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  Mount Everest Foundation for Sustainable Development in Nepal and Tibet: Service Trek led by Everest summiter Dan Mazur: Dispatch 9

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.


Dear EverestNews.com, Dear everyone at EverestNews.com for the special chance to tell our story of how people in poor villages of Nepal and Tibet are trying to help themselves. Yesterday I returned from Nepal after completing our November service trek for the Mount Everest Foundation for the Sustainable Development of Nepal and Tibet, following October's safe and succesful climb and trek to Ama Dablam, a 6800 meter peak near to Everest. During this autumn season, there was a cease fire between the government and the Maoists. By the way, this conflict between the separatists and the government has not yet been directed against tourists or any foreigners, but has been strictly a Nepali vs. Nepali issue. The Khumbu valley, where Pumori, Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam are located, has remained free from any strife and was again calm and peaceful this Autumn. Through the last two weeks, 4 foreigners and 10 Sherpas, assisting the Everest Foundation, made a service trek in rural Nepal, where during the first ten days of our trek we visited a remote health clinic in a poor village near to Mount Everest (four days walk from the nearest tourist trail) and, in another village, we evaluated the state of a 20 year old water system, escorted by John Vavruska, who originally designed it in 1983. The local people in the two villages were very friendly and welcoming. In the last days of our trek, ten days from any tourists, we were surprised to learn that we were the first foreigners who had visited that area for several years and we did indeed meet a few Maoists, who requested us to make a "donation" to their cause, but were surprisingly nice to us when we apologized that we were not able to give them our money, as we were already helping people in other villages. Days later, our trek ended in a remote hilltop village, where I made a brief satellite phone call to the Kathmandu offices of Parivar Trekking, and that afternoon, we climbed into a helicopter and in one short hour of exciting flying, we retraced our steps over big beautiful green hills we had just spent 15 days walking through. Now that all of us are home, it seems our service trek was exciting but rewarding, not only because we never met another foreigner the entire time, but as we plan to repair the water system and make many improvements to the health clinic (now in it's infancy) during the next months. Here is a website where you could follow the progress of our service trek, through photos and emails sent to EverestNews.com via satellite email connection:

http://www.everestnews2004.com/summitclimb/servicetrek2004.htm . In case you are interested in meeting us this winter, we plan to present lectures about Himalayan mountain climbing and building hospitals, schools, water systems and environmental projects with me, Daniel Mazur (25 Himalayan expeditions in 6 nations since 1986 and seven 8000 meter peaks including Everest and K2) and friends (Pemba Dolma Sherpa, first Nepalese woman to climb Everest and survive, having climbed Everest twice, from Tibet and Nepal). For the spring, in March through May we plan to climb and trek Mounts Pumori and Everest in Nepal and Tibet, followed in June by a service trek to poor rural villages near to Mount Everest in further efforts to help the local people help themselves and their environments. If you would like to speak further of these matters from a mountain climbing, trekking, or a service perspective, and perhaps host a lecture, please feel free to email. Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely Yours, Dan.


PS. I would like to thank those who were so supportive of our trek, our families and friends and especially Elselien te Hennepe and John Vavruska, who both have some amazing pictures to send you for posting on your excellent site: EverestNews.com . I would also like to use this opportunity to voice my appreciation to everyone at SummitClimb.com for sponsoring a portion of our trek and providing such excellent staff, communications, and logistics.





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