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Nepal Trekking, Yoga & Community Project, October 2016

Lou Nulley, co-founder of the REACH for Nepal Foundation (RFN), and Raju Thapa recently led a group of 10 people from Australia on another successful trek in Nepal, culminating in a community project in a remote area of the country.

Prior to the trip the group had raised around $3500. Together with funding from RFN, the team funded and helped to rebuild a library at the Hari Prasad school near the Khara Ko Mukh village.  

The library was demolished by recent earthquakes and flooding. The facility is a key requirement to assist in the education of the children in this remote region.

We were welcomed by the school & the village in traditional Nepalese way 

The headmaster of the school and the school board were grateful for the team’s contributions, galvanizing the community as parents, teachers and villagers came together to assist the rebuild project.

 We went to the classroom to mingle with the kids and teach them about Australia

The team included people from NSW, Victoria and the ACT. After trekking the Annapurna Range for five days absorbing spectacular views of the Himalayas, interspersed with regular yoga sessions to stretch the body and to remain present on

the journey, the team enthusiastically arrived at the school to begin the rebuild project.

We were overwhelmed by the generosity and welcome from the community and children at the school.  

 The library we built

“We gave so little and they gave us so much,” Canberra dentist and team member Stephen Huang commented.

Group participants unanimously agreed the trip was a perfect blend of personal challenge at a variety of levels, opportunities to relax and immerse in the culture of the country, and making a difference to the lives of many people, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  About half the group on the fully-booked trip had never participated in yoga before, but many committed to continue their yoga practice in Australia because yoga provided a framework to cope with and absorb all that was happening with a sense of calm and balance.  These attributes are as valuable in a highly stimulated environment like Nepal, as they are in our everyday life.

 The group showing off

A similar trek is planned for the second half of October 2017.  A maximum of ten people can be accommodated on the trek. If you would like more information about the trek, please contact Lou Nulley (nulley@optusnet.com.au) or Lachhu at the Buddha Odyssey.

One of the trek participants scribbled me a note and handed it to me as we were leaving Kathmandu airport.  I think it articulates the views that many of the people had as they were departing this wonderful country:

 The magical Machapucharre

My first overseas holiday, and to Nepal which was on my bucket list since my mid 30’s.  I have been with a group that instantly connected, and that connection has just grown stronger throughout this whole journey.  I say ‘journey’ as it has not only been a physical journey but an emotional and soul searching one.  The combination of the trek and the community project allowed our group to bond in the most amazing way.  Lots of laughter and a great sense of achievement.

For me to be in Nepal and experience the ‘real view’ of the people and its country enriched me more.  I felt very privileged to witness the local communities like very few  others. 

There has been a wonderful calm throughout this whole journey.  A journey where a nation has very little in a material sense, but very much where it really matters – the human soul and spirit.

To be part of the rebuild project has allowed me to fulfill one of the wishes in my life – that what I receive on a daily basis can be shared amongst others.  This was not just a knock on the door or a phone call requesting a donation, which is the usual western world way.  It was a way to really give a part of me, sharing more than my daily earnings – sharing my time and my energy and in return, receiving true gratitude and bonding that only physically being there could achieve.

I am in total awe of the Nepalese people where I have witnessed daily how a family and its community remains so strong while the world around them is so weak, in terms of infrastructure, governance, welfare and support.

Everything that life stands for …… for me personally, I have had the joy of experiencing this first hand over the last 14 days.

I thank all involved that this has now been added to my journey of life – I hope to share it with those closest to me and give them the message of the Nepalese people: 

Life is simple…..

Bond and stay

Strong together

And you can overcome anything.

Believe, love and share…..Thank you Lou” 

……Z.L.

 The walk around the village

And finally, another participant sent me an email earlier this week stating the trip was one of the highlights in his life.  This mature-aged person has travelled extensively, so his comments are with that broad experience.

The whole group in Pipal Tree Bed & Breakfast, Pokhara

 

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