Costa Mesa, Ca.

June 24, 2015

Dear Family & Friends:

Yesterday, Mingma Sherpa came to visit us in California.

Mingma was my Sherpa the first time I summited Mt. Everest from the South side in 2009. He was the Sirdar (the lead Sherpa in charge of all other Sherpas), when I summited Mt. Everest from the North side in 2014.

Mingma lives with his wife, 2 small children and 1 of his sisters in Kathmandu, Nepal. His Mom and his other sister live in the tiny village of Thamo in the mountains near Namche Bazaar where they operate a small café for trekkers. Mingma and his wife, Nawang, manage a mountaineering shop in the Thamel district of Kathmandu. Mingma’s primary occupation is acting as a climbing Sherpa and Sirdar for expedition companies offering services for climbs of Mt. Everest and other mountains in Nepal & Tibet. Mingma has summited Mt. Everest 9 times. Mingma’s father was a cook for Alpine Ascents International at Camp 2 on Mt. Everest. Tragically, he was killed in the serac collapse in 2014 that killed 15 other Sherpas. Mingma now has responsibility for supporting his Mom and 2 sisters, as well as his own immediate family.

Mingma has always wanted to visit the United States. This desire intensified after we met in 2008. Twice, he was denied a VISA by the United States Embassy in Kathmandu. This year, I wrote a sponsorship letter for Mingma explaining why he would abide by all of the terms of his VISA. This time, the VISA was granted. Mingma is overjoyed at the opportunity to visit our great country. He will be living with us in Costa Mesa until his return to Nepal on July 6, 2015.

Set forth below are a few photos of Mingma. He brought some photos and video showing the devastation caused by the massive earthquake in Nepal in April of this year. I will share some of those photos with you, as well as happier photos from his visit to the land of his dreams.

Bill Burke

Mingmas Family

Mingma’s Family in Kathmandu (Background-Nawang Doma Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa & Bill; Foreground Tsehring Futi Sherpa and Pemba Tshering Sherpa)


Nima Futi Sherpa (Mingma’s Sister) in Kathmandu


Mom & Sister

Mingma’s Mom (Ang Riku Sherpa) & Sister (Lakpa Yengjee Shepa) in Thamo

Mingam & Bill Summit

Mingma & Bill on the Summit-2009

Bill & Mingma

Bill & Mingma on the North Side

Mingma Lori Amy

Lori, Mingma, Puchhanga & Amy on the Everest trekking Trail-2008

Mingma & Amy

Mingma & Amy on Mingma’s Scooter in Kathmandu


Mingma at the Burke Residence

Amy on bike

Mingma & Amy on Bill’s “Scooter” in Costa Mesa