Today is the day I fly to Dhaka for my next experience in my yaatra (journey). I’ve had a few more farewells yesterday, with Esha & Kiran ….
And I also traveled over to Kapan to visit with Mingmar, Doma and family. Well actually just Pemba and Rinji for a short time, Mingma Angie was at school – I missed her! Mingmar returned (safely) from Lukla yesterday, having been able to leverage the connections of his friend to get on a flight, after only 1 day of a wait. There are huge crowds in Lukla, waiting to come off the mountain, some waiting for as long as 5 days for a flight. I think I would just hike it out to Jiri and get a bus to Kathmandu from there rather than wait that long. It’s all still part of the experience. Tim is still on the mountain, ensuring the last of the Peak Freaks bags make it to KTM. Speaking to Mingmar yesterday, he is unsure the ministry will live up to the agreements made with the Sherpas now that the media attention will be taken off once everyone goes home. They are basically asking for an insurance fund to be set up from a portion of the climbing permit fees the government receive, and increase that insurance payout on Sherpa death from 10 lak to 15 lak (increase to an equivalent of US$ 15,000). Not really an awful lot considering the impact to the families left behind who loose not only their father and husband, but primary breadwinner. They also want the government liaison officers to be out in the field and for it to not be just a desk job. For instance only a handful of government officials could make it to basecamp for the negotiations, many called in from KTM or made it as far as Namche Bazzaar. There is also a request that many of those liaison officer roles be given to the Sherpa, who are intimate with the challenges faced in the mountains. All reasonable requests, it will remain to be seen if they are brought to fruition. For now, Doma and family are happy to have Mingmar home safe and sound, but the future is uncertain. Mingmar has 3 young kids where he is keen for each of them to have an education and skill other than guiding, so that they can fend for themselves. This hope for his kids education costs, so if you know of anyone looking to come to Nepal on a trek, you could do no better than have Mingmar guide you. Check him out on his facebook page and feel free to message me or him with requests, I have no qualms in giving a solid reference. If you or someone you know are not coming to Nepal, then you can donate to the Sherpa Family Fund to help the families of the 16 Sherpas killed. My photos of Mingmar and family yesterday did not turn out well, so Mingmar will email me some photos and I will post here once I receive them. My flight has been delayed to the afternoon, so for now I will relax in Kathmandu, grab a coffee (some things never change) and soak in the joys of Thamel before I head to the airport just before lunch. Wish me luck in the 40 degree heat and 60% humidity in Dhaka ! At least my guesthouse for the first 5 nights has AC …. a gentle break in. Will blog some more once I know a little of the work I will be doing at BRAC and where I will be based. It will reveal itself in the next little while no doubt. Signing off in Kathmandu. Next post will be from Dhaka.