The Foreigners Have Arrived – Adventures in Nepal (Part Seven)

“On a Mish” #130 The Foreigners Have Arrived – Adventures in Nepal (Part Seven). Gurdel Village. Sulokhumbu. 2.11.2015. Edmund Hillary travelled to Nepal to climb a mountain but he quickly realised that the people were a much better reason to visit the most mountainous place on the planet. A good friend / brother went through the same experience and, just like Sir Ed, he fell in love with the magnificent mountain land and its people…

Our goal was to get to Gurdel Village and now we were there and it was chaos! Our arrival brought an abrupt end to the school day, and we were surrounded by puzzled children. For a short time most of us totally forgot the aches and pains of hiking, and we joined in the newly invented game of ‘get the rugby ball’. Throw a rugby ball to a large group of Nepali kids and what you get is a crazy game of get the ball / get the person with the ball!

We played for a while and then it was time to head to our tents and settle into our new home. The tents were pitched on a freshly harvested field which had a couple of cows overseeing the operation. Just like the day before we had a gathering of children at the tent door each morning. We also had an incredible view of the Himalayas which turned pink in the sunrise. But before the night fell, we had a feast which included a goat curry so fresh that the animal was chomping on the grass near our tents only a couple of hours before! Being someone who loves animals made it hard to witness the butchering process. However after watching the care and consideration the boys put in to firstly respecting the animal, and then thanking the dude who would become our dinner our minds were blown by how good the meal was!

I was up early-ish every morning taking photos and being chuffed with my decision to join Dan and his gang of goodness on his mish to Gurdel.

The next few days were spent hanging out at Bibek’s village and visiting other villages in the area seeing what aid was needed and if Active Hearts could build another library there. Watching our leader and the foundation’s founder Dan chat with village elders was a big change from the days when Dan and I would head out for a big night in Queenstown. The much more mature man was doing some amazing things in a country that needed help after the massive earthquake that had struck only a few months before our visit. Now it must be said that Dan Dai may be much more mature than back in our days as guides on the Routeburn Track, but the man can still party when needed. And in Nepal there is a party pretty much every night!

Along with the Active hearts work there are two moments that I know I will remember forever. First was the night we climbed to a point where we could use the satellite phone to call Dan’s sister Emma so she could relay what was happening in the 2015 rugby world cup final, which the mighty All Black’s won. Second was when we put on an ‘International Cultural Performance’ to show our appreciation to the people of Gurdel Village. Along with the ‘traditional’ Alaskan Seal dance we sang a ‘waiata’ and then performed a haka. Dan explained and forewarned the children of the passion and power on display during the Haka, which had a couple of the little ones retreating to their parents’ side.

The next day started with the difficult task of leaving the little town we had all fallen in love with. Another factor that made us all want to stay for a little while longer was that our day began with the drop back down to the swing bridge, and then the climb back up the other side, but this time we would climb even higher than when we had arrived a few days ago. Under an escort by many children we hiked away from Gurdel and began our trek towards Lukla and the world’s most dangerous airport….

Himalayan Monsters Seen From Gurdel

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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