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Prayer flags above Dingboche. Lhotse and Island Peak in the background.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tiny Hands Trek for Recovery is underway

The second Tiny Hands Trek for Recovery team is having a ball! Everyone arrived safely in Kathmandu last Sunday and Monday. Some had a little drama with messed up flights but that is all in the past now. We've spent a busy week enjoying the sights and more importantly, the people of Nepal.

We started off slowly with a few walks around Thamel, the touristy portion of Kathmandu. We enjoyed some good meals, did a little last minute shopping and adjusted to the near 12 hour time zone difference. Wednesday was a full day with a tour of the city. We walked through some busy local markets on our way to the Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square. This incredible world heritage sight was badly damaged in the April 25, 2015 earthquake but is still absolutely worth the time to go there.

From there we met with some Tiny Hands staff and they gave us a better understanding of how their ministry works and how great the need is. Their primary focus is to stop the trafficking of Nepali girls into a life of slavery and death. This is an unimaginable practice that demonstrates just how depraved people can be. Tiny Hands saves over a thousand girls each year and yet the need far exceeds this number. They also look after over a hundred orphaned or near-orphaned kids in small family-centric homes. If ever you've felt the need to help people in need, please consider donating to them. They can be found here.

Following this sobering time we went to the monkey temple and Boudhanath stupa, two important Bhuddist sites in Kathmandu, Pashupatinath (a place for Hindu people to cremate their dead), Bhaktapur (a neighboring town that has been swallowed up into greater Kathmandu) and to our eight kids' home on the southern edge of town.

Fun people and holy men (or at least men who never bathe!).

An old building in Durbar Square that is partly damaged from the earthquake.

On Thursday we flew to the much quieter town of Pokhara and visited the Dream Center where Tiny Hands runs a school for about 50 kids, primarily kids who live in the orphanages in this area. In just two short years, and in spite of many bureaucratic obstacles, they have built a nice and very functional school with some great teachers, along with two beautiful homes for their precious kids.

We were welcomed like long lost friends and really enjoyed our time there.

The Dream School

Inside one of the Dream Center homes. They are beautiful.

Hey Andrew - it's cricket, not baseball!

Friday morning was reserved for a little R&R. Scott and I decided to try our hand at tandem paragliding and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately the skies were quite hazy and cloudy so we couldn't see the amazing views of the Annapurna range that I've enjoyed in the past but we still had a great time.
Scott getting ready to fly.

Saturday was spent with our eight kids. We did our traditional Saturday lunch at the Hyatt hotel's big buffet and then swam for a couple of hours. The kids have a ball but I think I enjoy it more than anyone!

Poor Karseng has exams tomorrow and had to study. :(

Tomorrow morning we leave for the airport at 6 am and weather permitting we will be in Lukla for breakfast. We then walk mostly downhill to Phakding for lunch and then another hour or two to Monjo for a shower, dinner and some sleep. This is getting real!

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