service trek:


John:  We pulled into Lamidanda this afternoon after a long, hot 3,000 foot climb from Rabuwa (at 1,400 ft) on the Dudh Kosi, the great river that drains the entire Khumbu (Everest area).  We spent last night in a Rai farmer's khet (terrace) in a tiny place called Mosepu high above the Khotane Khola, the river that drains east from Okhaldhunga and Rumjatar.  Lamidanda is where I spent many days and nights 20 years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer working out the UNICEF Field Office here.  It's as beautiful as ever, an idyllic hamlet perched above the Dudh Kosi with beautiful fields of kodo superb views to the north of the Himals (Numbur, Karyolung, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Kusum Kanguru, Mera, etc.  But things have also changed.


Lamidanda was an airstrip with regular service to Kathmandu when I was here before.  Now, the airstrip is deserted and apparently planes fly in only once in a while.  Our group of 12 walked ten minutes eastward to the vicinity of the old UNICEF Field Office to check into a "hotel" along the trail.  The office is now closed and the house of the Field Officer at the time - Thomas Ebersoll that I spent many a night in is long gone, not even any rubble to show for it!  It all seems a bit weird.  This afternoon after washing at a dharaa (water tapstand) nearby, I pulled out a handful of photos that I had made of people in Lamidanda 20 years ago.  The Sherpas went off with the photos on a mission to find out about these people now.

Some have moved away, others they couldn't identify.  But one older guy - Rudra (nicknamed Kaaji) showed up and he remembered me.  We chatted for a while about the whereabouts of the people who worked in and around the Field Office at these days.


Hello EverestNews.com,  this is Elselien writing. Hope you are ok and have a chance to put this next Dutch dispatch on the web. Thanx a lot.


Vanuit het enige Bazaar dorp Diktel schrijf ik dit. De afgelopen dagen zijn avontuurlijk verlopen. Na Rumjatar, waar een van onze Sherpa's eerder geweest was, wist niemand meer precies waar we heen gingen, hoe het pad zou zijn of hoe lang we er over zouden gaan doen. Een halve ontdekkingsreis dus. De eerste dag werd dat meteen al duidelijk toen we onze bestemming Rubawa een half uur voor donker nog niet eens konden zien liggen! Op zoek naar een plek voor de nacht kwamen we uit bij een eenvoudig huisje midden inde rijstvelden met een vlakke plek voor onze tenten. Aldaar hebben we dus gekampeerd en een zeer eenvoudige Dhal Bhat als diner gegeten. De thee leek wel slootwater met zout en peper! Mensen leven hier zo basic, het is soms onvoorstelbaar, maar altijd gastvrij en bereid om mee te helpen!


De volgende ochtend zijn we op een lege maag naar Rubawa (2 uur) gelopen en na een Noodle soup verder naar Lamidanda. Daar ontmoette John een aantal bekenden en had ik in de heerlijke middagzon eindelijk eens tijd om mezelf en wat kleding te wassen. Vandaag zijn we verder naar Diktel gelopen en kwamen we de eerste tekenen van Maoistische activiteit tegen. Ze vallen ons (nog?) niet lastig voor geld ofzo, maar zijn duidelijk herkenbaar aan hun achterdochtige gedrag. Ze komen schromeloos erbij zitten en staren ons onvriendelijk lang aan. Waarschijnlijk zijn er te veel legersoldaten in de buurt, want vandaag kwamen we door een grote basis en moesten langs een checkpost waar de Sherpa's hun rugzak mosten openen.


Hopelijk blijft het hier bij, want morgen willen we verder naar Nirmalidanda, waar John 20 jaar geleden 2 jaar gewoond heeft, en daarna verder naar Bojpur voor de terugvlucht naar Kathmandu. Het zou jammer zijn als John  niet naar 'zijn' dorp kan gaan. Hij heeft veel foto's van destijds bij zich en ik ben benieuwd wie daar nog van over zijn... Hopelijk daarover meer in mn volgend verslag. Elselien te Hennepe.


Daniel Mazur says: I just wanted to review a bit about the kind of patients we saw coming into the health post. There were a few men complaining of headaches, but mostly it was mothers and their children. This is an especially unique need, because the mothers, who have little or no schooling in this village which does not really have a functioning school (yet) generally speak very little Nepalese and definitely no English, they only speak Sherpa language. Thus it is so lucky that the Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development of Nepal and Tibet and those people who have kindly donated have been able to provide a local man and woman, both whom are from the village and speak perfect Sherpa. We saw one horribly shocking case while we were in the clinic, a woman brought in an 8 month baby who had rolled into a fire (their fires are really holes in the floor in the middle of their houses, which by the way have no chimneys). This baby was seriously bloody and burned to the third degree on the back of his head, his back and buttocks. He was crying and mother was trying to calm him by nursing. We were very fortunate that Dr. Lee Levin was with us and had brought a large supply of Cephalexin antibiotic, as this is a good infection preventative for open wounds. We hope the baby will live, and will check back frequently to find out what happened.


Thanks for listening and for your support, from Daniel Mazur and all of us at SummitClimb.com





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