Clairvaux MacKillop College: Nepal Service Learning Adventure 2019

Clairvaux MacKillop College: Nepal Service Learning Adventure 2019

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the community of Dhampus to complete the school library building
  • Gain an insight of daily life at Gurung villages and Hindu culture
  • The sense of achievement from completing a fully supported trek in the Annapurna Himalaya range
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath and Bhaktapur
  • Soak in stunning views of the Annapurna Range
  • Experience a Himalayan mountain flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara

Trip Summary

For a life-changing experience for youth in their formative years, there is simply no other destination like Nepal. From the atmospheric squares and temples of Kathmandu Valley we travel to the lake side located Pokhara, where the Annapurna range stretches out in front like a giant wall. It is here where we venture into the Himalaya on a fully supported seven day trek escaping Nepal's tourist trails to venture deep into the forests that flank the Annapurna range. The trek is designed to provide outstanding mountain views whilst getting away from the tea-house trails and into villages that have not felt the impact of tourism and have subsequently retained much of their traditional charm. This provides the opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, social structure and way of life in rural Nepal. You will be greeted warmly and offered a friendly welcome in the village of Dhampus (1990m), the site of our two day service learning project. We will be helping to complete the library at the local school called Shree Janapriya Primary School. On either side of the project work we'll follow trails through oak and rhododendron forest and camp in serene locations that showcase dramatic views of the Annapurna Range. After completing the trek we will make our way to the trail head where we return by private vehicle to the beautiful lakeside town of Pokhara. We return to Kathmandu for an opportunity to do some last minute shopping before flying back to Brisbane.

Suitability

This trip can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of health and fitness. For the community project part of your trip you will not require a certain level of strength or physical ability, just an enthusiastic and positive attitude. A project manager will direct and distribute the workloads among participants on a daily basis. There is no pressure to exert yourself physically beyond your limits during the project but you should be prepared to give 4 -6 hours of physical labor each day. A certain level of fitness will be required where there is trekking involved. This trip involves trekking for up to six or seven hours a day at a steady pace. These trips do not spend time at altitudes above 4000m and are usually a week in duration. You will need a reasonable level of fitness, to enjoy the outdoors and be in good health. Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for three months leading up to your trip. For trekking, hill walking with a day pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.

Sample Itinerary

We depart from Brisbane at 9:10 on a Singapore Airlines flight arriving in Singapore at 15:10. At 18:25 we depart Singapore and arrive in Kathmandu at 21:10. Upon arriving in Kathmandu you will be met by your group leader and transferred to the comfortable and well located Gangjong Hotel. Accommodation: Gangjong Hotel SQ 256 02DEC BNESIN 0910 1510 SQ5314 02DEC SINKTM 1825 2110 (flights subject to change)

Meals:  Nil

Following breakfast at the hotel, our guide will conduct a trip briefing before setting out for a half day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu. We visit Boudhanath, the world’s largest Tibetan stupa surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels, heavily patroned by faithful worshipers circling its base. Standing on the Bagmati River is the site of Pashupatinath where Nepal’s largest Hindu temple is found and where on occasion cremations occur along the ghats (side of the river). We return to the hotel by approximately 2pm, where the rest of day is at leisure. Accommodation: Gangjong Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we take a flight west to Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest town (820m). In good weather we are greeted with sights of the entire Annapurna Range. From here we drive for an hour to a pass between two river valleys to the village of Phedi, where we commence our trek. There is no need to rush as this is a short day with plenty of time to reach our overnight stop. The trail ascends for the first hour, following a ridge through fields of bamboo clusters to magnificent rhododendron forest. Villagers greet us with “Namaste”, the traditional Nepalese greeting, as we pass their homes and continue to the ridge top where at the crest the scale of the mountains astounds us. Machapuchare (6993m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Annapurna South (7219m) can be seen from our immediate viewpoint. In the village of Dhampus there is a school which is in dire need of assistance called Shree Janapriya Primary School. The students and their families are mostly Dalits, which is a lower caste and subsequently receive very little government assistance. Almost half of Nepal’s Dalits live below the poverty line. They are landless and much poorer than the dominant caste population. Their life expectancy is lower than the national average, and so is their literacy rate. Dalits are routinely denied access to religious sites, they face resistance to inter-caste marriages, refusal by non-Dalits to handle water touched by them and many other forms of discrimination. We visit the local school where we will partake in the community project work. The school students will be expecting our arrival and we will be warmly welcomed into their village. We will first meet with the local foreman who will take us on a tour of the school showing us what work we will be doing. The group will be divided into smaller work teams and each assigned separate tasks. We will be helping to complete a school library and our work will include plastering, flooring and setting the windows and as well as establishing a compound wall. You will not need any specific skills or experience, just the willingness to participate and the ability to roll your sleeves up and get a little dirty (you should wear suitable clothes), all for a great cause. There will be a local professional builder supervising the project and ensuring we get all the work completed on time. Accommodation: Eco lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Working alongside the locals, teachers and students will provide a rare insight into the people of Nepal. We will camp in a peaceful spot nearby the village where the local children will be delighted to pay you an afternoon visit. All meals will continue to be prepared and cooked by the World Youth Adventures cooks and regular breaks will be taken so as to keep energy levels high. Accommodation: Eco lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we finish off the last remaining tasks before a handover ceremony takes place, a plaque will be unveiled and lots of singing and dancing will follow. We bid farewell to our friends and get back on the trail which follows through rhododendron forest before continuing through a series of Gurung villages where lifestyles have not changed substantially over the centuries. After lunch we follow a well-marked trail to the village of Landruk where we camp for the night. Accommodation: Private eco-camp

