Barbara buying an item from Glenda
Elizabeth buying items to benefit Beauty for Ashes
Langtang in Nepal was the destination for the tenth TOYL trek. No wonder this remote destination was #42 on The New York Times list of 53 places to go in 2017! Twelve adventurous hikers jumped into our journey with enthusiasm, humor and flexibility. Many new friendships were made and others deepened on our journey. This was first year I had a waiting list for the group thanks to word of mouth by many of you and The New York Times! Langtang is North of Kathmandu Valley near the Tibetan border. The area was designated Nepal’s first Himalayan National Park in 1971. It is inhabited by Tamang and Sherpa people whose religious practices, language and dress are much more similar to those of Tibet than to the traditions of their cousins in the middle hills. The region is still recovering from the earthquake and landslides in 2015. Moments after the earthquake struck, a massive expanse of ice fell thousands of feet, creating an avalanche that wiped out a community where 400 people lived. http://himalmag.com/langtang-the-terrible-langtang-the-beautiful/ In addition to seeing monkeys frolicking in the forests, we hiked across a landslide that had killed hundreds of people. Group members arrived safe and sound at Kathmandu Guest House (KMG), two of them were repeats. Michele was in the first group in 2011 and Karin from last year. Five of them carried lap tops in their luggage, two of us carried sewing machines on board to donate to the anti-human trafficking groups I work with, Basa Village and Dadagaun Village. Eight of the twelve members extended to continue our service work and programs in Dadagaun Village where we’ve joined others from around the world to support. Our first day was enhanced because Joel, President Basa Village Foundation, and two other board members joined us for sight seeing and a dinner at Sangari, the restaurant next to KMG operated by musicians. Joel, on behalf of the foundation, donated 40 Limin aid LED solar powered lights to Indira, (Founder of Change Action Nepal), Glenda Hauser, (Executive Director of Beauty for Ashes (beautyforashesnepal.com), Dhruba Thapa (New Hope Ministries, (www.newhopenepal.com) each rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking. Because of the generous donations of friends in the States combined with 10% of the trip’s cost, cash donations were given to these groups and the expenses were covered for the follow-up workshop I gave to Shaki Samuha staff and the Dadagaun Village music program. A little bit of money goes a long way in Nepal. After a brief rest in our rooms at Kathmandu Guest House, we walked around the corner and up the stairs to Sangari for a festive evening including dinner we enjoyed lively music by four talented musicians. Indira, Glenda, Dhrupa, and Ajay joined us for lively conversation. These brave humanitarians talked briefly about their programs. Indira gave a heart felt talk to thank us for inspiring her continued her work on behalf of the most oppressed groups in Nepal. She said, “You have fought for women’s rights and succeeded in your country. Your success and continual striving for justice helps keep me going.” Glenda brought jewelry and bags to sell made by women in her program who were taught to sew and make jewelry. It was interesting to learn that one of the target areas for human trafficking is the Langtang region. I was heartened to learn that our trek would bring needed funds to the region and be a small step in addressing human trafficking.