October 25, 2015
Dear Family & Friends:
Today, started with a departure blessing from the owner of the Panorama Tea House. This was an incredibly kind gesture.
After the blessing, we trekked to Khumjung, which is at an elevation of 12,600 feet. There was considerable earthquake damage in Khumjung, and the rebuilding is in process.
The Hillary School is in Khumjung, but classes were not in session because of the holiday. The Hillary School educates children through grade ten. The children come from long distances, including as far away as Thame. The children trek to school, in some cases as long as 3 hours each way. The trekking can involve an elevation gain of over 1,500 feet, and they trek in all weather, including rain, wind and snow.
We visited the hospital in Kunde, which is the next village up from Khumjung. My friend, Mingma Tshering Sherpa is a doctor at the hospital. He showed us around the facility. Mingma and the senior physician live at the hospital year-around.
The Kunde Hospital treats injuries, gastritis, infections, hypertension, diabetes, and various forms of illness. They have an x-ray machine, but they do not perform surgeries. They deliver about 3 babies per month, and a 9 pound baby boy was born just this morning (no pain medication for Moms in the mountain villages).
The young sister of a close friend of my family passed away recently. She was very talented at making bracelets and jewelry items. I brought several of those items with me to give to the people of Nepal. I gave an item of jewelry to the new Mom and her baby boy. You can see the bracelet around the wrist of the Mom. This same wonderful family made a $100 donation to the hospital and a $100 donation to the Hillary School.
Tomorrow morning, we trek to Dole.
We have an incredibly tight and close group, almost like we have been lifelong friends. Everyone is feeling well and doing great. This is the best mountain team I have ever had the privilege to trek and climb with. Captain Challenge keeps us in stitches with his non-stop jokes, stories and made-up songs.
Be sure to check out our location on my website at the Burke-Khang 2015/Where’s Bill? link.
ps: here is a recent article about our mountain that appeared in Outside Magazine
Thank you again for these updates. They mean everything to us back home. Breathtaking pictures, beautiful group. Everything looks so colorful and happy. Grateful to the Tea House owner for the ‘Safe Climb’ ceremony. Wishing you all continued sunshine, good health and smiles.
Your team is so cool. I get a kick out of the antics of Captain Challenge. The mountain looks tricky but your team is highly competent. Everyone will be fine.
Pulling for you all from 81 ft above sea level.
I so enjoy reading about your trips and the wonderful people you meet along the way. Can you imagine someone trekking 3 hours to get to school here in the USA? Amazing people. Love all the photos! Stay safe and healthy!
I have so enjoyed meeting with you, Tom and the others to hear about your adventures. I am finally getting over a stroke, and hope to be invited again, when you safely return home. My prayers and
Mary’s are with you.
Bill, I am the Canadian gal that is following you (as well as being a Nurse), and I am interested to know exactly what your friend, Dr. Mingma Tshering sherpa and his colleagues need in their hospital? What kind of things/equipment are on their wish list?
I got teary reading that Margo’s bracelets went to the new mom and her newborn baby! Love the photos!
The team photos are priceless–keeping the humor flowing. The next leg of the trip to Dhole will have you parallel to the Dudh Koshi River–more good photo ops.
Like Lori, I love that this young mother is wearing this special gift. I am sure the hospital and the school appreciated the very kind donation.
The Sherpa people are the most amazing, resilient, thoughtful, and generally happy people! Thank you for your support of Dr. Mingma and his hospital. He is as focused as his dad was before him. Good man. Al and I will keep you in our prayers as you climb YOUR mountain! Enjoy!
I agree with Cheri. Sherpas are indeed the most amazing people I have ever met. Khunde hospital and Dr. Kami and Dr. Mingma are wonderful people.
It is pleasure reading about your travel and about our people in Khumbu. I have heard a lot about you from Dr. Mingma. Thank you for your support. I wish you and your team all the best for your expedition.
God speed, safe trip and enjoy our wonderful trekking friends, as I know all readers of your site enjoy reading about them and you.