Meals:  B,L,D

It is a wonderful traverse through the forest towards Ghandruk where we gain views of the picturesque Annapurna South. There’s an opportunity to explore the Gurung museum in the heart of the village and to meet the medical staff at the Sanjwani Health Clinic to learn about mountain medicine. Accommodation: Private eco-camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Our trail meanders uphill through fields and into the forest of rhododendron and magnolia. We pass by waterfalls that cascade down narrow gullies that provide the perfect home for many small ferns and delicate plants. Tadapani is a clearing in the forest and a rest place for porters. Accommodation: Eco-Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we join the old Tibet-Nepal trade route. The walk this morning offers excellent views of the Dhaulagiri range as the trail zigzags until we reach Ghorapani.This is a sizeable town and you may wish to wander through the bazaar this afternoon. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

From Ghorapani a pre dawn 45 minutes climb brings us to the summit of Poon Hill (3200m). The view of the Himalaya are tremendous, with forested foot hills as a fore ground and some of the world’s greatest mountain ranges surrounding us .The glow of the rising sun catches Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and Annapurna, making the early morning rise more than worth the effort. We descend to camp for breakfast and during the morning we descend further through small settlements to enter a deep ravine where multiple waterfalls follow our trail. We over night in an eco lodge in the village of Ulleri. From Ulleri we will have an over view of our trek route, as well as views of the Annapurnas at the head of the valley. Accommodation: Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we enjoy your last breakfast in the mountains as we join the busy trail towards Pokhara. Today's trek is short yet a steep descent to the village of Birethanti along the Modi Khola. We cross a substantial bridge before making our way to the bustling bazaar of Nayapul. Here we are picked up and transferred back to Pokhara by private vehicle to our campsite. Accommodation: Private eco-camp

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our fight to Kathmandu, a spectacular mountain flight along the face of the Himalaya. On arrival we transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon you have free time to explore some of Kathmandu's excellent bookshops, markets, novelty and handicraft shops. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner. Accommodation: Gangjong Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning you will have a chance for any last minute shopping before a final farewell to our guide. We will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Brisbane, via Singapore. Singapore Airways International flight departs Kathmandu at 21:55 arriving into Singapore at 04:40 on 15 December. SQ5313 14DEC KTMSIN 2155 0440 (flights subject to change)

Meals:  B,L

We arrive into Singapore at 04:40 and depart again at 06:55, arriving into Brisbane at 16:55. Upon arrival all services finish, although the memories and lessons learned will last a lifetime. SQ 265 15DEC SINBNE 0655 1655 15DEC (flights subject to change)

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return Brisbane to Kathmandu economy class flights with Singapore Airlines including taxes
  • 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners including all meals on trek
  • Return flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Twin share accommodation at the Gangjong Hotel in Kathmandu
  • All internal transport by private bus
  • All internal airport transfers by private bus
  • Gear package including a kit bag and litter collection bag (yours to keep), sleeping bag and liner, sleeping mat and down or fibre-filled jacket on trek
  • All group camping equipment
  • Porters to carry all personal & group equipment
  • Porter's insurance
  • Group leader, sirdar, guides and kitchen staff
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Emergency group medical kit
  • Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu including entry fees
  • Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
  • USD$3000 donation to Shree Janapriya Primary School to pay for the materials and equipment for the project work and the wages of a local trades person to oversee the work.

What's Not Included

  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, email etc.
  • Tips - approx $80
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:14 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Brisbane. From 12 participants
Activities:Service Learning
Trekking
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5214